Sunday, April 24, 2011

Flat Classroom Challenge #7

Challenge #7: Empower Digital Citizenship Action

I work in a district that am very grateful to be part of. I think this all the time. We have a luxury of a lot of technology and always looking to be at the cutting edge of what is needed in education. We have fallen behind a little bit, but I know that the district is making strides to get back on top.

I have had several conversations with people in my district about student empowered digital citizenship and reverse monitoring. I think the whole idea is making headway.

We will soon have wifi in our building. With wifi comes 1-1 computing and at this point you have no choice but to open up the student powered digital citizenship learning opportunities.

At my building we have a computer class for 6th grade which I think right now is a joke. I taught the class for one year and it about drove me insane. They do keyboarding and learn the Office programs at a basic level. What a waste. This class should be teaching about student empowered digital citizenship. Let them learn how to navigate online. Let them be part of an online project. The typing and other skills will fall into place.

As I work through my own wiki experiment project right now, I am realizing that despite the fact that my students can find any game online and can bypass any filter you put up in school, they are lacking digital citizenship. Nobody has ever taught them. They are way behind in this aspect of life which is scary considering how much time they spend on computers. Typing that last sentence just made me ask myself, "If students are on the computers for hours a day at school, then what are we doing wrong that they don't have these necessary skills and knowledge?"

As I have thought over and over again in this course we have some serious changes that need to be made. It is time for us to shift to the new levels of collaboration and prepare these students for the future.

In order for this to happen it takes administrators the courage to let some teachers jump in head first and learn. It takes these teachers to learn how to do things and then teach their peers. It has to be a district wide initiative, but done at a pace that is comfortable and not forced.

This is such as exciting time as more and more people are realizing that change is coming and you better get on board before you get left behind. The economy struggles and as this continues people will begin to understand that our education system needs to be revamped for us to get back on top.
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