Posted by Marti Weston on March 4, 2013
You do not always expect the first workshop, on the first day of a conference to be a slam-dunk, but my 8:00 A.M. Thursday morning session was awesome.
Check out the online presenters’ resources.
Every bit of information that I collected at the Garrison Forest School workshop on electronic portfolios, presented at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual conference in Philadelphia, will help me start an e-portfolio project at my school. As the four presenters shared their many resources and described their electronic portfolio research, my mind zoomed ahead to my return to school — all this before the end of the first hour of the conference.
I’ve been thinking about helping teachers and students create e-portfolios for some time, but with so many factors to consider and so much to figure out, I’m always a bit stumped when I think about the extensive collaboration that needs to take place. The benefits for teachers, students, and parents are clear, but the process takes an enormous amount of time to plan and carry out, and time is always at a premium. Yet we all know that twenty-first Century learners need to be able to think about, examine, evaluate, and extend their work if they are to be, well — better 21st Century learners. E-portfolios support this learning process.
Interestingly, about two weeks before this conference, two teaching teams that I support indicated – out of the blue — their interest in developing some sort of electronic portfolio project, so I am fortunate to have a small group of educators who want to get started. This workshop has essentially handed me the knowledge as well as a map to lead me.
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Posted in 21st Century Learning, assessing learning, digital learning resources, e-portfolios, electronic portfolios, NAIS Conference Reports, parents and technology, teaching digital kids | Tagged: #NAISAC13, 21st century learning, connected learning, digital kids, digital learning, e-portfolios, electronic portfolios, Garrison Forest School, NAIS, National Association of Independent Schools | 2 Comments »
Posted by Marti Weston on February 17, 2013
In his recent post over at the Changing Aging blog, Kavan Peterson describes a short video, Forwarders. Intended as a parody of people who continuously forward e-mail, the video reinforces stereotypes about elders and aging. It’s sad that this short film focuses solely on one older adult, especially since so many people of all ages are extreme (and irritating) forwarders.
While it’s intended to be funny, the video’s other message is that old people with wrinkles are silly and inept — at least that’s my interpretation. I’ll bet that the video producer — I am guessing an adolescent or young adult — probably cherishes a fair number of lifelong relationships with grandparents. This parody promotes a stereotype that could have been alleviated simply by adding in a few younger characters who also need reforming. (I posit a guess about the creator/producer’s age after looking over other published web content.)
The video and others like it also raise a question. How do we help 21st Century learners who are natural Internet content “whizzes” to understand that everything uploaded is subject to interpretation?
As a teacher who concentrates on educational technology, I frequently hear the refrain, “But I did not mean to hurt that person,” usually after a student has created and uploaded what he or she considered to be amusing content. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t, and sometimes various readers or viewers interpret the message differently. What my students slowly learn is that digital content may be funny to one person, not funny to another, and for some individuals downright insulting.
In today’s connected society digital natives – born into a world of computers, cell phones, and various other gadgets — find it easy to create content, but sometimes they forget that what they do and say (and upload) circulates far and wide. Different people will watch and may reach different conclusions about the work. One person’s joke can unintentionally malign others. Humor that is appropriate for a person at one age is not so funny when it’s uploaded into the world at large for everyone to see. Digital natives need to learn and respect the ways that different people view the world through slightly different lenses. Most professional writers of parody think long and hard about every detail of a project, interchanging those lenses as they create.
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Posted in 21st Century Learning, communicating with grandparents, digital parenting, family conversations, grandparents, intention versus consequence, parents and technology, teaching digital kids | Tagged: creating content, digital immigrants, digital kids, digital natives, digital parenting, family conversations, interpreting content, Kavan Peterson | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on February 10, 2013
Part of becoming a strong 21st Century digital learner is mastering the art of writing and sharing comments online.
If you read comments at the end of articles or blog postings, you have surely discovered more than a few inappropriate and sometimes distasteful remarks. Sometimes people leave these comments anonymously. Posted by folks who do not understand why websites invite visitors to share thoughts and ideas, many unfiltered remarks are permanently attached to websites — personal indiscretions waiting for the whole world to discover. Even leaving an anonymous comment is not particularly secure.
