Little Bird Tales – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly…JK, it’s pretty great!

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Hello ECI834’ers,

I love the opportunity to explore new resources as I never seem to have the time to try them out unprompted!  I chose to look at the site, Little Bird Tales as I had never heard of it and it looked like it might be suitable for primary age students…which is right up my alley! 🙂  I am always looking for new ways to have my students share their knowledge and try exciting tools in the classroom so I was looking forward to trying this out!   baby book story reading GIFRead on if you’re interested in learning more…                                                                gif source

First,  there was something that stood out in the reading of Bates’ text this week that gave me a different perspective in reviewing this program – in section 7.1, “Thinking about the pedagogical differences of media” it pointed out that there are, “five critical questions that need to be asked about teaching and learning in order to select and use appropriate media/technologies” they are,

  • what is my underlying epistemological position about knowledge and teaching?
  • what are the desired learning outcomes from the teaching?
  • what teaching methods will be employed to facilitate the learning outcomes?
  • what are the unique educational characteristics of each medium/technology, and how well do these match the learning and teaching requirements?
  • what resources are available?

frustrated emperors new groove GIFI cannot stress this idea enough –

DO NOT USE TECHNOLOGY FOR THE SAKE OF TECHNOLOGY! UGH!

Thanks giphy.

 

Although technology can often enhance a child’s learning experience, if consideration is not given to why we are using the device or program I don’t think it should be used.  Image result for SAMRIn the SAMR model it shows how shallow substitution can be for our kids.  If we can’t use technology to allow students to explore and extend their knowledge, get to the transformation stage, it might not be as worth it as some people think.  As it says in the reading, you MUST consider the learning outcome you are trying to accomplish and match the resource to that – consider before you begin what teaching methods you are wishing to use and how each will impact the next.  Are you doing a blended approach?  Strictly online?  Leaving technology out completely?  These questions need to be addressed before you begin so that a deep understanding of the how the technology will/could be used to benefit the learning outcome can be achieved.  Finally, there is a definite need, in particular in this economic climate, to ensure that you are planning lessons around what resources are available – realistically to you in your school or classroom.  Pick something that will enhance and transform your students learning experience but be available in a useful way to your kids…don’t plan a lesson on Little Bird Tales with the intention of having everyone designing at once when you have 2 computers and a tiny space to work in where they can’t raise their voice to speak into the microphone.  Lots to consider!  If I still have your attention, check out what I think about incorporating Little Bird Tales into my classroom – spoiler alert – I think it will be a must try in my classroom!

LITTLE BIRD TALES

Little Bird Tales is an online platform where students can go to record, write and illustrate an online book!  It allows primary students to take part in story writing whether they can print or not on account of the fact that they can either type text or simply add photos and record their speech!  It is also a site that teachers can access for free cross-curricular lesson plans as well as a gallery of student created books on many topics that can be used for information or examples for their class. Little Bird Tales is a free site for teachers and students although there is a premium teacher membership for $24.99 annually which gets you extra features and capabilities as well as a paid parent platform for content transfer at the end of the school year. I only tried the free version and was really impressed with options and functionality for kids of all ages and abilities.

What I loved Image result for heart:

  • Logging in is easy for kids as they have a classroom code – for kiddos of the age I teach having easy access is crucial! 🙂  It’s the small things.
  • There were lots of things I loved about this website. The first one is the cross-curricular lesson plans that are offered to teachers on the site. You can search any topic and lesson ideas pop using the program to have kids participate!  Plus you can assign these lessons to your students so they come up when they login!  Most of these features are only available with the paid program but I still like the idea.
  • There is a section called “Public Tales” that you can search through by topic! The coolest part is that these are all videos kids have done so they can see what their stories might look like!
  • I love the easy to use layout – you can upload or draw a cover or book art and everything is clean and easy to navigate.  I appreciate easy to use sites as I often don’t have the time to read through pages and pages of directions to work with a program that might not be an everyday user.
  • Finally, the last thing I would like to highlight in the love department, is that you can share the tale with someone through email!  This is a wonderful feature if you would like your kids to email you their assignment, or they could email it to a friend or family member.  Because my little ones are quite young, I am not sure I would have them emailing anything out, but I would be happy to send it for them, or post anything available to our classroom Facebook page.  There are embed codes with each video for easy uploads and the opportunity to purchase the MP4 for an easy share.

