Overview

Students and teachers will develop the behaviors and attitudes required for working in partnership with others, whether in person or over distances. Global collaboration requires effective communication, social and cultural awareness, and flexibility. Effective collaborators actively take responsibility for their role, and are able to delegate or share responsibility when necessary. Effective collaborators are equally comfortable as either leaders or participants. Effective collaborators appreciate and internalize the essential interdependence of all human endeavors.

How do I responsibly use information and communication to positively contribute to my world?

Enduring Understandings


Students will begin to understand:
  1. Communication networks are powerful mediums to spread positive change or to negatively impact others.
  2. People use information and communication tools to learn from each other , innovate and collaboratively problem solve.
  3. Communication behaviors and actions impact the access and safety of users.
  4. Everyone is biased and that bias is based on each person’s life experiences.




Sample Guiding Question: How can we be safe?


Safety has always been a cornerstone of PreK-12 education. At home and at school children are taught from a young age to be safe crossing the road, not to talk to strangers, and to behave in a way that does not endanger themselves or others. As they grow older, children learn about treating others with respect, how to deal with bullies, and how to eat nutritionally. As children become teens this carries on to drug and alcohol awareness, driver safety, and dealing with peer pressure.

Technology has simply added another vein to this learning. With the pervasiveness of online communication and sharing of information in our lives, it is no longer a choice for educators to include conversations of online safety in the lives of children. It is an obligation. Online safety must be a part of the 21st Century learners' curriculum. This is not only for the safety of the child himself, but also for the safety of others. Teaching responsible use provides students with the understanding of how their actions can impact and even harm the lives of others. We teach children to drive safely not only for their own safety but also for the safety of others on the road. Teaching online safety is no different.

Being Safe implies more than just online safety. This essential question of safety is at the core of all learning for all children. It speaks to personal safety and to citizenship. There are understandings within this Essential Question to far outreach the new literacy upon with this document focuses. For the purposes of this document, we will look only at the internet

Enduring Understandings

  • Online behaviors and actions impact the access and safety of personal information.
  • Responsible use of online tools can help protect the personal information of others.

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Learning in Action:


Enduring Understanding: Online behaviors and actions determine the access and safety of personal information.

As stated earlier, safety is a bigger issue than technology. With varying student populations at different schools, it is important to be aware of when projects or online work done by students begins to warrant a closer look at student online practice and safety. Students in Elementary School are rarely "let loose" on the internet. Rather their internet experience and time spent are scaffolded and protected through the use of pre-determined web sites and pre-selected content.

When the student work or online practice begins to include issues of safety, then this must be worked on with students. Online behavior rubrics can be used to analyze the "safety" of their assignments. More importantly, conversations of online safety must become habit for teachers and students. Tangent conversations in class bring this into discussion, just as other issues of safety come up in student-teacher conversations.

Sample Guiding Questions: What does it mean to be a global citizen?


At no time in history has it ever been easier to communicate, collaborate and broadcast information. This change is having a profound effect on the extent to which the individuals can be aware of issues and news outside of their daily sphere. Each hour information about the environment, human conflict and global change is broadcast across many different mediums. Those with access to these powerful communication tools should also have an understanding of how they can be used to promote and create positive change in the community, country, world that they live in. While these themes come up in social studies, science and many other core curricula we felt that overlap from that information and technology side would help strengthen the message that we are all "global citizens" and responsible the health of our global social, political and natural environments.

Community
  • How am I responsible for the communities that I am a part of?

Environment
  • How am I responsible for the environment around me?

Enduring Understandings

  • The communication tools that exist today are powerful mediums to help spread positive change and global awareness.



Learning in Practice


Any time we can expose students to how easy it is to affect positive change either locally or globally we should take advantage of the moment. Technology affords us a unique opportunity to be able to connect students with people and places beyond the classroom walls. Exposure to this connectivity should also include conversations and reflections about what can be done with these tool to facilitate positive change and if we all share a responsibility in doing so. When tools like video conferencing, wikis, blogs or any other online collaboration is involved in this process new skills will need to learned by both teachers and students. Along with these skills should come an awareness that with conectivity comes responsibility and we are all members of a global community. By focusing on this enduring understanding students will learn the responsibility and great power that comes with access to these new communication tools.

This is how technology is used and learned in the real world. It is this model that we are using to foster student technology learning, as well as teacher technology professional development. As tasks become more rich in technology use, so too will the requirements for learning, teaching and assessment.