#fakenews

To continue the conversation surrounding digital citizenship, increasing our students’ digital literacy is one of the ways we can ensure they are reading accurate information. Furthermore, they are completing projects, scrolling social media, and spreading information confidently and competently, especially knowing that the information is accurate. Fake news is all around us. For the most part, people see something with an eye-catching headline. This leads to being blinded by the title and, therefore, ignoring the important information that tells a person its accuracy. I can attest to this “blinding” because, even though I have the information to tell whether something is correct or accurate, I can still read things and be “pulled in” and ignore that knowledge. Are you a victim of being blinded by a headline of #fakenews? Ways of Finding #fakenews I watched a YouTube video by John Spencer on the five C’s of critical consumption. John says it is easier than ever to not only share and spread misinformation. He also said that 25% of students could distinguish between fake and real news. Here are the five C’s that is used in the video: Five C’s: Context – When was it written? Where does it come from? Credibility – Does the author cite credible sources? Does the cite have a reputation? Construction – What is the bias? Are there any loaded words? Corroboration – Is this the only source that’s making this claim? Compare – Compare to other cites and information This is a great video to use as an introduction to the information or lesson on digital literacy. John concluded with a great statement, “When we teach students media literacy and they learn how to consume critically, they learn how to think critically.” This is so important to create a critically thinking citizen of today’s world of spreading information. Here are some similar resources for your students: Other Sources: Podcast by KQED about innovative ways to enhance students’ learning Searches your article(s) via URL on Snopes.com Dangers of #fakenews: So what exactly is fake news? Kevin Swayze’s article says, “Fake news is a catch-all description of what some people have called weaponized lies. Three general categories: Misinformation, defective information or mistakes Disinformation, such as hoaxes, Malinformation and stories intended to damage institutions and individuals.” (Jan 2021) Donald Trump had coined the term “fake news” during his presidency and electoral events. Unfortunately, Trump supporters buy into all of his “fake” contributions to his Twitter. This ultimately led to Trump being banned from Twitter. He was sharing, sensitive misleading information that could have led to some serious events. Humans have an instinctive desire to be in a group; a desire to belong. We’re wired to react emotionally, not rationally.  We find comfort in similarity and alert to things out of the ordinary.  Swayze, K. (January 2021) All three of the categories mentioned above are widely used in social media and can attract any age group by using things like “clickbait” to bring in people to this fake news. The Tilt blog spoke more about the misinformation and clickbait that exists. Part of the problem with trying to find accurate news on social media is that we are often trapped in a filter bubble of information – meaning that we only read, like, and share things that align with our own belief system. — Lindsay Matts-Benson This quote stuck with me while I read this blog post (linked above). It is true that the internet, your phone, your google history, etc. are listening to what you are doing and aligning things for you. This is an example of the algorithm of the internet. That means you will be likely to look at the same point of view wherever you are on the internet. The blog post suggested that we challenge the internet’s algorithm and find things in another view to ensure a well-rounded bringing of suggestive information. The fact of the matter is: you must think of all information as fitting under the three categories above and then prove it otherwise. This way, you get to decide, with your knowledge of seeking accurate information out, whether something has merit or not. To conclude, misinformation is so important, especially in times like this: a pandemic. There is a lot of misleading information surrounding the symptoms, signs, causes, and spread of the COVID-19 virus. Personally, I have had many conversations with people who have shared misinformation with me about COVID-19. The most popular one right now: I have the COVID vaccine, I can’t spread COVID to others now. This is 100% false. In most situations, students and their parents are spending a lot of time on their social media accounts scanning for information on things like this. Even if they are not looking for it, it usually pops up because it is trending. It is important to teach students at a young age to understand credible information and how it impacts the way that you share information with others. Teaching to High School Students Like in my last blog post, it is a very simple addition to any lesson or assessment in a classroom. For example, in Health 9 or Wellness 10, we usually use action plans when teaching any topic covered in either course. In my classroom, these action plans have students look into resources they could use to complete the action plans. A more specific example: in health 9, I have students assess food guides in every country and look up any health promotion strategies a country has to improve the health of its residents. I always stress the importance of looking for cites that end in .org or .edu to ensure it is credible information but I do have them use the CRAAP test on them as well. Below is a screenshot of a well-versed lesson plan from Common Sense Education. It would very likely be something I would use to deliver information on digital literacy. Download the PDF below: Incorporating the NCTE Framework The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) supports teachers and their students in classrooms and other environments. They also share lesson ideas, research, and teaching strategies. They work to improve the teaching and learning of English and Language Arts at all levels fo education (NCTE, 2017). First of all, I have never taught English on my own and I hope that I get lucky enough to never have to. I love and respect those who have the passion for teaching English but, unfortunately, my interests lie elsewhere. Although I do not have the scope of English in mind, I will take the passenger seat with digital literacy and help in any way that I can. It is important to have a collaborative view on digital citizenship and its sub-categories. In my classroom(s), I will use the NCTE to give students opportunities to continue their learning with the knowledge they have with the new information to ensure improved confidence. This means finding a baseline for each student through activities that prompt this knowledge. As they learn, it is important to challenge their thinking by providing them many opportunities to use this knowledge. This can be done by using a variety of educational technology and tools that are applicable. More importantly, making sure that I do my job as a teacher: to provide accurate and up-to-date information. How would you incorporate this into your subjects that are different from my method?