Didn’t like Image result for thumbs down:

  • Although this was in the love department, I wasn’t crazy that you have to purchase the story, even if it’s only .99, if you want an MP4 version that can be played on any device.  I  don’t really see the point of offering this because under most circumstances I would think teachers would be fine with the other free options…however, downloads are free with the premium account.
  • The push to purchase the premium account is real!  There are SO many extra features on the premium account – not that I don’t understand having to pay for higher functions on programs but there is an insane divide on this site.  Honestly, in some respects, it’s almost so much so that you can’t properly try the functions of the program as is.
  • Another thing I noticed when trying to record is that it is a little quiet.  Even with my computer volume and the program volume turned all the way up.  When working with young kids, I am sure there would be some struggle getting kids to speak loudly enough to be heard.  It is also quiet on the playback.
  • Again, this also cropped up as a positive – but the lesson plans in some areas are very vague and harder to navigate.  I’m not certain what functionality is available on the paid site, but there are definitely issues with the free lessons as some are sparse and incomplete feeling.

Winning GIFGif Source

Overall, I like this site!  It certainly has its issues but I think it’s basic functions are really cool and will be wonderful addition to my classroom!  Many of my students this year have needs that prevent them from reading and writing in a typical way and this will be a way they can feel successful and be able to create the same way as other kids.  I am looking forward to trying Little Bird Tales next week and exploring more of its functions.

Thanks for reading,

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

 

 

 

 

 

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Mad Scientists in Training: The Joe and Dani Story

Hello ECI834er’s and beyond,

My classmate turned friend (but still classmate)  Joe and I have decided to join forces and create our Blended Learning Unit together!  We have chosen to tackle both teaching a slightly needy grade 2/3 class to use Google Classroom and then complete their Solids and Liquids Unit using the blended learning approach!  Crazy???  Maybe.  But we’re excited to give it a go!  Interested in following along on this journey?  Here’s the beginning – the skeleton of what will eventually be our unit!  Just click below…you know you want to.

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                                              CHECK IT OUT HERE!!!

 

Thanks for checking it out,

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

You didn’t have a home computer until when???

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Hello ECI 834’ers!

I know the title of my blog will only seem relevant to some people in this class because maybe my story will seem like I’ve had this technology forever – but I have had many conversations with the more senior students at my school and they cannot fathom that I didn’t have a home computer until later high school and that my internet was connected to my phone line – which we had one of, so I couldn’t be on it for more than a couple minutes at a time.  Or, that I didn’t get a cell phone until grade 12 and it was for “emergencies only” because it was connected to a phone card and I didn’t have data.  best gif wow GIFIt absolutely blows their minds…HOW DID I SURVIVE?!?  I didn’t integrate technology into my “regular” life until years, and years after most kids now because it wasn’t available.  Now, as a professional in this day and age, I feel like I am constantly

Image source     looking for ways to integrate technology because my kiddos learn better and appear to absorb more when I find a video, search an internet site or offer a game to review instead of the regular pen and paper approach…which I still think is important too by the way! 😉  They love being hands on with the computers or ipads and it is second nature to have the world in the palms of their hands.

I teach grade 2/3 so the way I integrate technology and blend learning is different than in ways I have had my learning blended in my University life, but I strive, on account of my own education to put technology to good, meaningful use.  In the reading from this week,  Teaching In a Digital world, Chapter 9: The continuum of technology-based learning they give us the following definition of blended learning which I feel like applies to my classroom in many ways,

  • technology-enhanced learning, or technology used as classroom aids; a typical example would be the use of Powerpoint slides and/or clickers;
  • the use of a learning management system to support classroom teaching, for storing learning materials, set readings and perhaps online discussion;
  • the use of lecture capture for flipped classrooms

