Participate 1 – Ideal Digital Learning Communities

Answer: Consider what would be needed to create an ideal digital learning community. What would be needed to bring such a vision to fruition? What can one do to make an existing DLC more attractive to and welcoming for students and teachers?

 

An ideal DLC has open access to information, free and shareable, despite geographic location of other members. There should be a unifying theme or topic that brings everyone together; Educational Technology, Science, etc.  To bring this to fruition one would need a digital space that allows for collaboration, and members from the community and around the world. Typically, is a DLC is “closed” or “private” it doesn’t give an air of inclusiveness and will deter some educators. Private groups would definitely deter students, as typically if information is not easy to access they will show disinterest. Once again, DLC groups that make you answer a series of questions before being able to join, or require you to contribute (or be kicked out) will deter people from joining. Some people are silent and just prefer to get inspired by others, or are just learning and may be embarrassed to share their thoughts, ideas, lessons etc. Contributions should be on the users terms.

Participate 1 -Joining a DLC

Explore: Explore and find your own examples of Digital Learning Communities. While bookmarking the sites, remember to complete the following:

tag each site with appropriate keywords, annotate each entry with a descriptive sentence or phrase

 

Artifact: Share a link to your bookmarks in your blog. (NB. Google bookmarks links are not publically available.  If using Google bookmarks, please include a screenshot of your links in your blog.) After bookmarking three likely DLCs, reflect for a moment on which one of the five is most worthy of joining.

Join one of the DLCs from the list (or another of personal interest). Consider how citizens in an online environment find a reputable digital community that aligns with their particular interests and needs.

Answer: What is the name of the DLC joined and the reason why the DLC was the most intriguing? What traits made the DLCs explored more noticeable or impressive than the others? What is the DLC like? What can Digital Citizens do to make the process of joining a DLC more appealing to and easier for students?

Bookmarking

Digital Learning Communities or DLC’s, are meant to connect people, regardless of distance, in order to develop and discuss ideas and to create an environment where learning can take place. DLC’s can be found in a myriad of places.

I actually joined two DLC’s: Google Educator Groups (GEG) Google Educator Groups can be found in G+ in G-suite; there are many different GEG’s from all over the world. Currently, I am a part of GEG Georgia and GEG Florida as I am duo certified. I joined Google Educator Groups specifically because I teach using Google classroom and I am working on getting Google Educator certified. I also love to share and learn more about the latest technologies to make learning more fun and personalized using technology. People are on/in the DLC and contribute to it everyday. GEG Florida was much easier to join than GA. I am still currently (over a month later) waiting for the approval to join the GA GEG group. That is pretty frustrating as I currently teach in GA and would like to connect with teachers in this state. Joining DLC’s can be made more appealing  by making sure there are not TOO many hoops to jump through and making sure there is someone “manning” the join requests.

 

Participate 1 -Character Traits

Research: Investigate character traits associated with an exemplary digital citizen.

Create: A blog post which describes three most impressive character traits of an exemplary citizen within a digital learning community. Be creative! The description in the blog post may incorporate any or all of the following:

an image

a short digital slideshow

an audio clip

a short video

Answer: What makes each of those characteristics worthy of recognizing and emulating?

 

A digital citizen has been defined as “those who use the internet regularly and effectively”. As many schools, move to 1-1 devices or BYOD policies it is integral that school administrators, educators and parents work together to educate students in order to create digital citizens. Common Sense Media and ISTE have been leaders in creating and providing schools, parents and students with standards and lessons on how to develop proper digital citizenship skills.  There are several character traits that make an “exemplary” digital citizen within a digital learning community; all of these traits can be combined into 3 umbrellas

  1. Respect
  2. Educate
  3. Protect
    1. An exemplary digital citizen has respect for others, policies and rules while online. Students understand copyright and fair use rules and respect the others work by not plagiarizing. This characteristic should be emulated because, first it keep you out getting into trouble(copy right), bu this characteristic also deals with the ever present problem of cyberbullying. If you emulate respect online, you will not get caught doing something wrong. Check out this wonderful youtube video that I found
    1. 2. An exemplary digital citizen is educated in the various ways to communicate online and is able to learn in digital environment. Students are able to make proper decision on what to say and not to say on online communities. This characteristic should be emulated because in this digital world we will need to communicate with various types of people through digital tools. Check out this wonderful youtube video that I found
     
    1. 3. An exemplary digital citizen protects their information and understands they have a “digital footprint” The students will understand how much information to share and not share online and are aware of how to make a positive imprint. This characteristic should be emulated because everyone has a digital footprint and you want to make sure that you digital footprint is positive and good/accurate reflection of who you are.

