Category Archives: Weekly Reflections

So Make the Best of this Test, and Don’t Ask Why, It’s Not a Question, but a Summary Learned in Time…

That’s a Wrap: Major Learning Project Can You Believe It? First off, shoutout to Durston for being remarkably fast at thinking of a song title within the criteria I gave him. Props to him for helping me think of a song I could use for my song title! Anyways, prior[Read more]

Tell Me Bout’ Your Summary, of Learning, Your Project, Show Me Around…I Wanna See It All, Don’t Leave Anything Out…

Summary of Learning A Little Update The summary of learning project is something that always stresses me out. I spend a lot of time throughout the semester ensuring that I have put a lot of effort and reflection into my blog posts each week, as well as using my tracker[Read more]

Ethical Issue – Acceptable Use of Technology Agreements

Each September, all staff and students of my division are required to sign an Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement. The agreement is vast in covering what technology is, privacy and tracing, and access to the division network. The agreement is in part to protect the division:

Inappropriate use of the Technology may expose the school division to legal liability and/or public embarrassment. The objective of this administrative application is to balance employee and student ability to fully benefit from informative technology against the school division’s need to ensure that all use of the Technology meets the school division’s legal obligations and upholds the Division’s reputation and public image.

It also lays out the consequences of not using technology appropriately, including discipline in the form of loss of access to technology use, legal action, and financial responsibility.

This agreement is very consequence based. This is what we expect you to do, and if you don’t this is what can happen. It is important to note the consequences. Ultimately, the division needs to protect itself, perception wise, legally, and financially. But there is not much mention of what students should be doing. Teachers need to focus on teaching responsibility in the classroom – here is what we want you to do when using technology. Similar to the positive behavior program we use at our school, we want to catch and reward students for doing the right things.

I wonder what our division’s policy would look like if it were rewritten in a responsibility format. Does anyone have examples of what this looks like in your schools/divisions?

Yeah, On the Outside, I Look Fragile, But On the Inside is a Podcast Episode We Crushed…

A Quick Update of Our Major Learning Project Where We’re At Okay team, I just wanted to write a quick overview of where we are at in terms of our major learning project. For those of you that don’t know Durston and I have been working on making a podcast[Read more]

Yeah, Today I Drove Through the Suburbs… ‘Cause How Could I Ever Figure All These Issues Out?

Moral, Ethical & Legal Issues in Education A Quick Overview of Last Week’s Class By golly Ms. Molly, we’ve almost made it! This past week we discussed many different moral, ethical, and legal issues in the world of education. Some of the topics we discussed were, but are not limited[Read more]

When The Bones Are Good, The Rest Don’t Matter… Yeah, Fake News Can Post, But The Internet Won’t Shatter…

Reading, Viewing & Making Sense of the World The Fight to Catch-Up The fight to catch up lately has been very real for me. Last week I thought I was finally on top of things, had a good roadmap of what I needed to get done and how I planned[Read more]

Making Sense of Information

Like Brittney M., the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is scroll through my emails, messages, and the news. I check various news sites multiple times a day as I like to stay up with what is going on in the world. As such, over the past number of years, I have become fully aware of needing to determine what is real, fake, or biased.

Like many other negative things in this world right now, I blame Trump!! Just kidding. While kind of, but not really. There is no doubt that the Don shifted the information landscape with is campaigns of disinformation and compulsive patterns of blatant lying. (By this point, you are probably picking up on my bias towards him and his cronies. Oh well, my blog, my thoughts right?!?!)

We have spoken a number of times during this course about bias. It is human for us to lean a certain way on issues. I try to fully recognize my political and worldview biases. Therefore, one of the most important things I do during my news checking each day is to visit a variety of sites, purposefully visiting sites that are on both sides of the spectrum. When it comes to international news, my go-tos are CNN and Fox News. While I try not to be too political, in today’s landscape I would definitely lean to the left. Therefore I identify with most of the views held by CNN. I do get frustrated with how left they can lean because I try to critically evaluate what they are reporting, and sometimes they definitely twist things to fit their narrative. Conversely, I usually have to force myself to look at Fox News. As far as American politics go, I just can’t get on the Conservative, right wing train. Due to my bias, I find all that they report on is things to make the Democrats and Biden look back. To be fair, that is all CNN did with Trump, but I find them to be more fair and accurate in what they report. Regardless, the point I’m making is that I think it is important to look at stories from both sides before deciding what to believe.