Throughout my classroom experience I utilize many ways to allow technology to enhance my teaching and the learning experience of my students.  I use programs such as Brainpop Jr., Plikers, Youtube, and Facebook to ensure my students are getting the most out of their day in a way that is relevant to them.  I love Brainpop Jr. for their simple explanations, videos and for the quizzes they provide both for print and online.  I use Pliker’s as an awesome way to review material or retell using technology – the kids love the hands on way to answer questions and they like to see if their answers are correct in almost real time.  I love the life that Youtube videos or demonstrations filmed and put on Youtube bring to my classroom!  The kids love being able to take in information in such a visual way and there is SO much content at the tips of your fingers.  Finally, for the past 5 years in my classroom I have been utilizing Facebook as a tool to share my day with families and strengthen the home/school connection.  My kids have also done “facebook takeovers” where they are in charge of the pictures and content for the day, making them responsible and more literate members of the online world.  These, in my opinion, are all ways of using the blending learning route without offering full online content.

The challenges I faced have mostly had to do with the fact that parents are still trying to wrap their heads around technology being used in the classroom as a learning tool.  There are parents that feel very strongly that screen time is screen time and that it needs to be limited if we want our children to be learning in school – I don’t agree with this as I feel like, if screen time is used to enhance and enrich learning with proper supervision, it is setting students up for success in the new world in which they are growing up in.  Being digitally literate is SO important and it is our responsibility, in conjunction with familiDigital Literacy modeles to ensure our children and students are being equipped with the knowledge to make good choices online.  Located on the media smarts site I have linked above, this graphic outlines the importance of educating our children in many facets of the online world and I think you need these foundations built before a fully blended learning environment can be its most effective.  I suppose I would want to direct families to sites like Media Smarts so they can have a better understanding of why this “screen time” isn’t just “for the sake of having the computers out” and that there are reasons and goals during blended learning time just like any other subject.  Blending learning is just a framework to support the learning in every subject at school!

Figure 10.1.2 The continuum of technology-based teachingI loved the graphic to the right as I think it really puts into check the difference between the 3 styles of learning that are featured in the reading.  I think, as we have spoken about in many classes with Alec before, there is no point in ignoring technology as it’s not going anywhere so we midaswell teach kids how to not only be safe and healthy online, but how to use the resources to benefit them.  I truly believe that the blended approach in this day and age is the way to go to reach as many learners as we can both in the moment as well as to be able to set them up for success as they venture out into the world.  We need to be realistic about the kids we work with and the world in which they will be growing up.  Keeping them away from the technology in school in my opinion, is just as dangerous as letting them use it – with training and supervision of course!

Image sourceImage result for thinking emoji So what about my own learning experience???

As far as my own blended learning – I feel like it has completely changed my mindset and opened my eyes to so many resources that I have actually used in my classroom.  Many are mentioned above! 🙂  I have been thankful for the set up of my blended learning experience, I don’t know if I would like the idea of “fully online learning” but appreciate the mix of an online learning experience mixed with the opportunity for “face-to-face” contact.  I have to admit, much like my friend and classmate Joe, I had a more skeptical approach to anything online before Alec’s classes as I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I had, had a bad experience in an online class where I was left feeling abandoned and stressed, potentially to much of a swing right in the continuum for me?  In Alec’s blended learning environment I felt I wasn’t alone and that my classmates were creating an environment that felt homey, supportive, creative and safe.  I want to make sure that I leave my own students feeling more like the latter!

I loved this chart that I stumbled across on Nataly’s blog post this week that does a nice job summarizing the issues with blended learning.  Although I have had a mostly positive experience, there are many downfalls that need to be addressed before blended learning can be considered a viable option for education for all.  I think we need to be extremely mindful of what we were asking from our students until we can establish that they have access to all of the tools they need to be success in a blended learning environment.  I am not talking about drive, motivation, etc. but the literal technology and physical accessibility to make the potential for learning possible.

Overall, I am huge proponent of blended learning both in my professional career and my career as a student!  I love the flexibility, differentiation, and creativity it has awarded me throughout my schooling.  I am looking forward to offering these experiences to others as I continue my career as a teacher.

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

 

 

 

I don’t know what you heard about me…

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Hello ECI 834’ers and welcome to my blog!

First, thanks for coming to check out my blog – I am excited to get back on here after taking 1 semester off to study curriculum development relating to Indigenous education.  Below is the 5 W’s of me, hopefully it will give you enough of an insight into what I am and what I want to get out of this course. 🙂

W ho:  Danielle Hackel (Dani).