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I Spy with my Little Eye…

…someone that I do not know but recently know a lot more about. In the last two EDTC 300 classes, we have focused on digital identity and citizenship. In this week’s prompt post, we were told to go snooping into someone in the class to see what we could find on them. The purpose of this is to get an idea of what their digital identity reveals about themselves. It is much like if your friend or family member starts dating someone and you want to know as much as you can about the person. I felt like a cop, however, it was very exciting for me to dig up information. My husband got a kick out of the verbal excitement shown for a school assignment. I had my peer, Tina Bowley, and her digital identity reveals that she is married, loves the roughriders (like everyone else in Saskatchewan, except me), likes unicorns, has been working in her teaching career for 16+ years, has lived in Regina and Balgonie, and is very well educated and uses her work-provided Professional Development to get certified in a variety of areas that improves her skills as a teacher and Vice Principal. Overall, the experience was enlightening because it is so important to have your digital identity match your actual identity. This can be important for teachers because employers may complete the same type of activity to look more into you. This is also beneficial to promote safe usage of the internet and can be used as a model for your students. Your students parents can also look into you via the internet and you want to ensure that you are perceiving yourself in the same way you would if you were in front of your students, parents, and staff. In Jon Ronson’s Ted Talk: How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life, he talks about public shaming. The lady he speaks about tweeted something extremely racist and others started attacking her for this, however, she also lost her job. This is directly related to her digital identity. This is important to think about because everything you put on the internet, can be found in some way. No matter who it is who finds it, it will be found. Although she didn’t intend for it to be racist, thousands of people around the world made it their mission to get her fired and started saying awful things about her all over Twitter. Although this is an extreme example of utilizing privilege to post something inappropriate, there is a lesson here: we do have the privilege of having our voices heard in a variety of mediums (including the internet), however, the way that you use this privilege is so important. These lessons need to be included in all digital citizenship units in the classroom. How one uses the internet can be very detrimental to one’s future and that the way you perceive yourself online should be as close to your actual identity so that others know who you are. I also read the article, Having multiple online identities is more normal than you think. Nicole Lee talks about how her husband was going through her Instagram feed. She spoke about how she was embarrassed she was about how many selfies there were of her and that she did not want to come off as “self-centred” or “narcissistic”. However, she went on and said that she uses her social media platforms in different ways. On Instagram, she is sharing with her followers that know her through the internet; On Facebook, she socialized with her friends and family; and, on Twitter, she uses it to ramble thoughts mostly. She speaks about how she has FIVE different Twitter accounts and two Instagram accounts. She concluded by saying, “different accounts, different audience, different purposes.” I do believe that having this many accounts can make it difficult to have the same digital identity on all of them. This week was a bit eye-opening but I am grateful for such an assignment and will likely use the same type of assignment in my future classrooms. For the sake of the reading, how many of you have multiple accounts on one social media platform? Before you go, check out this video:

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I’m at a Payphone.

I am clearly not at a payphone, however, I AM writing to you guys about playing the song Payphone by Maroon 5. This week I wanted to do something new and create a very fast, chipmunk-y version of myself learning to play. Check it out below. WATCH ME LEARN TO PLAY PAYPHONE BY MAROON 5 I hope you are beginning to understand the frustration behind learning an instrument. I played the clarinet and saxophone in my elementary and middle years and I DESPISED it. I didn’t care enough to learn the notes. I just used to copy where people’s fingers went and it got me through to grade 9 when it became optional. I used a few resources this week outside of the one I have used in the previous weeks, they include: Fingerstyle Club was used to start learning Payphone via “fingerstyle” which is a method using plucking versus strumming. It was okay, it worked fine until I couldn’t comprehend what he was showing me and then I used the accompanying resource, the tabs version. Patreon is the medium in which the Fingerstyle Club shares their tabs versions of the songs they teach and many more. I joined for $7 a month and will likely cancel it because I really only needed it for this version of the song. BEFORE YOU GO Check out my peers’ blogs for more instrument learning projects: Janelle Boutin – she’s learning the piano! She is killing the piano so far and has so much more progress to meet! Nikki Cairns – Also learning piano! Nikki expressed this week that she felt like she hit a plateau. I feel this because that was me last week!

