My EDCI 338 Final Project is a collaboration with Michelle Hiebert, a Kindergarten/ Grade 1 teacher in the same district as I. We had originally planned to create a scope and sequence document for teaching Social Media in the Early Years. There is currently no technology curriculum for that age level, and with Social Media becoming a huge part of our lives, we believe Early Years teachers have to start teaching some Social Media skills. The skills we were looking at were meant to show kids how to interact positively and safely on Social Media, just as we teach social skills and stranger danger. We had the hope that it would affect how kids interact on Social Media as they age.
Michelle and I looked at our schools with their unique clientele, and we realized that we had to adapt our scope and sequence idea. Michelle’s clientele come from homes with computers and ipads, where parents all have email addresses and are online. At my school, many of our parent do not have email addresses or computers in the home. Those that do, do not have the language skills to see what their children are doing online. We wanted to try and show educators how Social Media, specifically twitter, can be used in a classroom, and how tweeting with kids can model “positive” behaviour. Our goal was to introduce and ease the way for teachers who wanted to connect globally. By publishing our information in book format, we hope to reach teachers across Canada, and hopefully, beyond.
Once we got everything rolling on our professional book, I thought it would be interesting to see what our 5-6 year olds thought after using twitter for 3 months. I thought it would be fun to create a twitter guide book of their own. This book would be written by kids, going over the rules and expectations which they know are appropriate for social media. This second text would also, hopefully, reach other K/1 classes and give teachers another tool to use when connecting young learners on a global level.
I truly believe that we are not aiming to change policy, but to help develop teacher practice and classroom culture. The research we found supported the need for education about Social Media tools, and although the steps showing how to start tweeting are meant for young classes, they can be easily adapted to older ones. I hear teachers saying that kids are hard to connect to, and that kids don’t have a world view. Connecting to a class across your own country or even the world is one way to help kids see our similarities and differences, and to help share their learning.
Throughout this process, Michelle and I have spent time looking at our own practices with Social Media in our classrooms, and I read several articles on underage Social Media usage in Europe, as well the PEW Institute’s research on Teens and Social Media Use. We each spent time writing sections of our book, and worked collaboratively on the steps a teacher could take to become more comfortable on Social Media. Our meeting times were very productive and fun!
In Evaluating our project, I cannot just look at the finished product to see if we have been successful. Time will tell if people find our “How To” guide and use it in their professional development. I know, that for me personally, I look at the processes I learned throughout this project and can evaluate my own learning. I have discovered how to use a Google Doc, worked in Book Creator, and had to learn how to use the internet for research purposes (Yes, I’m that old). It has been an informative and useful process as I can see Book Creator being used in my classroom, and I am excited to try new things and experiment with Google Doc and Google Drive.
Created with Book Creator App