W hat: I am a 31 year old wife and animal Mum!  I am a grade 2/3 teacher, a small business owner and a life long learner.

W hen:  I have been teaching for 9 years and am on my 5th Master’s class towards my curriculum and instruction program.

W here:  I was born in Saskatoon and moved to Regina when I was 6.  I currently live and work about 5 minutes from where I grew up, went to elementary school and then to high school.  Geographically I have gone no where. 😛  I suppose the good ol’ saying, “There’s no place like home” has never rang truer.the wizard of oz home GIF  Thanks Giphy!

W hy: So, Alec asked us to set 3 learning goals for this blog and I think that’s the ultimate why.  1.  I want to be able to continue to build and develop my PLN through online course development and research.  I don’t think a teacher would last in this profession without building support systems.  2. To learn the tools I need to actually develop a curriculum as one day I am hoping to move out of the classroom and into some kind of other position with my division.  I think the skills that blended learning allows,  gives us a giant step in the right direction.  Technology and online learning is the way of the future and these skills will keep us at the forefront.  3.  I would like to stay ahead of the impending issues that will arise while using online platforms.  I am interested in exploring issues in technology and online learning because I want to always have an educated answer to problems and also be able to see both sides of the coin.  I know there are issues and I know that I won’t ever grow fully if I don’t learn to come up with solutions for the tough problems.

If you would like to follow me on Twitter, check here!  If you’re interested in any of my other posts, just click here!

Thanks for stopping by!

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind, without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

EC&I 830…

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…it’s been a slice!  space cat pizza GIFThanks so much for everything this semester as we worked through some pretty heavy course material.  Every debate was a nail biter and I was grateful for the opportunity to explore the other side of topics I thought I was sure on.  You’re expertise and time was so appreciated.  To Alec, thank you for the support and guidance as I worked through another one of your courses – I can’t thank you enough for the chance to directly transfer what I learn in your class, into my own life and classroom.  It has made schooling so relevant and practical.

Below is my official “Summary of Learning”.  I have VLOGGED my way through the course sharing what I feel like are highlights from each debate!  Enjoy.

 

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind, without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

 

I’ve decided…I think the force is with us.

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Hello ECI830’ers,

I really struggled with picking a side on this debate because I think the bigger issues of racism, poverty, sexism, location and politics are so prevalent that it’s hard to stay on topic!  Congrats to both groups on making the last debate so interesting.  Sapna, Dawn and Jen took on Rakan and Amy to argue, “that technology is a force for equity”.

First, let’s look at disagree group’s opening statement:

Their main points included 3 topics that really addressed deep issues rooted sexism, racism and colonialism that are embedded in the technologies were seeking out.  In the article, “Tech has Become Another Way for Men to Oppress Women” it points out that the voices of many of the management systems you can purchase are women’s voices – why?  That many of the large technology corporations are still a boy’s club and that many online outlets and social media sites continue to be hunting grounds for harassment.  Rakan and Amy pointed out HUGE biases in facial recognition software that have racist bias built in – meaning that the technologies do not recognize certain races or accents so the programs don’t function as they should.  Finally, they looked at the idea of colonialism in technology using the example of Facebook internet in developing countries – although people would be connected, and in turn bridging the divide, they are exposed to western ideology through adverts and directed media.  We start to get into the “white savior” idea and then the bridge that was created is burned.  All of these points are so incredibly valid and were not where my mind first went when this topic was presented.

Okay, let’s check the agree side’s opening statement:

This team made many great points about technology and how it does in fact equal the playing field in society.  Some of the stand outs for me were the idea that, assistive technology helps balance and equalize your classroom by allowing students with disabilities function more similarly to their classmates, that almost anyone should be able to find access to some technology with access to the library and free wifi, not to mention, that you don’t necessarily have to the best of the technology, you can get creative to offer your class the opportunity!  Check out this youtube video if you want to know more.  Finally, there are so many OER’s available now that people can receive high quality, legitimate education online at the click of the mouse.  They point out that these education resources help equalize the divide between who can afford post secondary and who can’t or just don’t have physical access.

