Mirror, mirror on the wall – who is the truest of them all?

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Hello everyone,

I have to admit…most days I find the amount of information that is coming my way SO overwhelming.  Between the insane amount of emails I get, the constant change over on my social media, the depressing and often “dooms day” esq. news stories rolling through the television media outlets – it’s too much.  In fact, on the Rotchester University Medical Centre site, it says, “It doesn’t matter how smart teens are or how well they scored on the SAT or ACT. Good judgment isn’t something they can excel in, at least not yet.” it suggests that a teenagers brain is not fully developed until 25 or so years old.”  With that being said, it’s pretty scary to think about how all of this information will affect our kids when I am only a few years past my own brain being fully developed.  Back in the good ol’ days it was, in my opinion, MUCH easier to spot fake news….because let’s be real, it was REALLY fake news delivered to us from sources that we knew were fake.  Now, it is much harder to distinguish truths from lies because they are everywhere and delivered in many very convincing formats.

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In Jaimie and Jocelyn’s video presentation they quote a Harvard study that states that 80% of students could not identify fake news…I would venture a guess, without some kind of training, a similar percent of adults, couldn’t spot it either.  I have been guilty of reading a story and believing it without checking its validity, in particular if it backs and supports my viewpoints.  Want to give it a shot?  Try this quiz from BBC News!  Another interesting piece of this puzzle is, where is our news actually coming from?  There used to only be a few options with TV news or news printed in your local post however now, there is “news” is everywhere!  Another bad practice I have in my day to day is perusing news stories that come at me from Facebook and my other social media accounts rather than visiting sites that are devoted to news and only news.  So, how SHOULD I be spotting fake or questionable news?

I really loved this graphic found from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions as a quick reminder of the things I should be doing more regularly.  Currently, I read, analyze and then check the bigger things I have been trained to look for such as the IP address, double checking dates to ensure it’s current news, remembering the source, and ensuring that I am not just reading stories that would support my personal views by seeking difference of opinion.  This just isn’t enough anymore and I know I am doing myself an injustice by not ensuring that the news I’m drinking in is legit.  On top of all that, I don’t share new stories very often for fear of perpetuating fake news…it’s a vicious cycle.

I agree whole heatedly with Logan in his vlog for this week when he says that even the term “fake news” has become kind of “fake news in itself” on account of the large blanket is has started to throw over not only news outlets, but unreliable articles, unchecked stories, etc.  He also states based on his research, that fake news travels 6 times faster than real news.  Meaning…that a large portion of the news and information I am receiving is potentially fake, or at least exaggerated.  I suppose in light of all of these discoveries, I need to really become more diligent with vetting the news I’m reading.  Another point that really stood out for me in Logan’s vlog was the portion on how cognitive ease affects our ability to spot fake news.  Cognitive ease is what occurs when we get comfortable with certain information either because it’s true, or  because it’s fake but we have been fed it over and over so it becomes easy to accept as fact.  For myself as well as my students, I think we are living in a time where, as mentioned we are bombarded 24/7 with news and information, so we get complacent with what is presented and sometimes it’s just easier to find things that align with our current beliefs and don’t challenge them.

If we can’t laugh, what do we have? Thanks Giphy.

I am looking towards the future and vowing to be better using the tools that I have learned this week from our presenters as well as all the information Alec has given us to make better, more substantiated choices online with the news. I want my kiddos to have the skills to determine

the difference so they can make educated choices, base their beliefs on fact and be able to sift through the crazy amount of information online.  I loved this video from the readings this week as a spring board for the process of spotting fake news – it’s short and to the point!

Thanks for reading,

Dani ❤

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

 

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Hello everyone!

We have been diligently working away at our Think Local/Think Global project (#lionkidshelpingkids) and things are going great!  We have been taking time in class to work through the Red Cross’ Beyond the Hurt Program – focusing most recently on the difference between rude behaviour and bullying, the types of bullying, communication skills and conflict resolution.  This program is designed for grades 5-12 so we have done some adapting so the my kiddos can get something from the program. 🙂  We were also thrilled that we inspired another class to participate in The Red Cross’ 150 Ways initiative!  They created posters and submitted them.  My class was really happy  to hear their hard work and how much they are trying to spread their message paying off.  One of things that I personally have been most excited to see is that kids are realizing that not all rude or mean behaviour is bullying and that it doesn’t mean that we don’t have to deal with it, but that we may deal with it differently than we would bullying.  I think this is particularly important because kids will have the knowledge to take home to their parents to help them understand the difference so we can curb the number of false bullying claims and focus on the real issues in our schools and communities.  I ABSOLUTELY don’t condone mean or rude behaviour but the way we deal with it and the education around is different.

