Category Archives: Weekly Post #eci832

What’s next?


The above video is a quick recap of Dean's, Curtis', and my final projects for the class #eci832. They did amazing work. We basically spent our time debriefing about our biggest take aways from the course, in the context of our final projects. 

From all this, we have decided that maybe, just maybe, we'll continue getting together, chatting about education, inspiring ourselves, and interviewing our fellow teachers. Best of all, we plan to continue uploading to YouTube, and we'll also look at uploading as a podcast. We aim to do this maybe once a month... more if we can. What an amazing thing that happened, I would have never thought I'd be in such a position 4 months ago. To be around and conversing with such amazing teachers as Dean and Curtis... well, just another blessing that came out of our #eci832 experience. 

In other news, even though I did my wrap up post about 10 days ago, I thought I'd give one last brief update on my personal journey into social media. So, some screenshots. 

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It's not much, but I've had more views in the last month than all of 2019. Slowly, I'm moving up! :)

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Top video views... I'm not sure if I should cry or be happy, but a video I made in 2016 for a grade 9 math concept is month in and month out my most viewed video on my channel. What did I do so right? I don't understand!

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...And on the Twitter front, I continue to use the platform for my own development, with the secondary goal of just reaching out there and chatting with other educators/interesting people out there in the real world!

Upcoming goals...

Well, my class Wakelet from last semester was not on public... and I realized it today! So today I finally made it public (DOH!) and put a tweet out on Twitter. If even one person finds it useful that'll be great.... Here's a link: https://wke.lt/w/s/i3splz

My new initiative, which isn't amazing, but which I have had great feedback from my students from is my "10 Minute Math Review" series on YouTube. Total knock off of Khan Academy, but more focused, and focused solely on the Manitoba Curriculum. Home grown stuff! I plan to continue making these as time permits. My current goal is to create 2 of these every 7 days. Check out my latest:

Revival of #MBEdchat?

Last but not least... I'm interesting in reviving #MBEdChat on Twitter. I created a new account... but I'm trying to reach out to however owns the current account, whose last tweet was in 2017. I am cautiously moving forward on this... I hope to see if there is some interest. We are just going to do it eventually, and I believe I am starting to have the support network I need in order to accomplish this.

Stay curious,

Matteo


Wake(let) me when September Ends….


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CLICK ME TO GO TO THE SHARED RESOURCE

Extra points to anyone who gets the corny reference to the amazing Green Day's song "when September Ends"... but what I'm saying is... with schools seemingly on hold and everything shifting to online learning for a while, I thought it'd be nice to do a collective #eci832 hurrah hurrah and push to create a shared Wakelet of resources that could help teachers, students, and parents in the aftermath of CODV-19.

SO, as part of my personal dive into social media--using it more often, and effectively--I went and combed through all the resources people had been sharing under the #eci832 hashtag, and tried to categorize them.

I'm sorry if I missed you! I also posted a link so that you could become an editor of the Wakelet, and add your own resources or modifying the headings, create new ones... whatever you think is required!


Want to Contribute? It's not too late!

Just click here if you'd like to become a contributor. You'll be able to add resources, add headings, modify... I trust my #eci832 crew! Let's do this!

So, I present to you, the current Wakelet, "Online Teaching Resources #eci832 Edition" as it stands...



Big thanks to... Mystery People (and Dean!)... and, of course, #eci832

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Contribute away, and in the meantime, thank you!

Cheers, everyone, and great job on creating an interesting course dynamic and, as usual, teaching me so much more than I would have ever been able to do all alone!

Curiously yours,

​Matteo


Ya done good, #eci832!

No More Time for Waffling on the #DigCit

There are plenty of resources for schools/teachers there for Digital Citizenship

Before I get to the main topic, I thought I'd share some useful resources this week on #DigCit... the internet is literally rife with resources for teaching digital citizenship.... Here are a few you might consider:

1) Everything you Need to Teach Digital Citizenship - Common Sense Education
This a great one, it has lessons for all ages, broken down into grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 (which always strikes me as a large age range... difference between a 14 year old and a 17/18 year old? Huge, but anyways).

