Friday, November 11, 2016

Going Deeper with Social Media & Technology in Teaching and Learning

Dr. Alex Couros presents to Seisen Teachers
Dr. Couros facilitates a discussion with
Elementary Teachers in Grades 4-6
On Friday, November 11th Dr. Alex Couros gave a series of presentations and facilitated discussion with Seisen teachers and subsequently Administrators and our ICT specialists on recent developments in technology to support teaching and learning.

Later in the evening, Dr. Couros talked with Seisen parents about "Raising the Selfie Generation." Dr. Couros argued that our focus and concern about student well-being and e-safety should be less on technological tools, for example, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc. as applications will continually change and be up-graded, and more on preparing students to be citizens of a digital community. Dr. Couros highlighted the need to educate students to be cognisant of the responsibilities and protocols membership of an e-community entails. He argues against sensationalising the dangers of the cyber world and scaring students in the hope they'll behave appropriately but pinpoints areas he believes all students should be explicitly taught about:

  • Inappropriate content
  • Digital Identity
  • Information Literacy (what's true / untrue, reliable / unreliable sources on the net)
  • Digital Kindness

Dr. Couros stressed the importance of students taking ownership of their digital footprint. He shared that 92% of US toddlers have a digital footprint; 34% from before they were born (with parents sharing sonograms or announcements of the happy impending event). 59% of children under the age of 10, Dr. Couros argues have their own adult social media account.

Comparing a digital footprint to a credit rating, Dr. Couros put forward, that a bad digital footprint, equates to a bad credit rating, no digital footprint equates to no credit rating, while a good on-line presence reflects a good credit rating. The importance of schools and families working together to support students as digital citizens capable of navigating and benefiting from the opportunities this global connectivity affords was a central tenant of the evening's message.

Quoting Jason Otter, Dr. Couros shared, "I'm in favour of an internal [organisational/school filter] but, I just want to have them moved from the router to my student's heads." Dr. Couros argued against Digital Dualism; an online verus on off-line citizenship and stressed the need to prepare students for an integrated citizenship where their on-line and off-line self reflected the same intrinsic values and behaviours. Dr. Couros shared the wisdom of teaching students to think before they post:

For Seisen parents interested in this topic and unable to attend the evening's event, Dr. Couros kindly compiled a list of readings and resources, which can be accessed by clicking below:

Parenting in the Digital Age: Resources & Information

As members of EARCOS, Seisen will host a Weekend Workshop lead by Dr. Couros this Saturday & Sunday. We expect about 30 visitors to the school.

Ms. Colette Rogers, Head of School
introduces Dr. Couros
Parents listen to Dr. Couros' presentation,
"Raising the Selfie Generation"

1 comment:

  1. Very much appreciate Seisen for taking such initiatives so that students, teachers and parents are better informed on social media and tech. This year, during the run up to the US elections, we have all seen what a huge role social media has played in influencing millions...not always with the truth.


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