I love this article – I think it does a wonderful job distinguishing between the three.

Is it Rude, Is it Mean, Is it Bullying? 

                

As a fundraising option within our school, we chose to support The Regina Red Cross because we are using the “Chair Affair Gala” to support Grandmother’s 4 Grandmother’s – only fair! 😉  My kiddos have been working SO hard to advertise, bake and announce each morning over the intercom information about not only our bake sale, but facts about the Red Cross they have researched.  They are very proud and very excited to see how much money they will raise!  Our bake sale is this Wednesday at Lakeview BUT if you would like to donate to our cause please send me an email to danielle.hackel@rbe.sk.ca – donations are GREATLY accepted. ❤

  Here is a couple snaps of my kiddos getting their
 advertisements done to hang up around the school!

To help prepare us for our “Chair Affair” contribution we welcomed Susan Holmes from the Grandmother’s 4 Grandmother’s Regina Chapter to our classroom!  She came and shared a beautiful slideshow showcasing photos of real people that the foundation has helped, stories of her own experiences in Africa as well as showed the kiddos photos and artwork from Africa to help inspire their chair and table design.  I think this presentation brought life and faces to our project which is the most meaningful part – the kids can see that their hard work is making real change happen all the way across the world!  We have to have our chair and table painted by May 1st so we have lots of work to do!  So far we’ve done design ideas on paper and then were going to pitch our ideas to the group in the week to follow.  This should showcase teamwork at its finest.

            

Overall I am so happy with how this project is shaping up and how engaged the kids are with the content!  It is AMAZING to see how empathetic they are and how much they truly care about one another.  I am excited to keep you all in the loop as everything comes together!  I am hoping that Scott McHenry, a former Saskatchewan Roughrider who now works with the Red Cross to accept our donation and talk to the kids!

Thanks for reading,

Dani ❤

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

The more that you read…the more things you will know.

Hello ECI832’ers,

As the wonderful mind of Dr. Seuss says, “The more you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”.  These words have never rang truer to me in my life than they do now.  I think I am finally at a place in my life and career that I grasp what he meant by this quote.  Being literate is such a gift and it opens an unlimited amount of doors – you can do anything, you can be anything, we CAN change the world with literacy and knowledge. ❤  I don’t even think Dr. Seuss could have possibly understood the vast ways in which we need to be literate in today’s society and the quick pace in which we need to wrap our heads around them.

read friday night GIF by sofiahydman

This image.  All the feels.  Thanks Giphy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think the best way for me to break it down this week is to highlight some of the ways I think we need to be literate so that we can be a “fully” literate society.

Print and Numeracy Literacy:

“Helping someone to read and write effectively or acquire the basic math skills so many of us take for granted, improves the future of everyone in society. Literacy is critical to economic development as well as individual and community well-being.”

-Project Literacy

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Project Literacy out of Kelowna, BC does a wonderful job breaking down the immense importance of literacy to many facets of our lives.  First, to the economy, when we have an educated, literate society to work with, more people can pull themselves from poverty and become contributing members of society.  Second, the benefits to both the individual whom is literate as well as the community in which they live.  The project states the following ways that literacy can positively impact someones life,

“For new-comers to Canada, adequate English language skills are essential to forming friendships, without which they are susceptible to isolation, loneliness and anxiety. Persons with adequate literacy skills maintain better health through their ability to understand and interpret health information and From a collective perspective,” and finally “a literate community is a dynamic community; a community that exchanges ideas, engages in dialogue is more innovative and productive.”

As you can see, the reach is endless.  A literate society is a successful, happy, healthy society.

Digital Literacy: 

digital GIFIn one of the articles we read this week titled, “What is Media Literacy and why is it Important?” posted on Common Sense Media, focuses greatly on the key points of WHY we need to be digitally literate by making ties to the above print/numeracy literacy stated above.  The first line of the article is, “The word “literacy” usually describes the ability to read and write. Reading literacy and media literacy have a lot in common. Reading starts with recognizing letters. Pretty soon, readers can identify words — and, most importantly, understand what those

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words mean. Readers then become writers. With more experience, readers and writers develop strong literacy skills.”  We piece together our skills so we can be literate in whichever society we reside.  Our current society depends on us to be digitally literate as many of the positives stated above from the print literacy are achieved now with aspects of digitally literacy.  Everything is so interconnected.