2) How to Promote Digital Citizenship in the School Library (Demco Ideas & Inspiration)
This article is a bit more straight forward, just sharing 6 abrupt and down to earth ways to promote digital citizenship in your everyday classes. Definitely geared towards early/elementary school teachers. My favourite is the suggestion to watch BrainPOP Jr.'s video on internet safety, see below! It comes with a quiz afterwards if you open it up on their website here

3) 9 resources for teaching digital citizenship (By the always wonderful ISTE)
Each of the resources in this page (created Feb 5, 2020-so you know it is hot off the press... although it does link to older resources from a few years ago at times) is a wealth of other resources and information.

4) Digital Citizenship Policy Development Guide (From the School Technology Branch of Alberta Education)
This is a great resource document, which leans a bit more on the academic side of the argument, citing research and such. 

5) Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools (published by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education)
This is a great resource document, which leans a bit more on the academic side of the argument, citing Ribble (does it surprise anyone it's written by Alec and Katia?). 


Citizenship is defined as the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political or national community. Citizenship carries both rights and responsibilities. 


                                                        ~Alberta's Digital Citizenship Policy Development Guide (2012, p. 7)

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So what is holding us back? 

Right from resource #4 above, it states that....

Digital citizenship is a complex subject matter. It is the intent of the current guide to bring shape to this domain through questions and considerations that may be weighed by leaders. Through this process, the current work will assist leadership and stakeholder decision-making, guiding the development of effective digital citizenship policies. 

                                                        ~Alberta's Digital Citizenship Policy Development Guide (2012, p. 1)

So, OK, this stuff IS hard. It's complicated. It's tricky for teachers, parents, and policy-makers to wrap their brains around. It's tricky to understand the full ramifications of it's use in schools, to update privacy laws, to make it "safe" for classroom use... but maybe that's just the thing, maybe we can't scrub this down and make it "safe"... one argument that is used in my school division (and I've heard feedback from many others, in many divisions) is that we need to lock this stuff down because we need to keep our kids safe. And while this is certainly a good argument with things like swords, guns, etc... it's not a great argument for something that kids have access to all the time on their cell phones, or at home. 

By "locking" down social media for students, we are also shutting down all the teaching opportunities around it's proper use: how it should be properly situated in our lives, and how to use it to fuel our professional and personal growth, and how to ward against it's improper use against us, by understanding it's massive power and reach fully.


                                                                            ~Matteo Di Muro

We already know that teenagers lack that voice that says "is this a good idea", and that they are less likely to engage in moral and ethical thinking (Digital Citizenship policy development guide, 2012, p. 10)... and here we kidding ourselves that we can just avoid using and teaching about social media in schools, and that kids will just "sort themselves out" individually at home later on proper usage of social media. Yikes! It's like assuming that since we taught kids that they can get hurt in real life, that we should just leave obstacles all around the house for them to possibly get hurt on. After all, they know better! They'll just sort out the "two separate lives" of real world, versus the online world, themselves. See the excerpt below: 

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From Alberta's Digital Citizenship Policy Development Guide (2012)

Let's get real. We need to start treating social media, offline, online, as all the same thing, because they are already.

chools, like many things, are THE PLACE for kids to learn about social media, and how to be a good digital citizen. As suggested before, citizenship comes with rights but also responsibilities, and we are collectively dropping the ball on teaching kids about the power and responsibilities that come with social media. 


Ironically, one study found that adults are actually more likely to fall prey to internet scams, versus the youth of today (we grew up with the scams, Baby boomers didn't, might be one reason). Perhaps policy makers of today need to relearn that same lesson around digital citizenship and social media in schools. 

Policy makers, and schools need to stop dropping the torch on Digital Citizenship and Social Media in schools. School is definitely the place to collectively, everyday, integrate and teach about Digital Citizenship, and proper use of social media. The longer we wait, the worse it is going to get. Teachers can certainly "go about it on their own", and I suggest that they begin to do so until each provincial education body wakes up and starts working together... but imagine what difference we could make if we all pushed? 

