Educators inspire students to positively contribute to and responsibly participate in the digital world.
2.3.a Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.
2.3.b Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources, and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.
2.3.c Mentor students in safe, legal and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property.
2.3.d Model and promote management of personal data and digital identity, and protect student data privacy
“Technology is, not so much as a necessary evil, it’s a necessary good that can go either way.” www.wellbeing.google
In my blog post on “Promoting Student Agency Using Technology,” (Student Agency), I described student agency as the learners’ ability to act on their own learning or be in charge of their own learning by being actively involved in decision-making and in choosing resources from their learning environment to enable them to be successful (Li, 2020). Students become highly motivated when given a choice – choose their own books to read, choose their learning space, choose how to share their work, choose topics for writing, etc. To nurture their curiosity and their sense of responsibility, it’s crucial to provide them with these opportunities to make their own decisions.
In our reading sessions, I typically create a playlist that helps students navigate various tasks, like reading independently, partnering up for reading, working on Google Classroom or Seesaw or reading with teachers. They can dive into EPIC, an extensive digital library featuring over 40,000 high-quality books or read books from the classroom library. It’s up to the students to choose which task they would like to tackle first. The key is for them to manage their time effectively and make wise decisions.
When reading using the EPIC reading app, students choose their own books to read, from fiction to nonfiction, graphic novels, chapter books, picture books, read-to-me books (books that are read aloud to the reader) and audio books. They are able to track the number of books they have read as well as the genre of books they enjoy. EPIC is also accessible to students from home, so they are able to share their reading journey with parents. This regular interaction with EPIC enhances their digital literacy (2.3.b), making them more adept at reading digital books and utilizing online resources. The convenience of accessing numerous books without the weight of carrying them in backpacks advocates for stronger digital literacy skills.
Throughout the school day, students access different sites and use a variety of digital tools in which they are asked to enter their personal credentials. For example, when using Google Classroom, students have a unique sign in. Students learn the importance of keeping their passwords private in order to protect their privacy (2.3.d). Once they are in and ready to use GC, students are able to see the work that their peers have submitted and offer some feedback. They can give compliments, ask questions and provide other feedback using kind language. This is a good foundation for exhibiting empathetic online behavior (2.3..a).
Our students make use of the various databases that our school has subscribed to when working on research projects. During our reading unit on biographies, students learn to gather information on a chosen historical or contemporary figure using online databases, such as PebbleGo, Research Rocket and World Book Encyclopedia. “While this is a great exercise for developing research skills, students are also learning to cite their sources and to give credit to authors, publishers, illustrators and websites for their work (2.3.c).