Posted in 21st Century Learning, digital citizenship, digital kids, digital learning, digital parenting, NAIS Conference Reports, parents and technology, social media, social media friends

Learning Lots More About Topics I Know Lots About: My NAIS 2013 Conference #1

You are in a good workshop when it’s on a topic that you know well, and you end up learning a whole lot more, and when you feel new knowledge pathways opening up, you say “Wow!”  That’s what happened to me on Friday morning at the 2013 National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual conference, this year in Philadelphia.

I attended a workshop, “It’s Just Facebook: Ethical Questions in Social Media Use,” and discovered first-hand how much I can still learn about educating children, their parents, and educators when it comes to 21st Century digital citizenship and media literacy problem-solving. What’s  especially interesting to me since, just the day before, I presented a workshop with three of my NAIS colleagues on a similar topic.

Ethics institute
Check out the Ethics Institute teacher workshops.

In their “Ethical Questions” workshop, Kent Place School presenters Kimberly Coelho and Karen Rezach helped us compare moral with ethical dilemmas sharing case studies that are designed to help students examine and address the life challenges that pop up in their 21st Century learning and digital lives.

The two leaders, part of the Ethics Institute at Kent Place, walked us through the discussion process, emphasizing how they  include a range of different perspectives. Often right and wrong answers are not so clear because the dilemmas usually present competing values, so the problems are not examined or solved easily.

We listed the values that we believe are central to the healthy growth and education of our students, contrasting them with the often oppositional values of the social networking world. I learned that an ethical dilemma is essentially a problem solving situation that requires a person to choose between two or more values.

The leaders also noted that in the social networking world, profiles are sometimes more central to identity than the actual person. Visit the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School.

At my school one of my responsibilities is helping fifth grade students to learn as much as possible about digital citizenship, and I am happy with the content, but now I’ve been introduced to something new and exciting. This makes me wonder how I might incorporate age-appropriate stories that set the stage for students to examine familiar problems and discuss some of the issues and values.

Today, educators and parents are distressed, flummoxed even, by pre-adolescent and adolescent digital problems and the speed and harshness of some of the online content — we have more and more to learn as the the digital world continuously evolves. We always have lots more to learn even if we know a lot about a topic. Rezack and Coelho. the two Kent Place School leaders, are leading a more detailed and comprehensive workshop on the same topic at their school on April 9, 2013. Click on the image to learn more.

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