                                                                            ~Matteo Di Muro


Maybe there is so much waffling around integrating Digital Citizenship into schools because these are the sorts of people calling the shots? 


Let's pull together and get this done. Instead of having a bunch of isolated pockets of amazing and talented teachers such as the ones in #eci832, or like the amazing @Tyler_JL I interviewed last week working on this problem, what if we pooled our resources and got stuff done on a canada-wide level? WOW! It's like Dwight says....

One last "why"...

Taken directly from the Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools document (Hello? Manitoba, are you there? Why don't we have something like this already? Ooooofph):

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From Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools, 2015, p. 6

If those reasons aren't enough to warrant teaching Digital Citizenship in schools, what is? 
A big shout out to our presenters last week, Brad and Shelby (thanks for the great video, found here), and Daniel (who also shared with us some great thoughts in his video here... love that graphic at 3:54).

OK, that's enough for now... 

Stay curious out there!

Curiously yours,

Matteo Di Muro


Ghost of Social Media Past


Presentations on Digital Citizenship

Great work to our 4 presenters last week. My takeaways were:

1) Leigh (check out her awesome blog! Video is top left)
I really liked the line: "schools need to stop blocking everything because you can't keep it all out and teachers lose teachable moments as a result".
​This is a divine line. Certainly, one of the worst things we can do it just block everything, as it robs teachers and students of the chance to experiment with these tools in a safe setting. Making social media impossible to access at school doesn't actually stop anyone from accessing it (many students at my school finds ways around the filters, or simply just use their cell phone data). Blocking means that teachers have trouble using it reliably in class to teach. What a mistake. 

2) Victoria (check out her awesome blog! Video is top right)
Best line: "By restricting student access to social media we fail to actually teach students anything about being digital citizens"... this couldn't be more true. Very similar to my favourite line from Leigh's video. It'd be like teaching how to drive without ever driving a vehicle. 

3) Matt and Trevor (check out their blogs here and here respectively. Video is bottom)
What did I enjoy most about their video? I really liked the idea of using social media to examine how science misconceptions spread online... that's a great exercise and highly relevant today, and would be relevant anytime!

Big shout out to our presenters, who did such a great job! Thanks for facilitating the conversation.



How Should We Introduce Social Media to Students Nowadays?

You know, I guess I sort of got lucky. Social media wasn't a thing yet while I was in my "crazy" years during high school and university... I say "crazy", because I may have been more inclined to post things online that may have not reflected well on me in the future. By the time blogging and social media were just becoming a thing, it was maybe a year or two before my education degree, and I was a bit more mature. Enough to understand that whatever you post online is there forever. 

Thinking of this, I really think schools can provide an invaluable service in teaching students how to be digital citizens. I do think it's an integral part of school. Many parents need help in this area, and probably always will need help. If you click the image below, it'll take you to a few great resources from ISTE on how to approach social media and technology based on the age of your child. 

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Click me for amazing resources!

Another great resource I shared last week with my group was Google's How To Be Internet Awesome, which is a great game-based way of teaching students and kids about being safe online. A lot of topics are covered. I wish in my past, I had this... but I was also lucky enough that by the time I needed it, I was more than capable of finding the information for myself (being an adult). Kids nowadays don't have this luxury. 


Moving Forward

Moving forward, I'd like to continue to inspire my students via social media if possible, and model for them appropriate uses of such. I have a few unique opportunities to do this (and, if I can finally manage to interview my colleague, Tyler Letkeman next week, I'll be able to share what he has been doing with social media in his classroom).

The ways I can model digital citizenship and "good" use of social media for my students includes:


1) My use of YouTube for instructional classroom videos


2) Use of social media for the Massey Robotics Club


3) In general, I chat with my students all the time and surf the web with them, and we have very informal talks about what is out there right now on on the internet. Although these chats don't seem like much, they do seem to engage students very much as we talk about the weeks/days happenings and what we think about them on the internet and social media. 
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CLICK ME TO GO TO OUR INSTAGRAM!
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I don't think teachers can get away with not having some sort of online presence nowadays... you have to practice the craft if you are going to teach about it effectively.


