The Power of Words

The Power of Words is the last lesson in the Digital Citizenship unit from Common Sense Media for third graders.  This lesson focuses on what I call digital conduct.  Students understand that words matter.  After watching the video below, students discuss how words can hurt.  I tell students this can be a hard lesson to talk about, because the subject of cyberbullying and its effects have to be addressed.  Students have to understand that using the internet to bully someone is now considered a criminal offense and can result in students being confined to a juvenile detention facility.

Fourth graders finished their digital citizenship review by completing Commons Sense Media’s Digital Passport module called Search Shark.  In this module, students learned how to receive more productive search results by using specific words or phrases.

The fifth graders continued working through the first 126 lessons in Typing Club.

Creator’s Rights and Responsibilities

Third graders will be understanding the terms copyright law, fair use, public domain, Creative Commons, and why knowing those terms are important to them this week in the computer lab.  Students will watch Common Sense Media‘s video on Copyright and Fair Use posted below.

Then they will watch the video to help them understand how the Creative Commons license allows creators to release their work to the public but still retain certain rights like not being able to change it in anyway, not being able to profit off of it, requiring attribution be given, and/or requiring the user also share with the same kind of license their work.

Finally, students understand their need to follow the steps represented in the acronym HPCF: Harry Potter Can Fly.  This poster was created by Wes Fryer‘s daughter.  I use it every year to help students understand the concept.

H – Homemade
P – Public Domain
C – Creative Commons
F – Fair Use

Finally, students will log in to Google Classroom and take the quiz included in the Common Sense Media lesson called Creator’s Rights and Responsibilities.

Even though copyright can be a difficult subject for even adults to grasp, I am always amazed at how quickly these young students get the concept of copyright.

Amazing Creation

This was created by a 5th grader during Makerspace today.  He created this from his own imagination, not a pattern.  I am encouraging him to create Lego patterns for others to follow.

Rings of Responsibility and Countdown to Christmas

This week, third graders will understand Rings of Responsibility in regards to their behavior online and offline.  This lesson comes from Common Sense for Education.  Students will watch this video:

After discussing the lesson, students will post this image to their blog.

They will complete the lesson by taking the quiz included in the Common Sense curriculum.

Fourth and fifth graders will begin creating an animated slide using Keynote on their macbook to help count down the days until Christmas.  The first step will be to create their own Christmas scene in Tuxpaint to use as a background in Keynote.  The best countdowns will be featured in Morning Announcements during the month of December. Below is an example:

The Rings of Responsibility lesson from Common Sense Media was a perfect opportunity to explain to students how their actions not only affect themselves, but their community and possibly the world.  I shared the story of the two young women who posted a picture of themselves on social media at the tomb of the unknown soldier while making an obscene jester.  Those young women did not THINK about how that picture would go viral and affect all the millions of people on social media who had a lost a loved one fighting for the freedoms we enjoy.  That one simple action caused a major backlash from the “world” and almost ruined one young ladies’ life!  I believe students understand now how vitally important it is to consider the Rings of Responsibility before they post anything online.

Makerspace and Blogging

This week and next, students will be creating in the Makerspace.  Now that third graders know how to post images to their blog, students will be encouraged to share their creative genius with the world by snapping a picture of their creations and posting them.  Next Tuesday, October 29th is Global Maker Day.  Students that have technology that day will create while watching the stream from the Global Maker Day website. We will share our creations here and on Twitter.

The Global Maker Day was a great experience.  Students enjoyed making while being able to experience what other classrooms were doing.  Here are just some examples of their activity.

DigCit Family Night

Parents, students and teachers, on Thursday, October 17 from 6 pm to 7 pm in the elementary cafeteria, Dr. Marialice B.F.X. Curran will inspire and challenge us to become mentors and not just monitors of our children’s online behavior.  Dr. Curran is an internationally known author and speaker on digital citizenship and is the founder and executive director of The Digital Citizenship Institute. Dr. Curran believes in a community approach towards digital citizenship. Please join us for this important event.

More Typing Club, Evolve, and Blogging

This week 5th graders will continue their progress in Typing Club.  Their goal is to complete through lesson 34 which will include the home row keys of a,s,d,f,j,k,l,; and the top letters of r,u,e, and i.  The 4th graders will complete the Evolve module in Digital Passport.  In this module, students are presented with situations where they need to stand up to bullying online. The 3rd graders will learn how to access their blog, log in and create their first post.  Students will post an image of the activity they completed in Google Classroom last week where they moved images of personal information into the proper column of safe to share or not safe to share.

Some 4th graders had a more difficult time with the Digital Passport Evolve lesson than previous lessons because it was language intensive.  The module presented different scenes where students had to choose the best response.  Fortunately, a student discovered an audio component.  When a students clicks on the flower in the graphic, the passage and answer choices is read for them!  I so appreciate Common Sense Media for including this great help.

