Refining to a Focus

It’s that time of term where students have been really using their knowledge to develop deeper understandings. For the modules I teach, the last 2 weeks have been full on action time generating possible actions/solutions/products, refining them down and taking action.

Under the d.School Design Thinking process this would be the Ideate and Prototype stages; those using DEEP Design Thinking would know it as Experiment and Produce. For us at Hobsonville Point we use the language from our Learning Design Model below:

HPSS Learning Design Model

HPSS Learning Design Model

So, the last 2 weeks have seen us talking about Generate, Refine, Focus and Test. Continue reading

Active Citizenship

This term on Mondays I teach a Big Module called Take Action with Bryce and Martin. We have joined our subject areas of Social Sciences, PE/Health and Technology around the ideas each area has on taking action to influence society. Monday this week was the best day’s teaching I have ever had on developing students’ citizenship. There were aspects of digital citizenship, elections and other forms of taking action on issues in society. Continue reading

All is well, or is it?

I was worried how last week would go. How could I possibly keep up the excited puppy heights of hosting the Geography Awareness Week TeachMeetNZ and being at the inaugural EdChatNZ conference?

The Monday following EdchatNZ conference saw me spend the day in the Take Action big module I am co-teaching with Bryce and Martin. I spent 2 of our blocks helping Martin in the workshop as students constructed marble runs while their groups were affected by changes in government policies.

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Students also had similar experiences with Bryce as they played Volleyball with Government policies affecting the rules for each team. The final block focused in on actions we can take as citizens other than voting and brainstorming issues of interest to the students. Continue reading

Citizenship in a Digital Age

I know that bad news sells but the lack of positive digital citizenship stories has been irritating me for a while. What started as a small irritation has ended up in this blogpost. The mainstream media seems determined to pigeonhole digital citizenship as being purely about online safety. It also follows this up with talk of teenaged “digital natives” and implying that they exist in a seedy online world which we older folk could possibly never understand.

It is important to educate all people (not just children) about how to stay safe online including cybersafety, security of your devices and what to do about online bullying. It is not, however such a doom and gloom situation as it seems the mainstream media makes it out to be. In fact I find it interesting how quickly students soak up this information and really appreciate having more knowledge on what to do in certain situations.

A great example of how quickly even young students learn how to stay safe is the great advice shared during the kidsedchat Digital Safety discussion last week. These are Primary school students now demonstrating true citizenship by helping others stay safe online! These students meet up every week to discuss different topics which is where we really start to see what digital citizenship means in action: they are participating in a purposeful activity online, thinking critically, relating to others in positive ways and helping each other manage challenges. Check out http://kidsedchatnz.blogspot.co.nz/ for more.

In a secondary context, our students at Hobsonville Point Secondary School created their own Digital Citizenship pledges. The students in my hub did not just focus on online safety and bullying in their pledges but also on aspects like digital manners and attributing ideas to where they have got them from.

Online safety is not the only aspect of digital citizenship. The commonly accepted and used definition of Digital Citizenship in New Zealand comes from NetSafe:

Continue reading