        
                                      ~Matteo Di Muro

I think that teachers must model the use of social media for students... this'll be the greatest way of helping them understand how to use it. Of course, I don't think EVERY teacher needs to do this... it's easy enough to just go look up people who use social media wisely and just show that to students... but I am coming to sort of expect teachers to have some sort of online presence... you have to practice the craft if you are going to teach about it, after all.


Till next time my techy friends... stay curious,

Matteo

Fragmented Us

Hi, we don't exist!


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None of these people exist.

All images from ThisPersonDoesNotExist, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) that generators pictures of people who do not exist.

The pictures are 100% generated by the AI, and in no part are from a data bank or anything like that.

The AI also can createcats (my masters level computer scientist friend, Andrew Fisher, former comp sci student, tells me cats are hard... sometimes you see the pics look a bit screwy), horses, art, random fake scenes that do not exist from the hit TV show THE OFFICE, it reads Reddit and other sources to create fake news articles (that update every 30 minutes... here is a funny one about every adult getting enrolled in mandatory organ donation).

So, it begs the question... in all of this, what does it mean to have a digital identity? Do we all automatically have one? If we don't have one, should we "get" one? How do we get one? Why?

Take Control of Your Digital Self Least Someone Else Does


Yes, if you don't curate your digital identity, you run a few risks:
1) someone else controlling it for you.
2) not having one.


I think it's a risk not having one because well, I feel like that's starting to get a bit weird, at least in this part of the world. At the very least, you should curate a professional identity online, especially if you are looking for work in the future. If you're on the run from the law... well, I guess that's a bad thing to have one, isn't it?


Multiple (Fragmented) Digital Identity Disorder

ell, I made that up. It does't exist... except that more and more people are utilizing multiple different personas online. It's not even a bad thing... I can understand having a Twitter account for my educational endeavors, and maybe I fancy myself funny, so I have a different Twitter account where I tweet my funny, random thoughts that aren't related to Education. I may not want those two Twitter accounts mixing for all sorts of professional and nonprofessional reasons. 

But nowadays, as we become more and more involved in all sorts of smaller, niche things online, people get to know us as complete human beings less and less. As per this article, we are fragmenting more and more.

Nowadays, I think it's becoming less and less possible to separate your digital self from your physical self.

I think we have to do a lot more to teach students about their digital identity, and how to properly develop it, safely and professionally. I think digital etiquette is something that needs to be taught, as all other etiquette requires as well. For example, don't post pictures of people online without their consent. Here is an article about Digital Etiquette.

What Are Some Guidelines for Classroom Teachers Around Digital Identity?


​Well, in my video above, I conveniently cover the 4 aspects that I think are most important from my own readings and synthesis of the topic. Quite simply, your digital identity encompasses how you use social media, but also however you present yourself in a non physical format. This can be online via health records, court records, social media posts, blog posts, etc.... If it's electronic, it might one day end up as part of your "digital identity". Make it a good one!

In the classroom, I think this very interesting case study is a great example of how we should be leveraging and teaching Digital Identity in schools. The power of social media is awesome, and but also very scary. Use wisely. 

That being said.... 

Stay curious my friends,

Yours in curiosity, 

Matteo

Ribble Me This…


The Essential Elements!

We examined Ribble's Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship this week in #eci832. I've been reflecting how this relates to my social media journey project. I'll be looking at TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, and maybe Wakelet as I journey into the wilderness of social media and education. TikTok is the first one I am tackling. Progress has been slow. This is a bit related to being a content-catalyst for next week's ECI832 Lesson! It's hard, yet inspiring, to try to keep up with the Hollywood videos created by the amazing group last week: shout out to Catherine, Nataly, Amanda, and Melinda.

I'm especially interested in TikTok... so while I believe all these points apply to the other social media platforms I'm examining, I'm especially turning my attention to TikTok. Here they are.... 

