Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Flipping Over Flipsnack for Communicating Learning

As a recent addition to the Major Project that I'm working on with Genna Rodriguez, I made a digital book. This was to be as a way to share the "other digital pieces" to go with Digital Citizenship. As part of our major project, we will be compiling a continuum for each of the C's mentioned in my last post, in addition to sharing this understanding with teachers in the Regina Catholic School Division. As part of kicking off the initiative to teachers my division, I shared the scope and focus with Tech Leaders, one of whom is the talented Ms. Jillian Laursen (who tweeted about the session).

The information was presented in PowerPoint, which was good for that context, but seemed a little overly-traditional for the content.  So with the purpose of extending my own learning, and communicating learning in a different way, I made a Flipsnack Digital Book (Which is a free site incidently). Genna and I will most likely be adding to this book at some point, as we hope to develop and narrate the book (or slides) - but at least it's a start! Now for a continuum...

Please note that much of the work so far is derived from Michael Fullen's New Pedagogies for Deep Learning as well as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) NETS. We will also be exploring the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning project to examine their work and how it will connect to our own Saskatchewan curricula and school division goals.

So you may be wondering,  what will this Essential Fluencies continuum entail? What we are thinking is that in terms of the connection of the fluencies and curricula is that we noticed that the language for the “C’s” is already embedded in all curricular areas. Meaning, communication is a concept repeated through all curricula, collaborating… same thing. However, with the continuum, we want to explore and expand each of the digital skills for each of these areas from K to 12, modelling the Ministry of Education Digital Citizenship Continuum. We realize that it will not hold a candle to the Digital Citizenship Continuum, particularly in terms of the time factor for us to produce our project.  However, if we focus on the skills and not the tools, we will be able to share this with teachers and change the “tool-centric” focus to instead one that looks at what are the skills students need for life-long learning? How does this skill connect to what teachers wish to explore based on the Curricular Outcomes and Indicators, then what digital tool has the greatest ease of access for the teacher. Noting the differentiated abilities of the teachers in terms of where they are with technology. 

Our overarching goal for the project is to change the mindset of teachers to start looking at essential 21st century skills and the ways technology can leverage currcular outcomes and indicators, and not be the focus of the lessons. (ie: avoid lessons about Powerpoint or Glogster - or creating for the sake of the tool).  As Fullen explores in much of his work, we want to go beyond superficial tech integration, but integration which will allow for deeper learning – through more effective communication with various digital platforms, connections extended because of digital tools, opportunities to further how students collaborate on learning (unencumbered by location and time)… etc. 

Basically this is the plan so far. We will of course have to refine as we go...  

* Please note that although I have this information in my blog post, Genna and I worked on this together.

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