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Teaching Digital Citizenship

Hi, and welcome back or welcome newcomer(s). This week we were prompted to make curricular connections to Ribble’s Nine Elements To Digital Citizenship. Digital citizenship refers to the responsible use of technology by anyone who consumes these devices to engage online. My background in teaching is that of high school Health, Wellness, Social, etc. All of these subjects can easily be introduced to digital citizenship and I will focus on health education 9 for the purpose of this post. Current Applications to Digital Citizenship In most curricula, they include a list of broad areas of learning, these include building: lifelong learners, a sense of self and community, and engaged citizens. They also include cross-curricular competencies which include developing: thinking, identity and interdependence, literacies, and social responsibility. Although these are listed, it is likely that they are not put at the top of teachers’ priority list but more so in the back of their minds and hope that they achieve them. Due to these being goals and competencies, they have the potential to “slip under the rug” as not as important as each course’s material. Saskatchewan has the most in-depth curriculum that I have experienced so it is expected that the authors of each course have already found a way to include these goals and competencies into each course’s content without the need of extra work. I do feel that Health education does a great job at concluding the goal(s) of the course. These goals include: developing the understanding, skills, and confidence necessary to take action to improve health; making informed decisions based on health-related knowledge; and apply decisions that will improve personal health and/or the health of others. The goal of adolescence is to become an independent, autonomous individual connected with others in positive, fulfilling ways. National Children’s Alliance, 2004 An excerpt from the Health 9 SK Curriculum I think that the above quote speaks to some opportunity to involve digital citizenship in the conversation when teaching Health 9. Now let’s dig deeper into the actual curricular content to see where digital citizenship exists. Outcome USC 9.2 talks about how safety can be enhanced by personal choices and how this affects the well-being of the student, their families, the community and the environment. Although this seems like the perfect outcome for digital citizenship to fit, the indicators miss the importance of being a digital citizen and how to promote it. Outcome USC 9.4 talks about the norms and expectations associated with relationships to plan for health promotion. This also seems like a great outcome to include online dating and how to be safe in that situation. This also misses the mark and is excluded from the indicators. Overall, the health 9 curriculum does a good job at mentioning the importance of being connected to others in a positive, fulfilling way, however, it does not help teachers include digital citizenship into the learning. I do believe that it presents several opportunities to incorporate all of Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship. Future Applications for Health 9 Teachers I have used a couple of resources to pull information from to incorporate into the future applications. Please watch for these resources and visit them for more information. When teaching to curriculum, they give you an outcome and a plentiful of indicators to ensure that you are hitting that outcome while you are teaching the content. In most cases, you do not have to complete every single indicator in each outcome to fulfill it; however, if you can teach to all of the indicators, you know for certain that the outcome has been fulfilled successfully. Outcome USC 9.2 Due to the nature of the outcome and the emphasis on safety, it is extremely easy to incorporate digital citizenship information. In the gallery below, you will see the full reading of the outcome (9.2) and its indicators. I would teach a mini-lesson within this unit to adhere to the digital citizenship information. Speaking about what it means to be a digital citizen is an important stepping stone to the rest of the information given by Ribble. You could use this mini-lesson to administer all of the nine elements as a way of enhancing their “approach to safety.” I would certainly use this as a preface to the remaining outcomes and bring the topic up as much as necessary. I also think it is necessary to speak about digital citizenship as a team-work type of learning: it involves not only them, but their parents, other family members, peers, and teachers. It is important to involve as many people as possible so that all are educated in the same way and that others can see right from wrong when others are using technology to socialize with others. Outcome USC 9.4 This outcome is much more relationship-oriented and could certainly be used as a re-introduction or continuation of the conversation surrounding digital citizenship. This is a big one because of the access to online dating that today’s students have. This conversation can be used to address issues like child trafficking such as the Amanda Todd story. The important things to note is that even the safest of individuals can fall into some dangerous people. Resources To fulfill the digital citizenship mini-lessons that I would provide as a health 9 teacher, I have found the following resources applicable: CommonSense.org has some fantastic curricular connections that I will certainly be using once I am teaching again. I personally love that it is organized by grade. It makes it more Digizen.org also has some ideas for lesson plans, family agreements, role play scenarios, etc. What would you do differently when teaching your subject area(s)? I am only one person and would love to know your take on administering this information!