Element 3. Digital Communication and Collaboration: "the electronic  exchange of information".
Well, TikTok allows people to exchange videos, which could have any sort of content or purpose. The most popular "purpose" I've seen in my "studies" on TikTok is that of entertainment, meme generation/spreading, and self-promotion. 

Element 4. Digital Etiquette: "standards of conduct or procedures and has to do with the process of thinking about others when using digital devices".
There is great potential to discuss the appropriate use of Etiquette when utilizing TikTok, as you are presenting yourself to the world when you post a video.

Element 5. Digital Fluency: "the process of understanding technology and its use. Includes  the ability to discern good information from poor, such as “fake news” from real news." 
Lots of information is shared on TikTok, from memes, to reactions to current events, and news. Discerning what is valuable from what is not is certainly a part of this platform. Choosing it for entertainment or information is another. 

Element 6.  Digital Health and Welfare: "physical and psychological well-being in a digital world. Educators need to ask the question of how much screen time is appropriate for students."
My biggest downfall is opening the TikTok app. I've started setting a timer for 10 minutes, because time flows differently when you open the TikTok app. It's easy to drain an hour watching video after video. This is not OK. Definitely a discussion for students around appropriate use and screen time limits. 



Progress on TikTok

I've recently identified from some discussions with students ways that they think TikTok might be useful in education. We all agreed that perhaps for Drama/theater, TikTok might actually be useful for motivating students, and giving them a global audience for their performances. See the video below that I filmed today while I was having some candid conversations with some of my grade 11/12 computer science class about TikTok and how they use it. 


Well, you heard it here first! Some kiddos use it as their news source (which scares me frankly). It was in another unrecorded conversation where one student suggested it'd be great for Drama/Theater. So I went to the drama teacher, and low and behold, she said that coincidentally, her grade 12 class was just talking about TikTok today! Imagine that! The butterfly effect? Who knows! ​


A Collaboration!

So, my colleague and I, we decided that she would try to use some TikTok in her classroom, and let me know how it goes. I'll do a quick interview with her, and post it as part of my examination of TikTok, whenever it is complete! I am excited to share the results with you!

Do any of you foresee any useful educational uses of TikTok? I really can't find much on the web that actually seems reasonable/useful, at least at the high school level. Drama/theater was a new idea for me!

Till next time, 

Stay curious,

Matteo

The Lonely Promise of Social Media

We are getting into trouble in how we relate to ourselves, and our capacity for self reflection ... we are getting used to a new way of being alone together ...

                                                                                                                       ~Sherry Turkle 

                                                                                                                                            in her TED talk, Connected, but alone? 4:15 to 4:32

Last class, we had the wonderful and informative Mary Beth Hertz speak to our class. She is the author of Digital and Media Literacy in the Age of the Internet. While I haven't had time to read her book, (would be nice to get around to it... I've actually done a good job so far of hitting my goal of listening to 2 books a month on Audible, I recommend it for anyone who is taking a masters or education and is busy!) I really enjoyed her talk. I found her to be very focused on how to ensure that students understand the complexities of social media, and how to verify and fact check information, which is totally a thing educators need to do more of!

In fact, I went on her blog and found it to be good additional reading.


Can I Be Alone, Please?

However, as the quote above from my favorite recent TED talk by Sherry Turkle suggests, I think there is more to social media in schools that just teaching students the risks, benefits, and how to utilize it properly. As a bit of a social media/news/technology junkie myself, I think we need a sincere talk about how technology both connects us and yet isolates us at the same time. No matter how much we connect online, no matter how useful this technology becomes, after listening twice now (thanks Audible! I swear I don't work for them!) to Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday, I think more and more we are losing the capacity to self reflect and truly be alone with our thoughts... which is part of being a healthy human. There are just too many distractions, made by people who understand how the brain and dopamine works. We get more and more wrapped up with "me" and things we are interested in only. I appreciated Mary's informative talk, which focused largely on educational moments and fact checking social media, which is admittedly a problem. However, I was largely interested in how to balance social media and technology in our increasingly busy and connected lives.