This was a really hard week for me to choose a winner because of the over arching, yet under lying issues embedded throughout the conversation.  However, I will select the agree group as the winner this week WITH ONE CONCESSION – we need to continue the conversation of how we can eliminate or at least address the colonial viewpoints and opinions that run through our day to day regardless of whether the technology is helping to equalize the educational playing field.

As my classmate Sapna brings up to conclude her post this week, “Finally, we have to understand that the power of education is to bring equity in the society and technology aid’s that belief. Technology surely has the potential to enable solutions to some of the most pressing problems the world is facing today and now it is up to us to decide how to embrace it.”  Technology is not the bad guy, our personal bias and belief systems can hurt how the technology is created and the companies selling the pieces can inhibit who is able to purchase it, but the technology itself is just one small piece in a large pot of issues.

 

Thanks for reading, and again, thank you for the important debate this week.

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind, without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

 

Will The Technology Force Be With You?

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Hello everyone,

Another week…another debate…another tricky topic to navigate.  I recognize that Alec picks these topics to spark a good conversation and holy smokes, I think this will be another doozy!  Our debate topic begs the question, “Technology is a force for equity in society.”  This one…potentially even more so than last week, will be extremely hard to decide because technology has the ability to both divide and equalize.

Image result for divide

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How it divides:

  • There are, what I feel are obvious reasons that technology can divide us, the first being funding!  Now…this isn’t as simple as it seems.  Schools in areas of our city that are considered impoverished receive more money in order to purchase more supplies and technology to compensate for the potential lack of those things at home.  Schools in areas of the city that are considered more affluent are given less as the expectation is that supplies, technology and opportunity can be awarded at home.  Now, the sticky part of this, is that there are students and families with need all over our city so how do we equitable divide funds so that opportunity with technology is actually equal?  Not to mention, in schools that receive less funding, regardless of area, the technology seems to be outdated and often dramatically short for the number of students in the school.  I know with my school, which is located in what would be considered an affluent area, went almost the entirety of this school year with 2 computer carts for the whole school.  You need both carts to accommodate 1 class…it’s pretty hard to do any activities online when you only get the computers once a week. 😦
  • Access is another divide with regards to technology.  If you have the technology but no access to the internet, many of the functions of these technological devices are useless.  Many rural communities, including our many reservations in Saskatchewan struggle with staying connected.  Our grids are old and in need of updating and our crown corporations struggle to ensure that access is equal.
  • Access world wide will never be equal and it will continue to drive a wedge between wealthy countries and impoverished ones.  Although there have been advances in this area in both access as well as the actual devices, I don’t think it will every catch up which is a divide.  Countries who would benefit from access are not awarded it.

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How it equalizes: 

  • Technology awards students with disabilities the opportunity to be equals to their typical classmates.  There are many programs available to help students speak, see, translate, dictate, and organize their thoughts.  These programs are life changing for these students and make their personal divides, much smaller.
  • Technology has greatly improved the lives of our EAL (English as an additional language learner) students.  With programs, even ones as simple as Google Translate, our EAL learners can begin communicating with their peers right away.  Although this science is not exact and often translations are not 100% accurate, it is a step in a pretty amazing direction to making EVERYONE welcome in our schools.
  • Technology brings everyone together!  Technology helps equalize the space between us by letting us communicate in ways we have never before!  We have the ability to speak with anyone around the world instantly – this is something that would have been thought impossible in years previous.

 

These are just quick jot notes of how I think both sides impact this statement.  I am so excited to see and participate in the debate tonight! 🙂  Good luck to both sides.

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind, without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

Kids These Day’s…The results are in!

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Hello ECI830’ers,

Another wonderful round of debates in the books!  I don’t even know why I’m surprised each and every week as I watch my classmates slay their topics – I have been on the fence every week because the arguments are so convincing! 🙂  This week, Melinda, Lori and Aylssa took on Erin, Brooke and Daniel in the age old debate, “Social media is ruining childhood”.  So…is it???  Well, I was on no side when I did my post before class…I was completely on the fence about how I felt about this topic because I could EASILY see how both sides could be argued and make a lot of sense.