As my classmate Danielle says in her blog this week, we need to take action to show kids what responsible digital literacy and technology use looks like!  As we would model any kind of literacy as teachers in either print or numeracy in our classroom, we need to show kids that there are useful, meaningful, efficient ways to use technology and literacies online.  The same way that the aforementioned print/numeracy literacy creates positive communities, positive relationships and economic growth, digital literacy has the ability to do the same!

Conclusion:

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I think in order to be considered literate in today’s society it means that we need to take the ability to read/write/use technology both in the literal sense of function and understanding the implications of technology as well, and put it all together to be able to think critically about the world around us.  With the rapid rate in which information is sent at us, it is not even close to enough to only have the ability to be able to understand the words in the literal sense – we also need to be able to understand the message and the author’s purpose as anyone can create media.  It is absolutely critical that we have the skills to vet out information that is untrue or partially true.  In the Common Sense Media article they pose 5 important skills that digital literacy gives children and they are the building blocks to reaching the type of society and the type of world that I would be happy to live in.

  • Learn to think critically. As kids evaluate media, they decide whether the messages make sense, why certain information was included, what wasn’t included, and what the key ideas are. They learn to use examples to support their opinions. Then they can make up their own minds about the information based on knowledge they already have.

  • Become a smart consumer of products and information. Media literacy helps kids learn how to determine whether something is credible. It also helps them determine the “persuasive intent” of advertising and resist the techniques marketers use to sell products.

  • Recognize point of view. Every creator has a perspective. Identifying an author’s point of view helps kids appreciate different perspectives. It also helps put information in the context of what they already know — or think they know.

  • Create media responsibly. Recognizing your own point of view, saying what you want to say how you want to say it, and understanding that your messages have an impact is key to effective communication.

  • Identify the role of media in our culture. From celebrity gossip to magazine covers to memes, media is telling us something, shaping our understanding of the world, and even compelling us to act or think in certain ways.

  • Understand the author’s goal. What does the author want you to take away from a piece of media? Is it purely informative, is it trying to change your mind, or is it introducing you to new ideas you’ve never heard of? When kids understand what type of influence something has, they can make informed choices.

 

Thanks for reading,

Dani ❤

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

 

What’s the point…and who gets to make it?

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Hello ECI 832er’s ,

Teachers are SO many different things – we are teachers, nutritionists, psychologists, confidants, parents, role models, and more…to more kids than ever.   There are pieces of our jobs that are more important than ever, and pieces of jobs that we will need to sacrifice in order to ensure we are able to provide adequate care and attention to these other areas.

If I begin by examining the current practice of my school in teaching digital citizenship I have VERY mixed feelings on the amount of success were having…we have banned cellphones without permission from the time the morning bell rings to the time the end of day bell rings.  The senior kids can ask permission from staff members to use their phones for music, research, etc. but there is protocol in place for children who don’t listen.  The first time we take it away, they get it back at the end of the day, second time they have to get it back from the principal and third time, they have to have their family come and retrieve it from the principal.  I understand the distraction, I understand the cyber-bullying, I understand the many things that can go wrong with technology but I don’t know that skirting it is the best option.  The crucial component to remember is that knowledge is power and that we can’t avoid the technology so we midaswell teach safe, responsible practice.  To my knowledge in the more senior grades there isn’t as much teaching about digital literacy as there is assuming that kids know to use the technologies for school purposes with reminders to be safe as we go.  As I mention in my Catalyst Content project – there is a difference between being digitally literate and being tech savvy so we need to careful with assuming…you know what they say about assuming.

Just sayin’. 😉  Source.

In Luke’s Vlog he states that we recieve between 4000 and 10,000 media messages a day…that’s A LOT of information to process and if we aren’t teaching kids how to vet out information that is not relevant to them they will end up overwhelmed and missing the information that IS relevant.  DIGITAL LITERACY IS SO IMPORTANT!  In Nina’s Vlog she had a slide with a question that caught my eye too…she asks, “How does the news in media affect kids?”  I can’t help but think that it greatly affects them as they are still utilizing a developing mind to sift through the messages thrown their way.  We have to consider all of these factors when considering whether or not schools should be teaching digital and media literacy.

