Hmm,  I don’t see as clear a prompt for this blog, it just seems to say to read the global project stuff, read the digital citizen ship stuff, explore the sites, and then keep this in mind while writing a blog post.

So, I’ll get to all of that, but, let me first give you—Katie some insight into what’s going on in my life.  That is----why am I trying to be not too concerned about missing a forum post, etc.  I’d been experiencing some health symptoms that mocked a …what is it?  A TIA or something like that—pre-stroke type symptoms—numbness, tingling, etc….shrugged off at first, then getting to the …hey, what is this stage.  Then, the Friday night/Sat. morning before the close of session three I was up to 3 A.M. working on the class, then up at 7:30 or so the next morning to get a new bar for my chain saw and get to my wood cutting for the weekend.  While standing at the counter to get the saw bar, I got the numbness/tingling—loss of balance a bit—to the point where I figured I ought to get it checked out.  Went to the Doctor Monday and he made an appointment with a specialist for Tuesday, who took it seriously enough that I spent about 24 hours in the hospital getting tests done.  They found nothing—what a relief—anyway, my self-diagnosis at this point is….I didn’t know stress could do that to my body, but, apparently it can.

So, my goal in all of this is the certification—not an “A” in the class.  I returned to work, did my exhibit lesson, worked on the portfolio—but sort of didn’t do all the first week of the session stuff that I might have done.    Here are some comments on the readings I have done.

Global projects.  I got the Spanish teacher involved in one because I knew that was an element of this class.  I’m excited about what we are going to be working on and really feel like that is part of the job I should’ve been doing all along as an ITRT.  Interestingly enough, when I first became an ITRT a Spanish teacher at CHS asked about Email pen pals.  I investigated Epals and at that time you had to pay to join.  I couldn’t convince the secondary level coordinator from the school board office that it was worthwhile—I don’t think he would’ve wanted to do it if it was free.  Well, now it is free, and he’s dead---earned his PHD but died shortly thereafter of some sort of heart problem….hmmm..  Anyway, I went back to Mrs. Rodriquiz when it looked like the opportunity was there again, and she had lost interest. 

Now, I’ve got a Spanish teacher in a different school involved in this.  I’m thinking she will like it well enough to do it on her own after this—maybe every year.  I’ll be able to write it up in an ITRT newsletter along with links to the websites we’re working on and perhaps some of the other foreign language teachers –will then want to follow suit.  I’m excited about this one. 

Now, on to digital citizenship; the first article “Behave Yourself” was written in 2008 and referenced articles older than that. To me, somehow this article seemed very dated. I think the reason was that it had so much to say about Email, and I think kids today do very little of that.  Email tips such as—don’t shoot some Emails out too hastily, put them in draft and think about them…are well and good, but, don’t speak to where most kids are at.  Texting, social networking, tweets are more appropriate topics.  By the way, I have texting blocked on my cell phone, I once established a twitter account, but, haven’t been back since the day I set up the account.  I post something to my Facebook wall maybe every other year or so.  –by the way, did you ever notice that on a Facebook wall, the word “facebook” is not capitalized?  I had to decide if I wanted to capitalize it or not when writing my portfolio entries. 

I’ll have to remember next time I have opportunity to poll a class, to find out what percent of them have Smart phones.  I don’t , and I’m sure we have a much higher percent of students who do not than the typical high school in America today---I live in an area that was in a recession way before it was popular…this is a poor area.

Anyway, in regard to the “passport” article, I did like his “nine elements” of digital citizenship, that seemed like a nice way to break it down.  What we are talking about here goes way beyond “Internet Safety”  in fact, Virginia’s law, to me seems a bit out of date in that what it requires is Internet Safety instruction, when there is now so much more to be considered..that we fit into that instruction, but it is really misnamed.

Regarding Internet Safety instruction in my district….the law states that the instruction should be ongoing—throughout the school year.  It does not require that a lesson be exclusively dedicated to that topic.  When the law passed, the ITRTs in our district—myself included—gathered resources, made them available to teachers, and created an Internet Safety webpage for parents.  We are on a four X four block schedule, so our districts interpretation of the law was that in the high schools, each teacher needed to do an “Internet Safety” lesson in all their classes each semester.  Fortunately, the ITRTs were never in charge of documenting that—someone else is.  Recently, in a county technology committee meeting, the people who do enforce it were informed that one lesson a year is now going to be considered sufficient.  Well, the law says “all student” should get it on a continuing basis…but, ….I’m not responsible for deciding what that means. 

What we should do, as ITRTs is probably revisit the whole issue and, if we can talk our superiors in to it—we ought to update all the resources we offer—and hold some sort of teacher in-service on all that digital citizenship now entails—buying stuff on line, protecting your computer, etc.

As far as cyber bullying and some of that sort of stuff goes…to me, it seems like an elementary and middle school appropriate topic.  At the high school level, ….we just need to have students who are nice to one another, who are polite and well mannered, considerate of others, and if we can accomplish that, then we won’t need to worry about cyber bullying, etc.  Now, can we accomplish that?   Well, with a little help from home, yes.  With a poor example at home…….we might accomplish a bit of behavior modification…maybe.

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