How CNN And FOX Are Undermining Journalism By Shamelessly Backing Their  Candidates - DKODING

This may seem like an easy way out, but to be honest the best way that I interpret and analyze the news is by using common sense. I feel like I am up to date on most major things happening in the world, so if I read something that seems a little strange my spidey senses go off. When this happens I do some further research, usually through internet searches. At this point I look for trusted sources…well known media outlets, educational institutions etc. If I can find a similar story on a number of outlets I usually trust that it is true.

You’re Not Fully Literate Until You Are Physically Literate

I love this blog prompt! As you can see from my title, this topic is allowing me to relate this course to my comfort zone – Physical Education. Let’s be real, Phys. Ed. gets a bum rap from most teachers. However, we take pride in our area and one of our favorite catch phrases is:

You NEED this shirt! | Arizona Health and Physical Education

Yes, we even put it on shirts!!!

Being physically literate is one form of literacy that many probably forget about. Physical Literacy describes it as “the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge, and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.” It is understanding and knowing how to use your body, not just for sport, but in order to live an active lifestyle. Being physically literate allows one to navigate through life being healthy and safe.

Another important type of literacy, more pertinent to our current discussions is informational literacy. Common Sense Information describes it as the ability to identify, find, evaluate, and use information effectively. As Cymone, Holly and I discussed in this week’s presentation, we are living in a time when informational literacy is becoming critically important. Unfortunately, our skills and our student’s skills might not be where they need to be. I referenced an article that blames the fake news epidemic as an information literacy problem. Many in society don’t know how to interpret or research the accuracy of the information they are reading and therefore believe things that are not true. Furthermore, in our technological world, many go on to share and re-distribute incorrect information.

Information Literacy Month | Facts From the Stacks

Just as physical literacy is important for the health and safety of our bodies, informational literacy is important for our health and safety in an online environment. It is impossible to be a good digital citizen without being informationally literate.

Won’t Ask You to Stay, But Let Me Ask You One Thing… Oh-o-oh, When Did You Fall for Fake News?

What Does it Mean to be Literate? A Little Recap Wow! It’s been one heck of a ride lately. Between all of the hustle and bustle at school, racing to pick my kiddo up after work, and scurrying around picking up odds and ends around the house just to try[Read more]

Teacher/School’s Role in Teaching Digital Citizenship

I am going to approach this post as it pertains to one particular area of Digital Citizenship – informational literacy.

Christine’s article, What is media literacy, and why is it important? notes that kids “take in a huge amount of information from a wide array of sources, far beyond the traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines) of most parents’ youth. There are text messages, memes, viral videos, social media, video games, advertising, and more.” How students are interpreting all of this information and determining what is accurate and reliable is an important concern. Perhaps the most important part of the statement to me is the part about how different our student’s worlds are than their parents were when they were the same age.

We’re all aware of the fact that kids are often ahead of adults in their understanding and experience with technology and different apps. I think for a lot of parents you can compare their experience to doping in sports. The athletes who are doping are always one step ahead of the people who are testing. Therein lies the importance of teachers and schools. I don’t think we can ignore the role that we have to play in teaching students about informational literacy. I would be the first to say that we as teachers have a million other things that we could focus on. However, this is an important part of our students’ lives, and the reality is most students aren’t getting the skills they need to navigate this world outside of the school.

Informational literacy is the ability to identify, find, evaluate, apply, and acknowledge information. We live in a society where we want information right now, and we want to be able to share it as fast as possible. What gets lost in this speedy process is the researching and confirmation of the accuracy of the information we are reading and distributing. Fake news is definitely a thing these days.

Catchphrase You Are Fake News GIF - Catchphrase You Are Fake News Trump -  Discover & Share GIFs

We have to prepare our students to combat fake news and this has to be done in schools. The way to do this is to teach our students to become informationally literate. I can’t speak for all teachers and schools, but I am willing to say that most teachers can do a better job of this. I think there are many teachers who go as far as saying don’t use Wikipedia because it isn’t always accurate. This doesn’t begin to cover what needs to be covered. Students need to be taught how to identify trusted sources, perform research, understand sourcing, triangulate information, triage contested narratives and recognize the importance of where information comes from, not just what it says.

So what does the future look like? Dane Ward raises an interesting point in THE WAY I SEE IT: The future of information literacy: Transforming the world. “I see a new day when students will learn to use information skills to improve the world. It will be a day when information literacy instruction means teaching students about research while helping them to find value in the world and to participate in it.” Yes, we need to teach research skills, but we also need to make sure students find an interest in it and know why it relates to their lives. The fake news dilemma can be a great gateway to engaging kids and teaching valuable skills.