Monday, December 14, 2015

This is it... Reflecting on the Major Project After Journeying Through the Rabbit Hole and Back

This post was co-written with Genna Rodriguez.

Through the Rabbit Hole and Back

This is it... You know when you go on a crazy action-packed vacation, then you come home... You feel glad that you're home and you can get back to routine and normal life... but you also feel changed from your journey. Well as corny as it sounds, that's how I feel. Now that we have journeyed through the Rabbit Hole and back, it's hard to look at everything with the same lens. 

Reflecting and Looking Back
Well, here we are, at the end of the semester.  Genna and I have put in more hours than we can count into this project, but the learning journey and opportunity to ignite dialogue about true technology integration (which always has student learning at the center), has been a real rewarding experience. 

Initially we thought we would just create a framework for 21st Century Learning, as explained in our original posts. This meant identifying the essential skills students would need, based on the ISTE Standards and the work of Michael Fullan, then coming up with the definitions, skills and tools that would guide students in their learning in today's world. Then the Ministry released the Digital Citizenship Continuum. THIS CHANGED EVERYTHING. This made what we had planned seem so undeveloped. So we decided that we would try to match the efforts of the awesome team who had composed the Digital Citizenship Continuum.  After Skype meeting with Alec and Katia, they said that this sounded like a huge undertaking.  Wow, were they right! Forty-seven articles, videos and blog posts later, we realized just how huge this was.  But we were committed to get it done!

Overall we are quite happy with how it turned out. It was challenging trying to narrow down the essential questions and knowledge that students need, but we decided that it was better to offer these considerations for teachers. The Scope and Sequence is quite easy to navigate (or at least we hope so!) for the grade groupings as we hoped to scaffold learning, so that teachers could see the progression of skills being taught. Teachers are able to view the Scope and Sequence for each of the C's as well as the definition.
Under the "Overview" you can review the rationale, ainformational video which explains how the C's or Essential Skills of 21st Century Learning fit together, as well as resources which are our presentations, lesson framework and teacher lessons.  One of the key aspects of our project was not only developing the framework for the  Essential Skills of 21st Century Learning, but to start implementing the concepts into our presentation. As part of our rationale, we had decided that Digital Citizenship would be identified as just Citizenship, as there needs to be connection between the online and offline world. One aspect of our jobs is to train teachers on how to integrate the Digital Citizenship Continuum. In addition to teachers exploring the Continuum, they developed lessons using the new framework we had designed. Going forward we hope that teachers will use the framework template or at least consider the 7C's when planning.  So far 14 teachers from K - 12 have submitted lessons for our database.

You will find our project on our new division website (on the Drupal platform).  Our division is still in the process of building our website, but our project includes everything under the "21st Century Learning" tab (as circled below).  We hope you find our project useful and we welcome any feedback you have.  We will continue to develop our project throughout the year, but we are very proud of what we have accomplished at this point in time! 

Click HERE to visit our project website!

Please visit the dropdown 21st Century Learning from the
Regina Catholic School Division Educational Technology website

Our Video the 7C's of 21st Century Learning

This video can also be found on the website, under the Overview tab. 

Going Forward and Sharing What We Have Learned...

The following are presentations we have provided to teachers over the course of the past few months. Our goal was to explore with teachers how digital citizenship can be infused into curriculum authentically and seamlessly, but also provide opportunities for teachers to understand the literacies or fluencies that students need today. These presentations are located below. 

Note: If you notice some weird formatting issues on the presentations when viewing them in the Scribd window, this is just some issues with Scribd, which is fixed when the presentation is downloaded. 

Elementary Presentation - Digital Citizenship and Balanced Approach to Learning

Middle Years Presentation - Digital Citizenship and the Balanced Approach to Learning in Middle Years

High School Presentation - Digital Citizenship and the Balanced Approach to Teaching

Definitions for the Essential Skills of 21st Century Learning

Scope and Sequences for the Essential Skills of 21st Century Learning

Digital Yoga and Stretching One's Creativity

Finally, one last thing. I just wanted to share the Summary of Learning that Genna and I had composed together. Initially I was going to just create a video which showed some images and videos that connected to the class with a narrative and relaxing music (sort of what I did in ECI 831)... then Genna shared an idea... Talk about stepping out of one's comfort zone! Next thing I new I was singing! Yes, singing! (Thank goodness for Autotune!!) Bopping to a beat (or trying to...), and reenacting what it was like to be working and... have 5 Google Plus notifications come up demonstrating that everyone else was finished their weekly blog. 

In any case, I had a great time working with Genna on that project and thank her for pushing me to take risks! Now my kids are running around the house singing this song...

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