Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
By Peter M
cc image by DanCallahan
Adolescents as a group are both the highest users of new media and the group most vulnerable to some of the harms associated with its misuse. Online watchdog Netsafe has claimed that one in five New Zealand secondary school students report being cyber bullied online, or via text message or photographs
Updating laws written prior to the development of social media, the proposed digital communications law reform will support the work of parents and schools combating cyber bullying.
Education to support digital citizenship is at the heart of proposals to combat cyber bullying. Digital literacy or the ability to understand and fully participate in the digital world is fundamental to digital citizenship. It is the combination of technical and social skills that enable a person to be successful and safe in the information age.
The Law Commission in its briefing to the government emphasised, the need for the recommendations to be treated as a package: “law change without education and without mechanisms for effective enforcement will not succeed”
Moreover, it highlighted the need for collaboration between parents, schools, law enforcement agencies, policy makers and the corporate sector.
I was recently at a NEAL breakfast where Andrew Cowie shared how he works with students to embed strong digital citizenship. He focussed on fun ways of engaging with students, exploring their issues and concerns and harnessing their creativity to inform one another in authentic ways using digital media. Students created short, lively, funny video ‘ads’ of the perils and pitfalls of the digital environment that can be shown in class, at assemblies and streamed from the school intranet. Digital citizenship education promotes and supports confidence and a range of digital competencies while exploring the values associated with citizenship in an online environment.
Andrew highlighted platforms such as Edmodo where students can explore the online world in a safe and supported environment. He also recommended night classes for parents to help them understand the tools their children are using inside - and outside – the classroom.
The school library is a safe environment where expertise and access to technology and information of many kinds connects learners to global communities and ideas and the librarian is ideally placed to provide consistent support and guidance. The school librarian must be part of the school wide conversation around cyber bullying and promote their role as a supportive and empathetic information coach.
Libraries should prominently display posters and guidelines clarifying for students how to engage in an online environment in a safe and responsible way.
The library can also play its part as a welcoming family friendly place where whanau can be introduced to both the range of online social media their children are using and the concept of digital citizenship and how they can support their children at home.
Students, teachers and parents are all on a learning curve and it is inevitable there will be missteps and mistakes. It is critical that there is open and supportive communications between students, the school and families and a culture of mutual respect and honesty is promoted.
Reaching out to whanau. Embedding a home school partnership to not just keep our kids safe but to develop their confidence and competence to discover, connect, create and share.
Ministerial Briefing Paper. Harmful digital communications: the adequacy of the current sanctions and remedies
Netsafe Kit for schools
Are you looking for resources to support your learners throughout the year? Do you want new and exciting material; books to engage and inspire students; digital resources that educate, stimulate, and motivate.
Curriculum Services offers this and more. All around New Zealand, every school has access to the very best information, support, professional knowledge and resources available.
Over the next several weeks ANZAC and Matariki will be at the forefront. Along with our print collections, we have a wonderful selection of digital material, which you can access at any time to support classroom learning.
The High Interest Topics area on our Services to Schools site has an extensive list of authoritative, quality web resources specially selected by Curriculum Services Librarians on subject areas that are constantly in high demand.
There is also wonderful content in the Primary Sources section. These galleries include material that has been digitised from the Turnbull collections in Wellington, along with supplementary material: explanations of what primary sources are; guides for using primary sources and educator resources too.
Have a look at the Primary Sources ANZAC gallery.
For more information on Matariki take a look at Many Answers, which collates responses from librarians around New Zealand to students’ questions on this topic. The focus is on developing student information literacy skills.
Now is the time to be placing your order for resources with your nearest Curriculum Services Centre. You can order classroom resources online. If you would like any of the digital resources mentioned above sent to you please tick the appropriate box on the order form and provide us with your email address. Otherwise these resources are easily available to you on our Services to Schools page.
We look forward to sending you resources and would love to hear what you and your students have done with the material. What have you created? What have you learnt? How did the material strengthen and assist the inquiry process? If you have stories or feedback your nearest centre would love to hear from you.
A group of educators from around New Zealand has worked to create a Digital Citizenship Course for New Zealand students. http://wikieducator.org/Digital_Citizenship
Recognising both the need for a programme and also the reality that many schools/ teachers haven’t the time or opportunity to create a digital citizenship programme for their students, the group used a collaborative online environment to “crowd source” the ideas and content for this great resource.
Last Wednesday evening at the National Library Centre in Auckland, the programme was launched as an Open Educational Resource on WikiEducator with an invitation for all educators to use the programme with their students and to continue to develop this rich resource.
There are ten modules divided into primary, intermediate and secondary levels including: basic skills, safety, privacy, copyright, plagiarism, research, integrity and more. The content has a Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA) licence.
Digital citizenship in New Zealand is based in the key competencies of the NZ Curriculum. It is built on a foundation of digital and print literacy, using technical and social skills to navigate, participate and deeply engage in the digital environment safely and ethically. Netsafe provides a detailed definition of digital citizenship for New Zealand students.
Take a look at this fabulous resource and consider how you might incorporate this course into your teaching. If there is not a digital citizenship programme already in place at your school, take the lead and use this Open Resource to start one, or share it with a colleague who can activate it.
