Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Module 5 - In what ways could you leverage the power of the Internet to expand work process and product by students?

Throughout the 5 modules I have been constantly thinking about how I could leverage the power of the Internet to expand my students' work process and product.  Each time I think about a different resource or tool that they can use, I immediately begin thinking about how I would teach the students the tool and how I would assess them to determine if they fully understood how to use it.  With that thought in mind, I am starting to really fall for the idea of badges.

As it was stated in the Connected Learning TV - Erin Knights and Open Badges discussion, badges are being seen more in the STEM fields.  

Luckily I teach at a magnet school that focuses on STEM and our math department in our district is all about STEM!  I think my administration would see the badges as a way to increase our students' understanding of STEM, specifically the technology piece, but it would also be a way to expand their work process and product on the Internet.  Badges could be used to develop students' online skills in an academic setting and it would also provide teachers with a form of "assessment" to determine their knowledge of the online resources that they are using.

In her blog post, Marsha Ratzel mentioned how she sees badges as a way to promote students to independently work outside of school to gain knowledge and understanding of the Internet.  Her blog post started with a comment about online digital identity and I too think that the badges could provide an excellent guideline for helping students establish and refine their digital footprint.  As a teacher I sometimes think that my students do not want to learn when they go home, but then I remember how many of my students talk about watching Animal Planet or Discovery Channel.  Kids do like learning when they leave school, as long as it is something they are interested in.  Why not give them something like badges to get them interested in learning about the Internet?  I bet they will be more likely to learn a new skill if it interests them.

The more our students are producing academic work and using the Internet to do so, the more likely it is that their digital footprint will be more of academic based.  I fear that most of my students' digital footprint now is more social and through the IT&DML program, I am learning more each day on how I can provide them with guidance in creating a digital footprint that is a better representation of who they want the world to see them as, rather than how the Internet sees them as.  If that makes any sense at all.

In conclusion, I see myself investigating the possibility of creating or finding badges that the students could use to gain skills that will assist them with expanding their work and product using the Internet.  I am afraid that there are a number of teachers who try to integrate the use of the Internet into their classrooms without thinking of a student's digital footprint.  In my opinion, it is very important that all teachers should educate their students on using the Internet properly to produce work.  Instead of limiting student access to the Internet though, which some teachers may do because they are afraid of digital footprints, teachers should encourage students to use tutorials, guidelines or badges to learn the skills necessary to continually produce work online.

1 comment:

  1. You are going to be the coolest teacher ever!!! I am interested in how badges counter the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation issues that students of our level face. It has to be more than just the "good" kids making gains on assessments. I can not believe we are still using such high stakes testing when the kids are silently screaming (or maybe not so quietly) for us to get rid of it!