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Calling all MSN users

Hello everyone and welcome back! Circa 2005-2009 Yes, I was one of many individuals that grew up using MSN as the main way to connect with my friends and family online. This platform allowed me to update my status to my current boyfriend’s name with a heart beside it or share what I was listening to. Back then, it was considered “cool” to have the newest music and we did that by downloading songs illegally from Limewire. This platform completely ruined most people’s computers because of the extensive viruses included with the app. Although, I was not worried because I had the coolest and newest music on my MP3 player. MSN allowed me to video chat, communicate, and play games online with my friends. This communication was likely interrupted by the dial-up internet because my mom or sister wanted to use the phone. Although these platforms were great going through my teen years, I also used encyclopedias (these are large books, not online like now) and the Library to research for projects and papers. I will always remember the amount of time spent in class trying to find all the information needed to complete an assignment. As a teacher now, it would be painful to watch students try to complete projects doing things the way I had done them. All of these things seemed so great back then. I had my first cellphone at 16, which was used to text and call only. It was the best because I could use my “minutes” to call my boyfriends if I needed to and I could text them all night. This technology allowed me to do what I needed to. I am thankful for these experiences because it has allowed me to understand technology in a way that today’s youth may not. Kickin’ it New School As I emerged into university, I was introduced to technology such as my first Blackberry phone. This device allowed Blackberry users to communicate through Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and use it much like MSN. The world then brought iPhones into the mix and, again, we had another way to communicate that was more efficient than the previous, through iMessage. Google then decided to create a platform for online documenting which included Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. This took research to a new level for me as a student. These allowed my peers and I to create documents together for group projects, Google Slides allowed me to create powerpoints online, and Google Drive allowed me to save my documents in a place that could be accessed from any device. Other than Google platforms, the internet bulked up with resources and Google search content. This took away physical copies of books. For example, the physical encyclopedias I had used, were now available online and searchable. For me, it created a situation that promoted efficiency and effectiveness of projects and assignments. Application in Today’s Classrooms The way students are using technology today is so much more than what we used it for. They are using YouTube, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and many more. All of these platforms create a digital footprint and are much larger than students understand. This could definitely lead to some unwanted attention placed on students in my classroom. I think it also creates more spaces for other students to cyberbully or be inappropriate. Although there are a lot of potential issues surrounding the platforms your students use, there are also a ton of uses for the technology. For example, they could use their platforms to participate in promoting strong cultural topics like body image, First Nations, Anti-bullying, LGBTQ+, etc. They can also use it to network as we do for this EDTC 300 course. We do this through Twitter and there are certainly many applications to classroom content through the use of Twitter. The way that we balance these pros and cons is to educate students on safe usage of these apps and platforms. As I have mentioned, I am a secondary school teacher and it is a bit more difficult to educate the students. Some may have a can-do attitude and look at options to improve their use of the apps/platforms; however, some students will have a “i’ve heard this before” type fo attitude which makes it difficult. These students will not need to be coaxed into change. These students need extra information and research to back your teachings. Like other situations in the classroom, it is important that not all audiences will respond positively to your teaching strategy. This is not a one-size-fits-all type of learning. Know your audience and have the conversations. In a resource from this week’s prompt post, Michael Wesch shared a video about YouTube. He stated, “the internet creates a sense of community, which allows us to connect to each other better than before.” This is true, there are many ways we can connect with others and it is more efficient than it ever was for those who grew up during the boom of technology. However, he was correct in saying, “we need to rethink identity, ethics, privacy, and ourselves.” It is important that students know that they are linking themselves to others by using media and how important these links are in communicating with one another. This is a level of deep thinking that I believe is so important when it comes to technological literacy. “The internet creates a sense of community, which allows us to connect to each other better than before.” Michael wesch To drive home the importance of the use of technology, we watched the Sextortion of Amanda Todd. In the video, the release information about how Amanda Todd was bullied to the point that she felt she had to take her life. This type of video would create a sense of empathy in students which, I feel, could create some deeper thinking when it comes to how the internet is used. Although it would be amazing if this created change, it is sometimes not taken seriously by everyone. This is why it is so important that teachers are using their time wisely in order for them to teach about digital footprints, responsibility on the internet to instill a sense of care for others’ wellbeing but also to understand that networking can be positive as well. To conclude, it is important to start teaching these types of skills early on to educate the students to make better decisions on the internet and to use it for its purposes and to find more ways to benefit themselves as they emerge into the world on their own. I have personally taught this content during research-based projects so that they are able to understand the steps to knowing whether a source is credible or not. If you need some resources on cyber-bullying, please see the Pink Shirt Day website. HOW HAVE YOU TAUGHT THIS TOPIC IN YOUR CLASSES? I WOULD LOVE SOME EXPERIENCE SHARING TO OCCUR BELOW IN THE COMMENTS.