“School libraries are pedagogical centres where digital citizenship is promoted through explicit modelling, facilitated teaching and supported exploration of new ideas.
The school library is a safe environment where expertise and access to technology and information of many kinds connects learners to global communities and ideas. The librarian has connections to all learners, learning formally and informally, and works closely with teachers to collaborate on integrated, authentic programmes that promote the ethical and sophisticated finding, using and creating of new knowledge. In many schools, the librarian is ideally placed to provide the energy and consistency required for a whole school digital citizenship programme.”
Mark Osborne, Claire Amos and Andrew Cowie (on twitter at: @mosborne01, @claireamos, @nealnz31) three of the team who worked on the project promoting the resource at the launch
By Peter Murgatroyd
The Select Committee inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy currently underway is a critical opportunity for the library profession in New Zealand to contribute to the shaping of the future of our schools and to highlight the significant contribution that the library profession and school libraries can make to enhance learner outcomes through the creation of dynamic future focused learning environments.
The preamble to the terms of reference for the inquiry defines ‘learning environments’ as both physical and virtual spaces:
“The term ‘learning environment’ suggests learning happens in a place and space such as a school, a classroom, or a library. However, while much of 21st century learning takes place in physical locations, in today’s technology driven world, a learning environment can also be virtual, online or remote. The purpose of this inquiry is to investigate and provide recommendations on the best structures, tools, and communities, in both rural and urban New Zealand, that could better enable students and educators to attain the knowledge and skills, such as digital literacy, that the 21st century demands of us all.”
The terms of reference for the inquiry include:
The 2012 Horizon Report highlights the paramount importance of critical information literacy and the need for our students to be able to make sense of and critically assess the credibility and value of information in an environment where information is everywhere. It also challenges schools to remove the institutional barriers that may impede progress on embracing new technologies and pedagogies. These themes are reflected in both the focus and urgency of the Inquiry.
The inquiry challenges us to reflect and redefine our understandings of the school library and the role of the school librarian within the context of a transformed information landscape, shifts in teaching pedagogy, and the necessity to ensure that our students acquire the knowledge and skills, such as digital literacy, that the 21st century demands.
Submissions can be made online via a web form on the Inquiry webpage .
Writing a submission for an inquiry is different from writing a submission on a bill. As there are no specific clauses to comment on, it is important that you use the terms of reference of the inquiry as a guide to presenting your views.
Submissions closing date 11 May 2012
Sort out your notifications and permissions!
Do you know which apps have access to your personal information? It’s easy to lose track, but mypermissions.org is here to help. The site features a list of common social media apps including Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. You click on the link, sign in and are taken directly to the list of apps that can access your account. Once there you can revoke access to any apps you are not comfortable with.
The results may surprise you! For example, if you have used Twitter to sign in to a site like Pinterest or Storify then those apps can access your Twitter account.
Is your inbox full of annoying notifications from sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.? Clicking around the sites to find the notifications setting pages can be time-consuming, so we often just never quite get around to stemming the flow of messages.
Notification Control provides a quick and easy solution to this irritating problem. Invented by two teenagers, it works a lot like mypermissions.org and offers a list of sites. You click, sign in and are taken straight to the notifications setting page, where you make any changes you like. It only takes a minute, but it can make a real difference to your inbox.
These two sites are worth sharing with your students when you discuss their digital lives. Many of them (and us!) are all too likely to click on permissions and notifications agreements without reading the fine print, and they may not understand the possible consequences of pressing that green button.
How do you keep track of your digital life?
image by noii’s
Are your students digital citizens?
It was interesting to see the Digital Citizenship survey results in the December 2011 Interface magazine, particularly those results relating to digital citizenship and ethical behaviour.
Young people spend significant time in the virtual world, both in and out of school. As we encourage students to grow their skills in the use of computers and devices, and as the focus shifts to digital learning and online collaboration, we need to scaffold the skills to support our students to think about their digital footprint and to be safe, positive and responsible while online. This is especially relevant in New Zealand schools as we start to take advantage of ultra-fast broadband.
I recently revisited the NetSafe website [http://www.netsafe.org.nz], and found their useful definition of a digital citizen as someone who:
NetSafe’s interactive digital citizenship site is a great source of content to support digital citizenship education programmes based on their Learn, Guide, Protect framework. It is designed to help you build a cybersafety programme that is appropriate to your schools’ context, and enables you to maximise local resources and opportunities. Content on this site is created by a range of individuals and organisations (anyone with a myLGP account is able to add content).
I also discovered the New South Wales Digital Education Revolution group website, which offers relevant information for students, teachers and parents, addressing the six domains of digital citizenship: digital conduct, digital relationships, digital footprint, digital health and well-being, digital law and digital financial literacy.
The student information on this site is packaged for both primary and secondary levels, and includes online games, learning activities (with full teaching notes) and videos. The teacher support material includes a professional learning course which familiarises teachers with the materials in the Digital Citizenship programme and guides them through the process of implementing the program in their school.
Technology provides many opportunities for users to learn and expand their horizons, and our students need to learn what will be expected of them and others when using these tools. These sites will be an invaluable support for schools and communities working to ensure that students have the skills and abilities to use technology in a responsible manner.
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