      1. Check out this wonderful youtube video that I found

 

Vocabulary Building: School and home

THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS GETTING STUDENTS TO KNOW THAT IT IS NOT OKAY TO SKIP OVER UNKNOWN WORDS OR LIVE IN VOCABULARY PURGATORY –

” I’VE HEARD THE WORD, BUT I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT MEANS.”  vocabulary

 

As a bookworm and a teacher, I can tell you until I am blue in the face that vocabulary is important to the literacy skills of our children. We make it fun at first, reading books to our baby’s and toddlers and young primary children. But then all of a sudden there is a breakdown. Vocabulary becomes homework and a chore and something that is not so fun anymore. Spelling tests? Vocabulary tests?  What can we as parents and educators do to make sure that 1) our children have an expansive vocabulary and 2) the knowledge and skills to go out and seek out a definition of a word they don’t know?

In the classroom I see my students struggling with vocabulary everyday, the biggest struggle is getting them to NOT be okay with not understanding or knowing the meaning of a word. Skipping unknown words, instead of investigating what it means, is popular among students.

I have used these methods with both my students and children.  Some can be used for fun, some for studying and maybe even both.

  1. Play Scrabble – Nothing more fun than family game night right? You can use scrabble several ways
    1. Good old fashion way. However, keep a dictionary nearby to help vocabulary building.
    2. As a study tool: put your child’s vocabulary list on the table and those are the words you try to “spell” first.
    3. Once you get up in age you may have to modify the game as follows.  Each person connects a vocabulary word to an already existing word. No one has actual tiles, they are more “free range” tiles and you are just trying to connect all the vocabulary words. The child with the vocab word goes first and then proceed however you like and make your own house rules (like who wins??) The only  must it that the words all must intersect or connect.

2. Magnetic Scrabble  – You can find these  Scrabble pieces on Amazon. This is great for “solo” time for a child that needs to study and can be stuck on any magnetic surface. I place them on the fridge, and while I am cooking, my 5th grader can study her words (Multitasking parent for the win!)  I also love to use these for my pre-schooler, in order to build her basic literacy skills. For example, adding letters to root words like “at”.

3. Vocabulary.com – I LOVE this website. I have fully integrated it into my classroom and my high school students love to compete for the top of the leader board. There are already pre-made lists or you can create your own. You are able to see both completion and Mastery ( how well you know a word) for each vocabulary word. This will work best with older children and you can create a chart so that they can compete with themselves or track their progress over a period a time. If you want to get the whole family involved sign everyone up and compete for the top of the chart (make sure you are using the same list!)

4. Thesaurus Game – This is something I do without either my students or my children knowing (Gasp! No metacognition). I do this every day.  A student (or one of my children) will say something and I will ask “Is there are another word you can use for _____?”  This helps build up vocabulary and understanding of the first word they were trying to use, this “thesaurus” skill will come in handy when writing long papers.

5. Congratulate them on the use of “Big words” –  When either of my children use a word that is not “normal”, for example humongous instead of really big, we make a big deal of it. The same goes with my students. I give high fives and “way to go’s” and make a big deal of it in the classroom. And then I sneak in the Thesaurus game to make sure they truly know what the word means.

6. Create an environment that they know it’s okay to not know a word but not okay to continue not knowing it – Lead by example find a word you don’t know have them help you figure it out (context clues, going to a dictionary). Let them know not knowing a word does not make them dumb, it is an opportunity to become smarter.  Make use of any access to devices; I like to say let’s use our magic device to find out what the word means. When I see students look up the word on their own, I again, make A BIG DEAL. n

 

If you have any literacy tips for building vocabulary that you would like to share, please feel free to comment! It takes a village to educate!