Tag Archives: K12

Sharing your Learning: Collaboration

This year, WRDSB  teachers  Alison Bullock  and  Andrew Bieronski  ran a very successful cross curricular and cross panel collaborative project with grade 4 and grade 10 students.

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Full project details may be read [here].   A “quick peek” overview of the  project  is included below as a point of reference.

The Collaborating

The grade 10 students will provide mentorship to the grade 4 students as they research, plan and write the scripts needed for the audio guided tour files.  Students will be collaborating through the WRDSB Google Apps for Educators  (GAFE) environment. The role of the grade 10 students will be related to their civics and English courses.

All students, in both grades,  will share about their experiences in this collaborative learning project through their blogs.   Blogging platforms may include Google, WordPress or Weebly.

As part of the professional learning with this project, Alison and Andrew met with me for a live streamed interview to share their learning and reflections on collaboration, student voice, engagement and professional practice.

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~Mark

 

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K12 Data Classification

Today’s Google Hangout: a data classification with Sandra Vieira and Lorie Hough.

Reference Chart

data classification

Cell Phones in the Classroom Debate

On Sunday afternoon, I received a tweet from @jmuellertate about contributing to a cell phones in the classroom discussion via twitter for a new teacher education class at WLU.  I had to do a little multitasking to contribute, but was happy to contribute to the discussion.

I captured the twitter stream of discussion based on the #cellinclass hashtag. Although many of the Twitter contributors were in favour of leveraging this technology within the classroom settings, @jmuellertate indicated that the faculty of education students tended to be on the cautious or no use end of the scale.

@brendasherry  raised a great point in the follow up discussion tonight: Would these new teachers feel the same if they experienced first hand how cell phone technology could enhance the learning environment?  Great question indeed. Perhaps this topic should be revisited after some of the classroom sessions have been completed.

As for me, I am in favour of leveraging cell phone technology to enhance learning.

~Mark

Social Media Check

Thanks to a tweet from @trustsocmedia this week, I found out about the  The Doc Zone  feature titled Facebook Follies   . Although I was not able to view the CBC broadcast, the title did capture my interest. Today, I took the time watch the online version of  Facebook Follies .

In my view, the production was very well done.  The realities, cautions, benefits and highlights of using Facebook, and social media tools in general, are all explored through real situations. To me, this speaks to the reasons why students need to be educated through authentic experiences about the use of social media tools, digital citizenship and managing your online profile/digital footprint.

Your online actions live forever. I applaud educators who are making efforts to embrace social media tools, leverage their power , teach and model ethical and responsible use.

~Mark

Ryerson Public School

I recently had an opportunity to participate in a Grand Magazine interview with Peter Berndt, Principal at Ryerson Public School in the Waterloo Region District School Board. The article, linked below, captures the technology focus of the school and highlights the excellent work of the teachers in using technology to support student learning.

Congratulations to Peter and the Ryerson staff for their excellent work with technology and forward thinking about student learning.

This article is posted and linked for viewing purposes only with permission from the publisher. A special thank you to Nancy Silcox for preparing this article for publication.

Ryerson Public School

~Mark

Facebook security and privacy basics for K12

One of the important aspects of using Facebook in the K12 environment is having appropriate security and privacy settings. Whether you are teaching digital citizenship or using Facebook as a collaboration and communication tool, it is important to understand and review your security and privacy settings.

After logging into Facebook, click the ‘account’ tab and choose privacy to view the screen below. Next, select the ‘view settings’ option.


The top 3 settings (below) govern the settings for your visibility on Facebook, that is, how easy it is for people to find you. Narrowing down the permissions (friends of friends, friends)  in these settings places increasing limitations on who can locate you. Leaving these settings at ‘everyone’ makes it easy for people to find you.

There are settings for all other aspects of Facebook. Facebook security and privacy settings allow for control over most aspects of this environment. The greatest control is implemented by organizing your contacts (friends)  into ‘lists’. Once your lists are created (through the manage friends option), use can further control access to Facebook features by adding these list names to the ‘exclude’ section within the option panel. This feature is particularly helpful in the K12 space where administrators, teachers and students may be collaborating together within the Facebook space.

Many Facebook users like to make their friends/contacts aware of a personal or professional web resources such as a web site, blog or wiki etc. Access to the listing of your web resource is controlled by the website option as listed below.

The screen shot below shows a small sample of the other security options available.

Facebook users have complete flexibility over how much contact information is shared, if any. I have personally found it helpful to include my professional email address  so that potential contacts can use that address as a search option.

I would certainly recommend a thorough review of the various options in the applications section since many applications require some access to your profile in order to function.

Facebook uses strategies to personalize your experience by tracking what you click, much in the same way an Internet browser does using the cookie function. It is important to decide whether or not you want this information to be potentially available outside of the Facebook environment. A greater level of privacy is maintained by unchecking the ‘enable instant personalization on partner websites’ option. This is on be default.

Finally, there is an option to completely turn off public search results. Turning this off (by unchecking the option) means your Facebook profile, as you defined it, will not display in Facebook searches. Essentially, turning this off means people can not find you, you must find them.

Note: There are additional settings to block interactions with specified Facebook users.

I hope this security/privacy overview provides some insights to using Facebook in a professional manner within the K12 environment.

~ Mark

Facebook – new group function in K12

One of my earlier blog posts I made some recommendations for settings for setting up groups for use in the K-12 environment. Since that post, the Facebook group function has changed and I wanted to share what I have learned so far.

The group function is still accessed from the main page in Facebook.

Select the ‘create group’ option.

Next, enter a name for your group, choose an icon from the drop down list and select the type (open, closed or secret). I recommend ‘closed’ for K-12.

Once the group is created, the new ‘header’ is displayed.

Changes include:

  • the ‘post’ area is not visible by default, it must be selected
  • document creation and editing has been added
  • discussion areas within the groups have been removed

Note: groups created prior to this feature change continue to function the way they did.

Group settings are adjusted through the ‘edit’ and ‘settings’ options.

What Else is New?

  • The new group function also provides the option of defining a group mailing list. In my example, I would name the mailing list after the group (watweb20@groups.facebook.com). Messages posted to this addresses are distributed to group members.
  • Only Facebook friends may be added to a group. The email list option to invite group members has been removed.
  • Invited friends are automatically added to the group. The former request/accept process has been removed.
  • Group members can remove themselves from a group, but must request to rejoin as they can not be reinvited
  • The group owner (administrator)  may also remove group members
  • The display of posts has also changed. When a group member posts on a group wall, the post also shows in your personal newsfeed (not wall). Friends in the group will also see the post in their newsfeed. The ability to see posts is also impacted by the ‘top news’ or ‘recent’ setting.

All in all, the new group function will work well for K-12 usage.  I recommend that users set their security and privacy settings appropriate for professional conduct and interaction with students.

Thank you to @rebrouse and @rickbudd for working with me to test and document our learnings.

Happy collaborating in a social networking environment.

~ Mark