Read a short post and watch a video on newspaper comments, uploaded by the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard. Some newspapers sites, such as the Boston Globe, post a short and succinct comment policy with a link to a more detailed document.
Helping children avoid public website blunders is one reason to discuss commenting etiquette. Children don’t know or they forget that all comments leave digital footprint trails, little paths of information that last much longer than a child’s pre-adolescent and even teenage years.
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Posted in conversations on commenting, digital footprints, digital learning, digital parenting, digital world conversations, family conversations, parents and technology | Tagged: Boston Globe, commenting, comments, conversations on commenting, digital common sense, digital footprints, digital kids, digital life, digital parenting, online comments, websites | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on February 4, 2013
Just about every day I have a grammar question, despite that in junior high school I was an ace at diagramming sentences. Most commonly I need to figure out how to punctuate something I have written. I search for an answer, and I want to remember the information — if possible — so that I can use it the next time the same question arises. Yes, I could consult The Elements of Style, On Writing Well, The Chicago Manual of Style, or countless other good grammar books.
Visit Grammar Girl!
These days, however, when I am puzzling over a comma or a particular word, I almost always go online to find a podcast at Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips. I listen to the explanation, usually accompanied by music and amusing examples, and even days later I still remember the rule or the spelling or usage — even if the topic has not reappeared in my writing.
If you have not checked out the Grammar Girl podcasts, take some time to do so. They are great fun — two words that I never associated with sentence diagrams.
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Posted in 21st Century Learning, Bookmark It!, digital learning resources, educating digital natives, parents and technology | Tagged: digital learning, Grammar, Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, podcast, punctuation, web resources, writing | 1 Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on January 31, 2013
This graph from the Poneman Institute’s report, 2012 Most Trusted Companies for Privacy (PDF) depicts the seven-year trends about people’s views about their control over personal information and importance of privacy.
(image used with permission)
Posted in data collecting, digital change, information freedom, online security, parents and technology, privacy | Tagged: 2012 Most Trusted Companies, digital life, online data, personal information, Poneman Institute, privacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on January 29, 2013
A well done and interesting presentation about digital footprints found at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society website.
Good for middle school as well as older students. Parts of this video can be shared with fifth graders, but the whole video may a bit too scary for that age.
Parents, on the other hand, may consider this as an excellent resource for family conversations about digital life.
You might also enjoying reading my post, Digital Footprints, Changing What We Teach.
Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital citizenship, digital learning, family conversations, parents and technology, privacy, teaching digital kids | Tagged: Berkman Center for Internet & Society, digital citizenship, digital footprints, digital parenting, family conversations, privacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marti Weston on January 21, 2013
Inauguration Day photo taken by my friend and colleague, Maureen Boucher.
Events like today’s inauguration offer teachers and parents unique opportunities to demonstrate what connected learning is all about in the 21st Century. In my house inauguration Day 2013 was filled with digital connections.
We turned on the television around 10:30 this morning and did not turn it off until mid-evening — unusual for us. We also tuned our radios to NPR. A laptop, iPad, and iPhone finished out our Inauguration Day 2013 connections.
When we had things to do around the house we listened to our radios, though I kept my iPhone nearby to check on Facebook friends at the Capitol and along the parade route. When we sat in front of the television, I also used my laptop and iPhone, and my husband used his iPad.
Throughout the day we heard and responded to Facebook pictures and comments, and I often used my iPhone to respond to text messages from friends who shared observations from the Mall. While I thought about tweeting, the tweets were coming in so fast and furiously under the inauguration hashtags that I could not possibly read many of them while multi-tasking on my other devices, so I skipped Twitter for the day.
As we watched television, I opened a laptop window to the live blogging at the New York Times website. At the same time I used another window to look up things when I wanted to learn more – interesting historical inauguration facts, for instance. I also searched for poet Richard Blanco’s bio to find more about his work, and another discovery was a terrific PBS News Hour interview with Richard Blanco. After President Obama finished speaking, I also looked for and found a link to the text of his speech at the White House website. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in 21st Century Learning, connected learning, digital devices, online communication, parents and technology | Tagged: connected learning, connected world, digital life, digital media, inauguration | Leave a Comment »