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Q & A with Tina and Allysia

Hi everyone, Tina and I sent out a Google Form last week to prompt emerging teachers to ask questions regarding teaching outside of university. We are among a few others in the EDTC 300 class that has experienced teaching outside of university. We wanted to do this to help promote the transition for the soon-to-be teachers in this class. Tina’s blog post has episode 1, and below is episode 2. If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out to either of us! Deepening the Discussion Document As we spoke of in our podcast, here is the document from the Ministry of Education. Use this document as a means to develop students’ sense of identity, care, respect for human and biological diversity, commit to the well-being of others, and engage in social action towards the greater good (Ministry of Education, 2015).

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A String of Bad Luck

Hello again, It has been one heck of a ride this week. I started and basically hit a wall. I started to recognize that I needed to be working longer on some of the previous skills. I feel like FenderPlay kind of fell short here. Although they do a really good job with the sequence of learning, this felt like I was completely unprepared. I am also impatient and need to pick up things quickly in order to survive.. uh, I mean continue with a skill. Although I am not giving up, I felt like I didn’t get as much quantity this week as the previous weeks, however, I did get quality. MY FINGERS HURT! My hands are small, to begin with, so the stretch to play specific notes is tough for me already, however, my fingers got into some serious soreness after playing some of the notes this week. Of course, along with the tough lessons, I felt a bit down. I felt like I was on such a really good path (I still could be) and it felt like this week stole that feeling of doing well from me. Due to my experiences in the past, I know that things are usually harder before they get easier. I am sticking to this thought and pushing through because I am getting excited about learning to play Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved“. I have also bit the bullet and paid to download the correct tabs and follow-along help. It wasn’t too expensive but totally worth it to keep the dream alive. A Summary of Learning COURSE 8: Peter Gunn by Henry Mancini This was actually really fun to play and I picked this up quickly and worked on playing it at the same tempo, listen here. COURSE 9: First Time Chords: E minor and A minor This is where things took a turn for the worst. I just struggled so much with getting my fingers to do the right thing, placed in the right spot, at the correct pressure, and without hitting any other strings. I found that I had to pluck each string to make sure I wasn’t getting a dull sounding noise (meaning I was pressing on other strings or didn’t have enough pressure on the string). This made things a bit lengthier than I was anticipating which ultimately led to not completing as many courses this week. COURSE 10: Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop by Little Anthony Sometimes they put practice riffs of songs that I know nothing about. This leads me to Spotify so that I can listen to the song itself then transfer that new information to learning the riff. I did not record myself doing this one mostly because it’s embarrassing that I cannot play it yet and sounds like a 5-year-old could play it better (this is highly likely and I am aware of such sadness). Do you play an instrument? Was it also this difficult for you? Anyways, that is all for this week. Keep following along!

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LOWER THE ANCHOR!

A SUMMARY Hello everyone! Welcome to this week’s blog post. We were prompted to try an educational technology platform and to write a how-to video and how to use the platform in the classroom. I chose Anchor as my ed tech for the purpose of this blog. I decided on Anchor because it seemed the most user-friendly and device-friendly as it is available on both Apple and Android devices and on the computer. Here are some pros and cons to Anchor: PROS CONS Very user-friendly Need a Spotify account but may or may not need to pay for it Can be downloaded on Android, Apple, and the computer Student accessibility depends on what school division allows Very easily implemented into any lesson plan or assignment Student maturity and responsibility may affect the classroom use Can be used to adapt learning for those who need extra support Some other things to note: Do you have enough Chromebooks? Students may have to use their own devices in order to participate. This is easier said than done. I speak in terms of secondary education. This would create some issues when it came to elementary and/or middle years Will your principal approve the use of such a platform? It is always good to touch base with your administration. Can you use this as a platform for homework? Yes, as long as your students have access to some sort of device with a microphone. Again, easier in secondary. It wouldn’t hurt to have a chat with parents about this too. Are your students going to fully participate with good intentions? A conversation about how to use computers, devices, properly and appropriately is probably a good starting point for this. Make sure to avoid using a punishment such as removal of rights to use the tech because this tends to promote more bad behaviour and decrease of relationship. Make it about their ability to learn and show that in an easier way than in an exam or paper.

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