Typing Club, Share Jumper and Personal vs Private

The free 30 day trial for Cospaces is ending soon.  The fifth graders enjoyed using the platform so much, I chose to write a White Oak Education Foundation Grant to get funding for 150 licenses.  If and when the funding comes through, we will continue learning how to create AR and VR using Cospaces.  In the meantime, students will be learning how to touch type, or proper keyboarding technique using Typing Club.  The Typing Club platform called Typing Jungle varies the lessons between explanatory videos, skill practice, and games.  I am always surprised by student response.  Most students end up really enjoying the experience.  Some students start off frustrated and have a hard time moving past it.  There are over 600 lessons in Typing Jungle.  Students will complete 126 lessons.

The fourth graders will tackle the third model in Digital Passport. This module is called Share Jumper. It is a video game based website that reviews what information is not safe to share online.  When students complete all three levels, they earn a badge.

The third graders will review what constitutes personal information.  They will understand that a small section of personal information is not safe to share online without their parents’ permission.  Students will demonstrate their understanding by dragging the images of different types of personal information into the safe to share column or the not safe to share column on the Google Drawing posted in Google Classroom.  The image below shows the correct response.

As I predicted, some 5th graders cannot wait for next week’s opportunity to continue Typing Club, while some are dreading the torture. I know there is a huge controversy concerning the need for students to learn to touch type, but it is one of the Texas Technology TEKS for 3rd-5th grade.  I think it is important for students to at least be exposed to it.

Some of the 4th graders struggled with the Share Jumper module in Digital Passport because they are gamer challenged liked me.  I have a hard time getting my fingers to click the right keys while jumping and moving to the right or left. It was super simple for some, and very frustrating for others, but they all persevered and successfully completed the module.

I am very impressed with how quickly the 3rd graders have caught on to completing assignments in Google Classroom. Most of the students do not even have to grab their headphone bag to complete the assignment.  Students also quickly caught on to why some of their personal information should remain private online.


More Cospaces, Twalkers and Personal vs Private

Last week left 5th graders begging for more time with Cospaces, so this week they will be given the task to create a virtual space: zoo, museum, art gallery, etc. in their small groups.

The third graders will understand the difference between personal and private information when posting anything online.  Students will watch the Brain Pop video titled “Information Privacy.”  They will log in to Google Classroom and complete the activity Personal vs Privacy. Students will drag the image to the correct column. An image of the activity is posted below:

Fourth graders will sign in to Google Classroom and complete the activity from Digital Passport called Twalkers. After completing the module, students will screen capture the certificate and turn it in to Google Classroom.

I made some changes to the 3rd grade expectations last week due to another quick activity that needed to be assigned.  This year, White Oak Primary and Intermediate students will have the opportunity to participate in UIL events.  The coordinator for our campus asked me to create a form to gage interest.  I created the form in Google Forms and posted it as an assignment in Google Classroom.  Due to the fact that 3rd graders are new to Google Classroom, I decided to split the lesson for them in to two separate weeks.  This week they completed the UIL Interest Form and watched the Brain Pop video together as a class.  Next week we will review the need to keep some personal information private before completing the Google Drawing.

Cospaces, Licenses, and Passwords

This week we are very fortunate to have Jaime Donally, the author of “Learning Transported” and host of the ARVRinEDU website visit a 5th grade class to demonstrate using Cospaces for creating augmented and virtual reality.  Under her skillful leadership, students will be creating their own virtual environments on ipads borrowed from another teacher.  I will follow her example to teach the other 4 classes of 5th graders how to log in and create using Cospaces.

Third graders will be introduced to the unit on Digital Citizenship by watching the Who’s Driving? video.  After the video, students will discuss why it is important for people to have a license before driving a car.  Students will understand that a drivers license represents that the license holder has demonstrated they know the rules of the road and know how to be safe while driving a car.  After discovering the internet was initially called the “Information Superhighway”, students will relate how the internet can also pose dangers.  Those dangers require them to learn the “rules of the internet” to keep themselves and others safe. Students will sign in to Google Classroom and post a comment about one danger they may face on the internet. After completing the unit on Digital Citizenship, students will take a test to earn their web license.

Fourth graders will complete the Common Sense Digital Passport module called Password Protect.  The module takes them through the process to complete a strong password.  After completing the activity, students will screen capture the certificate and turn it in to Google Classroom.

WHAT A WEEK!  The 5th graders have been TOTALLY ENGAGED with Cospaces!  Their excitement and enjoyment have been amazing and inspirational!  I was a little concerned about following in Jaime Donally’s footsteps to engage with the other 5th grade classes.  I chose to have them sign in and create on the macbooks instead of borrowing ipads.  After the initial class, I also let them tell me how they wanted to be grouped.  I have been BLOWN AWAY by their creativity.  Here are just a few scenes:

The 5th grade social studies teacher, April McFall, is interested in creating a lesson plan for students to create a historical event using Cospaces.  I am currently using the free trial, which will expire October 19th.  I plan to write a grant through the White Oak Education Foundation to get a subscription for the year.