To start, have a peek at the agree groups opening statement…they make some amazing points as to why we need to cautious with our social media use around our kiddos!

Their main points included some that really resonate with me as a teacher watching kids fight their way through the tricky online world.  Some of these points included the rise in depression from negative response on social media, the kids lack of self regulation skills and understanding about how their actions effect someone else or themselves and the huge point of cyberbullying.  Honestly, without anything else being said, that kind of seems like enough reasons to completely shut social media off for kids!  In the article, “The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents and Families” it says that 22% of teens polled login to their favourite social media site more than 10 times a day…now 22% doesn’t seem like an alarmingly high number, BUT you have to think, that’s the percentage of teens that are signing in to their FAVOURITE site, MORE than 10 times a day!  That’s a lot.  Our teens are consumed with checking these sites and I think that has a lot to do with checking how their posts are doing, checking how their lives are stacking up against the lives of others and that, if you are not seeing the results you are hoping for, can be depressing for a mind that cannot rationalize that everything posted is through a very filtered lens.  As concerns around mental health in youth rise, this group did a great job selling that there are significant issues with social media around this topic.

One of the main reasons as an educator that I see with children using social media, and again, this comes back to the idea that the self regulation piece isn’t there, is the cyberbullying.  In the first line of the article titled “Cyberbullying Identification, Prevention, & Response”  it says that children have been bullying each other for generations – however, the way in which kids do so now has changed as they utilize technology.  This is the rub for me, when kids went home when I was younger that was it – the bullying, teasing, etc. was over and home was a sanctuary.  MOST kids wouldn’t pick up the phone and call your land line to bully you.  Kids these days are inindated at all times by social media, text messages, emails and more 24/7.  There are no escapes. 😦  I really appreciated how this article broke down the issues and how we can help in the role of the school, but the parent as well.  I pulled this graphic from the article that illustrates results found in a 10 school survey conducted in 2016-2017.  Please click the link to be taken to a clearer version.  Interesting to consider and see how this data as well affects how we feel about allowing our students on social media.

   Click here, located on page 3.

random winona ryder GIF

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Lastly, another point that struck me was the information regarding parents not being educated in the user guidelines and age limits for the sites their children are using.  I respect a parents ability to make good choices for their child, however, I also respect the people and teams that have created these guidelines and age limits to have done research into what group of children/adolescents and adults should be accessing certain social media and sites.  The fact that the majority of parents didn’t have a clue that these existed is alarming.  Perhaps with all this information what we can suggest is holding off an social media for children and adolescents until the responsible adults have a better grasp on the long term effects it will have?  So much to think about and consider when you are making these potentially life changing decisions for your children or students.

Next up, the disagree group!  Enjoy their opening statements where they argue that indeed it is NOT social media ruining our children’s lives.

I have to admit, I was surprised at how many of their points I agreed with…and how many I had actually utilized with my own classroom.   They argued that, social media when taught responsibly can help children connect, form relationships and feel like they have a spot and sense of belonging.  This sense gives kids genuine support and safe spaces to be.  Social when taught responsibly  helps create a positive digital footprint.  Social media when taught responsibly can encourage learning through shared fact and platforms.  Finally, social media, when taught responsibly can promote and encourage real, positive social change.  As you can see, I feel the majority of their arguments hinged around the correct implementation and responsible teaching and learning of social media use.  Without this, their argument in my opinion, would be null and void.

This group posted many interesting articles, one of which was titled, “How Students Become Influencers and Advocates” where it really drives home how social media can be used to create spaces for hard adolescent conversations while still offering hope.  For students living in a more close minded home or community, these outlets could be crucial in offering information and support.  I love the idea of being connected and using social media to celebrate and encourage all voices to be heard.  I did a project this year with my kids that raised money for Grandmother’s 4 Grandmother’s that used social media as our spring board and my kids are 7 and 8 years old – although I was still playing an integral role and the use of social media was VERY guided and supervised, this project changed how kids viewed the world – they got to see that Regina SK wasn’t the only place in the world.  How connected we’ve become and how much support we can lend one another from afar makes me lean towards agreeing that maybe social media isn’t all that day for our kids…

