Students at Iron Ridge Elementary have been showing an increase in engagement and learning as we have been moving into a 21st Century Learning Environment. Students and staff have been working hard to build their Digital Citizenship skills. We developend a program called 7 Habits of Digital Citizenshipto help support our staff with lesssons designed to teach effective digital citizenship. We have also been building classroom blogs and communicating with other classrooms around the world about their learning. As well, students are being provide more opportunities to use Web 2.0 tool to demonstrate their learning and more opportunities for showing their learning using technology.
How is this impacting our students?
It is always exciting to share success stories!
One day in early November I had a mother stop me in the hall and begin talking about our grade two blog. The parent was very impressed with how it was/is encouraging her daughter to learn to write. This particular student comments on our classroom blog on a daily basis(from home). She is a competent student but the fact that she is thinking about her learning, commenting about her successes and even encouraging her classmates is engaging her more and more. This was exemplified one day when we were talking in class about our blog and one student said she couldn’t do this at home. So, my engaged student offered to hang out after school and show her how to make a comment. Both girls did there ‘homework’ together right after school that day.
The students in grade one learn about seasons. We had posted a global comment, asking other viewers to tell us what the weather was like in thier part of the world. One of our replies came from Australia, from a grandparent of one of our classmates. It was exciting for us to learn, that it is winter here in Alberta, but summer and NO SCHOOL in January, in Australia.
A student that needs literacy supports was given the ipad to practice an alphabet learning game. Now, daily, this child asks if she can practice the alphabet bingo game. This engagement has helped her to learn her alphabet letters in record speed. This is also the same student, that is able to answer anything about digital citizenship.
What road blocks are we facing?
Here at our school our road block in the model below is becasue of our web filter.
Is this block something that we can find a solution to? Yes, after successfully teaching 7 Habits of Digital Citizenship to all children in our school and having families thoroughly understand digital cititzenship through our at home activites and contracts we can adjust our web filter. This would allow students and staff to freely use educational web sites to enhances teaching and students learning opportunities.