Image result for assuming makes a fool outta youKids need to learn to speak the online language rather than just learn how to use the programs.  In the article, “Media Literacy: A National Priority for a Changing World” by Elizabeth Thoman and Tessa Jolls its says,

“Activities that involve creating media messages — such as writing and producing a video script complete with sound effects — not  only create proficiency in writing and editing (core language arts goals) but also build teamwork skills, tolerance for another’s perspective, organization and delegation skills as well as appreciation for the variety of talents it takes to complete a large scale project.”

This snippet stood out to me because I think it really shows how interconnected literacy and digital literacy are and that they can support one another in the best way!  Not only are kids getting the writing and editing skills with a larger scale digital projects but they are also working on skills such as teamwork and organization that are so hard to teach on their own.  Digital or media projects and experiences in school are invaluable in my opinion.  I am forever grateful for the opportunity to have completed one major digital project and be in the middle of my second with my class – I have seen the best in my kids coming out because they are thinking about each other, the world and the impact that they can have.  It’s very powerful and couldn’t be accomplished without the online world bringing us closer.

On account of my time in Dr. Alec Couros’ classes, I feel like my personal practice with teaching digital literacy has come leaps and bounds!  As anyone who has followed my blog knows, I teach grade 2 so my kids interaction with technology is pretty guided, HOWEVER, they are being exposed to it earlier and earlier so there is no harm in starting learning safety, etiquette and responsibility early!  I think it’s VERY important that school’s take the lead and start offering a focus on digital literacy. I talk to my kids daily about how we need to not only be respectful in our interactions in real life, but online as well!  We speak a lot about how to stay safe online too.  I’m hoping that we can start building knowledge and good practice young so that there aren’t as many issues as my littles grow up.  Linked is a little video we made last semester!

If I’m thinking ahead to digital literacy in the future, Dimitri Christakis’ TED Talk inspired a take away for me – this was the immense need for digital literacy to be a balance between what we experience in the real world and as well as the digital world.  We need to be able to both distinguish that these are separate entities, but also realize that they are so interconnected and that we need to be “real” in both venues.  In Stacey’s blog this week, she had the same sentiment and took it to the streets – combing a real life and technological experience for her niece.  We need to encourage these types of experiences for our kids and show them that they can have both! 🙂  Thanks for the inspiration Stacey!

My own digital literacy practice – well, it’s a work in progress….a construction zone of slightly organized chaos.  I am learning so much every single day and there is SO much more to learn.  I feel it is absolutely my responsibility to ensure that good digital literacy practice is taught in school – it’s not a guarantee that these skills will be taught at home – and if they aren’t supported at home, at least they are being exposed to it somewhere. ❤  This week in our class Pat Maze from the STF spoke to us about the importance of not just being cautious of what we post, but generally just being smart about it.  I think no one would have trouble if common sense was more common but unfortunately that is not the case.  Teachers are held to a very high standard 24/7, not just in the hours in which we are at work – whether you think this is fair or right doesn’t really matter.  Pat made it clear that our online actions can and do directly reflect our professional selves.  I wasn’t surprised by anything Pat said in our talk aside from the fact that he said we shouldn’t need to have a personal and professional account for social media – there were many comments made in our discussion that I agree with – although there is really nothing on my personal account that I think would get me into trouble, there are things on there that would just be for the eyes of my friends and family, not necessarily people in which I just have a professional relationship with, including my families or kids.  I think even though we are under the microscope all the time, I am still entitled to a life outside of my class.  I appreciate that the STF is there and will help you work through situations or answer questions -thank you so much to Pat Maze for taking the time to speak with us. 🙂

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Thanks for reading!

Dani ❤

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

Red Cross’ 150 Ways Project

Check out more Pink Day info here!

Hello everyone,

I am beyond excited to share my class’ first contribution to our learning project!  As part of the Red Cross’ 150 Ways Initiative, we created a little video to share some of the ways WE will stand up to bullying and mistreatment.  My kiddos were so excited to share their ideas and hopefully be part of a positive change in our school, community, city, country and the world. ❤

 

These kids give me hope for a bright, loving, accepting future.  We got this.

Thanks for checking it out,

Dani ❤

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

 

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