I believe that teachers and society at large have a vested in making sure our students understand how to balance their phones and social media as part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. 

... you only want to pay attention to the bits that interest you. And some people think that's a good thing ... 

                                                                                                                       ~Sherry Turkle 
                                                                                                                                             in her TED talk, Connected, but alone? 4:56 to 5:01

SOMEONE IS LISTENING
The part of Mary's presentation that interested me most (and there are LOTS of things she said that interested me!) was when she spoke to how technology makes it very easy for us to be tracked. We don't know what is done with our information, but often, all we need to sign up to "free" services is to give up all our data, and we do it without a second thought (I certainly have, as a user of the internet and apps). 

What struck me was how she got rid of her Dot Mini, an amazon device that can certainly make your life a lot easier and cool. I am glad she shared this story with us, and her students. 

Why did she get rid of it? Well, the devices by default record all audio in your home. It gets sent to Amazon, or Google, depending on the device you buy, for "processing". "Smart" and "connected" products are spying on you.


Does Anyone Care?

Anyone who says they like companies knowing what products they might be interested in so they can buy stuff easier needs to get checked up. It goes far beyond that. Giving away vast amounts of information about ourselves to strangers and companies who reap maximum rewards from it cannot be a "good thing" for you. What do you gain? Would you tell a complete stranger named Amazon on the bus where you live, what you like to buy, what you had for dinner yesterday, details about your personal life, the lives of others in your life? Does this seem healthy? 

I think we ought to make this clear to students, while at the same time we also teach them how to "safely" use these technologies, and leverage them to improve our teaching. There are a lot of applications of technology and social media. I mean, check out this AI that can tell if students are paying attention. Does this or does this not make instruction better? 

PAY ATTENTION OR BE SAD
Certainly, there is more false/misleading information out there on social media (where most people get their news) than completely factual and unbiased (is that a thing?) information.

Mary Beth has this recent example (and how she taught her class to combat it and recognize it) 

Recently, a study found that pro-vaping posts on Instagram outweighed e-cigarette safety campaign 10,000 to one, as another example.

Social media and the internet is not a magical playground, that is for sure. People make money on social media, and the intentions are not always geared towards education, although social media certainly has lots to offer clever teachers and their lucky students. 

I would say that social media is like anything... do it in moderation... but I think social media holds a lot more power than your average "thing you should do in moderation". That's because people crave connections, and social media offers this mirage aplenty. But really, does it? 

I'm going to leave off with one last quote from Sherry Turkle, who whose TED talk I've referenced all throughout this post. 

So what do you think? Should we be warning students about the pitfalls of social media? Believe me, I'm all FOR the educational opportunities, but I do think that we need to be VERY careful with our students and social media... we should err on the side of caution.

Stay curious, 

Matteo

We're lonely but we're afraid of intimacy ... We are designing technologies that give us the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.

                                                                                                                       ~Sherry Turkle 
                                                                                                                                        in her TED talk, Connected, but alone? 12:20 to 12:34

Hello ECI832!

Cheers to everyone in this class!

I have been teaching high school pre-calculus math and computer science since 2011 in Brandon, MB!

I first started teaching guitar when I was about 14 years old, and continued all throughout my university degrees. I think this is part of what made me fall in love with teaching, besides the fact that many people in my family are educators and had a big influence on me. 

I'm currently guiding my first Robotics Club at my school through the FIRST Robotics Competition. The nonprofit that gave us funding to do this has a mission to spread awareness of STEM, so we plan to do a lot of networking using social media, etc. in order to document our process as we build our robot. I'm excited to get my students out in elementary schools doing STEM activities with kids as part of this initiative. We plan to share this all on social media, so I figured this course would be a nice complement towards being successful in this endeavor.

My interests outside of school include exercise (running especially!), cooking, baking, and hanging out with friends, and sleeping.

I look forward to learning with all of you, and from everyone in this course! 

Stay frosty,

​Matteo