December 10, 2014 · 4:48 pm
I worked closely with Meredith Bonacci, PhD, our middle school psychologist, and the rest of the Socio-Emotional Learning liaisons, to revamp our Digital Citizenship and Online Safety unit for 6th grade Life Skills. Topics include understanding lack of online privacy, developing your digital character, reviewing Terms of Service for a variety of social networks, building an online profile, cyberbullying, and self-advocacy.
Today we talked about how to craft an online digital profile on our in-house social network, The Social Network, powered by @Elgg. (Thank you to our server manager, Cristina Martinez, for her help every year!) I reinforced that a social network is NOTHING until you freely and willingly populate it with information about who you are, who are your friends, and what do you do. To demonstrate this, we start every school year with a blank social network after archiving the previous year’s work. I reinforce that everything posted online is either public or less public, so if you want something to be private, you should never upload it.
Should you use an avatar or photo. What is an appropriate photo? Real photo or manga?
What to include in the bio? How do you want to represent yourself online?
What do you want people to know about you?
What type of information will you share? What should you never share?
Should you fill in every cell?
What privacy settings should you use? Who sees what?
Who should you connect with? Who has access to the information?
For further reading, I shared links to these articles:
October 20, 2014 · 2:36 pm
Alessandra Cozzi is the 8th grade Social Studies teacher at The School at Columbia University. She asked if we could have the students do some sort of social networking activity where they would make Facebook-esque faux profiles for the Founding Fathers. I told her that not only did we have an internal social network (powered by @Elgg), but our 8th graders had experience doing this last year as 7th graders when they created faux profiles for the annual Great Mathematician Project led by math teacher, Dr. Sabrina Goldberg. Easy peasy.
As per every academic year since 2007 or 2008, our server admin, Cristina Martinez, sets up a completely blank Elgg social network and archives the previous year’s work. This allows us to continue to use the space for annual projects, and it also reaffirms that a social network is a completely blank and empty space until users freely and willingly populate it with information. @DonBuckley says a social network is nothing until users answer the following questions: Who are you? Who do you know? What do you do?
Alessandra and I created a .csv file with usernames, profile names, common passwords, and faux email addresses for the 55 delegates, and I uploaded this .csv file to The Social Network (btw, we named our internal online networking space The Social Network way before the movie came out). Today, students edited their assigned Founding Father’s avatar and profile and then also linked with the other founding fathers.
For this activity, Alessandra used the lesson plan linked below, and students filled out the worksheet linked below:
Lesson Plan for “Teaching Six Big Ideas in the Constitution”:
Student worksheet for creating a “Founders Social Network”: http://www.archives.gov/legislative/resources/education/constitution/images/handout-2.pdf
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Tagged as 8th Grade, Alessandra Cozzi, Congress, Cristina Martinez, delegates, Elgg, Founding Fathers, Humanities, Karen Blumberg, Social Media, social network, social networking, Social Studies, The School at Columbia University, The Social Network, US History
January 15, 2014 · 3:28 pm
Dr. Sabrina Goldberg is the extraordinary 7th grade math teacher here at The School at Columbia University. It’s about that time of year for Sabrina’s students to embark on the Great Mathematician Project (GMP). Each student is assigned a mathematician to explore deeply. They learn about that person’s history, education, skills, interests, life-work, and contribution to mathematics and beyond. Later, students write a research paper and eventually participate in a GMP Expo where they make a large informative poster, set up experiments, dress up in costume, and interact with their audience of students, teachers, and parents.
A few years ago, Don Buckley had the idea to use our in-house social network (powered by Elgg) to create fake profiles for these mathematicians. This gave students an opportunity to learn about how to fill in an online profile, connect with others, blog as their person, and locate commonalities amongst their mathematicians. Yesterday, I created accounts for each of the mathematicians. Today, students started fleshing out the profiles with an image, an image citation, a list of skills and interests, and a bit of background bio in the “About Me” section. We discussed how a social network is where people share who you are, who are your friends, and what do you do. I reinforced that we archive the previous year’s social network and use a blank social network every year. Thus, they see that a social network is empty and full of nothing until users willingly populate it with information. I quoted Danah Boyd a lot.
The students have had great success with the GMP over the years. Recently, Sabrina wrote a scholarly article about the GMP, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) chose it as their cover story for the December’s Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School journal.
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Tagged as 7th Grade, Danah Boyd, Don Buckley, Elgg, GMP, Great Mathematician Project, Karen Blumberg, math, Sabrina Goldberg, social network, social networking, The School at Columbia University
April 16, 2013 · 4:59 pm
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:
- Everything you put online is public, permanent, traceable.
- Use our technology academically, respectfully, responsibly.
- Make wise choices.
- We are a community.
- There’s no such thing as privacy online. It’s public versus less public.
- 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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Tagged as 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, collaboration, communication, digital citizenship, Drupal, Elgg, Google Apps, middle School, netizen, privacy, Social Media, The Gallery, The School at Columbia University, The Tube