Tag Archives: collaboration

Notes/slides from a conversation about digital citizenship and social media


Last night, I facilitated a conversation on teaching digital citizenship and social media use to middle schoolers. Around the table were teachers, librarians, media specialists, technologists, curriculum coordinators, and administrators from Friends Seminary.

Their specific questions were:
1. How can we help middle schoolers be safe, responsible netizens?
2. How would you define digital citizenship and how does that play a role in your school?
3. How does social media play a role in your school and what do you do to prepare kids to use it responsibly?
4. What are some activities that you have done with middle schoolers on digital citizenship?
5. What is your scope and sequence in your school on digital citizenship (and others that you may know)?
6. What tools do you use, such as ELGG, to help kids understand digital citizenship and social media?

Besides showing projects I’ve developed/supported using Google Sites, our internal media repositories (powered by Drupal), or our internal social network (powered by Elgg), I shared how I weave in reminders, anecdotes, news stories, and life lessons at every opportunity.

I shared these three recent relevant articles which I’d seen on Twitter:

And this post recommended by Don Buckley to be a good conversation starter:

I also shared my collection of mantras that I repeat endlessly in class:

  1. Everything you put online is public, permanent, traceable.
  2. Use our technology academically, respectfully, responsibly.
  3. Make wise choices.
  4. We are a community.
  5. There’s no such thing as privacy online. It’s public versus less public.
  6. The only thing worse than kids behaving badly are adults behaving badly.

Rather than proceed through the slide deck I’d prepared, I ended up ignoring most of it and just sharing examples from specific projects (most of which are documented on this site). I embedded the slides below if anyone is super curious…

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My slides from “Redefining Collaboration with Google Apps” at #NYNJGS13

Today, I’m presenting at Google Apps in Education NY/NJ Summit. This is my first Google Apps Summit, and I’m excited to be a part of it. I’m a big fan of Lisa Thumann (@lthumann), and she worked hard to put together this event.

My session is Redefining Collaboration with Google Apps from 10am-11:00am in Room 318. Here’s the description for my session on the summit’s website:

Presented by: Karen Blumberg, Technology Integrator, The School at Columbia University This session is geared towards: Techie, Teacher, Admin Level of Session: Basics

Google Apps for Education provides tools that enable a community of teachers and students to collaborate differently. With shared Calendar, Presentations, Documents, Sites (and with the advantage of Google Drive), a school’s population can communicate paperlessly, plan dynamically, and work productively and efficiently.

We’ll discuss a few examples of how Google Apps enhances our 21st Century classrooms:

Teachers at The School at Columbia University share meeting notes in a single Google Doc that is added to at every gathering.
6th grade scientists curate their personal Google Site to keep track of notes, lab work, data, and assessments.
7th grade historians locate articles and add them to a class page using the “announcements template” on a class “Current Events” Google Site.
8th grade English students share multiple drafts of their creative writing in a Google Doc that they share with their teacher.

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5th graders at @The_School are “outsourcing” their Greek 3-D temple designs!

There’s an awesome project happening in two of the 5th grade classrooms at The School at Columbia University right now. To supplement their study of Ancient Greece, Dena Rothstein and Heather Lortie, are having their students collaborate with students from The Marymount School across Central Park on the Upper East Side. (The School is located on the Upper West Side…) Both groups are designing 3D Greek temples using Tinkercad and sharing their online files with a group at the other school to tweak, customize, and ultimately build (“print”) in our 3D printers. The humor of us being able to say that we are literally outsourcing to the East is not lost on us.

Teachers supporting this collaboration at The School are Heather, Dena, Greg Benedis-Grab (@gbenedisgrab), and Don Buckley (@donbuckley) with a lot of support from Cristina Martinez (@finlaycm) and a little support from me. On the UES of the park, Jaymes Dec (@jaymesdec) and Lesa Wang oversee Marymount’s particpation in the project. Jaymes designed the new Fab Lab at Marymount, and he just spoke at TEDxNYED last month.

Today, the groups communicated “long distance” and “real time” using Google Video Chat. (Cristina Martinez turned on the Chat feature for students just for this project and just for a few days. Usually, this feature is disabled.) I moved about checking on all of the groups. At one point, I observed four kids (two in front of me and two on the screen) discuss their designs and even use a secondary laptop facing the camera to visibly demonstrate how to use Tinkercad to make a triangular hole to decorate the roof of a temple. I thought that was awesome. 🙂

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