The last point I will touch on is the fact that it can help build a positive digital identity.  Now, this throws back to my own debate a previous week, that if we are building this presence for our kids, we aren’t really empowering them or allowing them a say – however, what if we did?  What it we taught students proper and responsible use, showed them the negative side and how social media has a potential to show back up in your later life, and with guidance and support showed them how to start building a footprint they can be proud of?  That’s a pretty frickin’ cool thing.  My classmate Joe did a cool thing on his blog post this week, he went through history and pointed out how whatever was new at the time “was ruining the kids” when in all actuality, it was just new and different and after the initial shock wore off, everyone was fine.   I thought this was an innovative and important way to look at it.  Perhaps instead of running scared, we research, become informed and show our youth how to be the same when taking on new challenges in the digital world.

spider man vintage GIFimage source.

To leave you today I will throw a shout out to my classmate Dawn, who had an eye catching graphic on this week’s blog post that reminded me that with great power comes great responsibility.  This timeless saying has never rang truer.  It is clear that there is an immense amount of power at our finger tips and it is so incredibly crucial to remember our responsibility to our youth in showing them how to wrangle that power and always use it for good.  Not to mention, use it properly and safely too.  SO…all that being said…do I think social media is ruining childhood???

 

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Thanks for reading,

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind, without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

 

Kids These Days…The Prequel.

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Here we are again ECI830’ers, another debate looming!

This week we are looking at the age old question, “Is Social Media Ruining Childhood?”.  Well isn’t this a loaded little question!  This is the first time during this course that I am having a hard time picking a side…I know we are supposed to, for the sake of a good argument, pick one, but for today – I am going to give my feelings on both sides!  I promise to pick one tomorrow!

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Again, these are my feelings and opinions only as no information or resources have been posted by either side of the debaters yet!  So here goes…

Agree:

I’m going to take the obvious route here and share that THANK GOODNESS THERE WAS NO SOCIAL MEDIA WHEN I WAS A KID! sentiment that I have heard time and time again.  My generation and those before me have had the ability to forget the less desirable choices we made as young people because they were not preserved online for all to see forever.  We had the opportunity to make mistakes and grow from them without having them necessarily impact the rest of our lives.  Social media is taking away the privacy from childhood because there are lens’ on us all the time – documentation of pretty much our ever move.  I literally remember reading people’s Facebook status’ when it first launched that said, “Eating a sandwich” or “Walking to 711” or “Almost bedtime!”.  Our lives are time capsuled in the most mundane way…but our most private and intimate moments are also there – when we’re born, our first steps, teeth, words, school day.  The list could go on and on.  Our social media foot print is built long before we have any knowledge of it or say in it.  Could this ruin a child’s life?  I don’t think this reality has been around long enough to say for sure…I suppose this echo’s back to my debate last week!  We can’t say with certainty how this behaviour now will impact our children in the future…are we willing to chance it?

Disagree:

First, I guess one main thing is that kids probably don’t even know if social media is ruining their childhood’s because they haven’t known another childhood without it!  They have only ever had the ability to see themselves grow up on the computer, frozen in time.  So…I guess worst case scenario, even if we think it’s ruining them, at least they don’t have a comparison? 😉

Social media has connected us to friends and family all over the world.  Social media has made the world we all exist in very small.  By having social media, even as a kid, we have the capacity to keep in touch with our friends and family from afar.  Our grandparents can see us grow up and be a part of that time, even if they live across the country or the world.  The idea of that is really special.  Social media also allows us to document our childhood and adolescence – now I realize I JUST mentioned that this was a bad thing above, but lets look at the other side of the coin!  Our social media is a visual map of our experiences as children!  It shows us where we have visited, who we were with, what we wore, etc.  This outlet is a self-curated look at your life that you can cherish for years to come.  The idea of that is pretty cool!  Being able to share your life with YOUR kids could be a gift, a modern way to share and tell stories.

Lastly, a positive is that IF your caregivers who start your social media are mindful in doing so, your social media will be a beautiful start to your digital footprint. You will have a great step in the right direction in making sure that employers, schools, etc. see the best you.

SO MUCH TO CONSIDER!!!  I can’t wait to hear from you all tomorrow!

❤ Dani

“Educating the mind, without educating the heart

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

 

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