Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Digital Citizenship

Have you seen the article in T.H.E. Journal about digital citizenship? It's worth reading. This is a good discussion of "what, why, and how." This article mentions the website Digizen.org, which is "owned and operated by London-based nonprofit Childnet International. Our staff will be reviewing Mike Ribble and Gerald Bailey's ISTE publication, Digital Citizenship in Schools this spring in staff meetings. Of course, like anything else we teach in school, if we don't set the example, we are automatically harming students by our observable mis-use. Students still need to see value in digital citizenship and understand it is a choice of an informed, polite, and mature society to place our personal usage secondary in some situations.

The article continues on with a summary of the 9 steps in the Ribble and Bailey book.
1. Etiquette
2. Communication
3. Litracy
4. Access
5. Commerce
6. Law
7. Rights and Responsibilities
8. Health & Wellness
9. Security
You can purchase the book at ISTE's website store.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Quest Atlantis - MUVE

Last year our school system offered training for Quest Atlantis teachers. We had a small group of students the last month of school. The students loved it and so did I. This year we have a larger group of students in an after school QA club. We hope to begin soon.

Just last week eSchool News reported student increases in math and reading using QA. The Fall 2008 edition of JRTE (Journal of Research on Technology in Education) arrived this week and one of the reviewed articles was "A MUVE Toward PBL Writing: Effects of a Digital Learning Environment Designed To Improve Elementary Student Writing." (MUVE is multi-user virtual environment) If you are familiar with Second Life, this is a similar environment designed especially for 4-5 graders and 6-8 graders. The students in elementary (4-5) are in a different world than the students in grades 6-8. The students use their avatars to complete quests on different curriculum topics. There are over 500 quests. Teachers assign or offer selection of quests. There are different worlds in QA, focusing on different areas. But the best part is QA is just plain fun! ASU uses a similar environment in their grad program in technology, called AppEdTech. Interesting way to learn for adults, too!

After reviewing different types of computer games (drill and practice, digital games & simulations, off the shelf games, and curriculum-driven games), the authors begin discussing their MUVE, Anytown, in Quest Atlantis. The use of PBL (problem based learning)in Anytown is well planned and presented.

There is anticipation that our students will enjoy these activities and surprise themselves at how much they are learning.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Have you checked-out Instructify?

LearnNC has a great website and a blog called Instructify. This particular link has a list of the 10 essentials for students (and teachers who may not know about them! :-).