Week 7 – Connections

How well connected are you? No I don’t mean if you are related to royalty or the president of your country.

I mean are you a connected person?

Twenty three years ago when I did my first trip around the world, I was not very well connected at all. To communicate with my parents I needed to write a postcard or mail a letter. Often I would get home before that letter arrived in the mail. Or I could phone them from a local phone using a phone card that I had prepaid. But I needed to know what time it was in Australia so I didn’t wake them up at 3am for my phone call.

But on my last trip to America, I could communicate immediately via Facebook or email. They could see my photos as soon as I had loaded them onto Flickr. They could read about what I had been doing by visiting my blog. My connected teacher friends could read my tweets.

New technology has changed the way we connect with each other in our small world.

October has been Connected Educator Month around the world (but particularly America) There have been lots of activities for teachers and other interested educators to take part in from online bookclubs, competitions, podcasting, blogging, pinterest etc. But often these special events are only known to those educators who are already connecting often.

Activity 1. Survey or poll the teachers at your school  to find out how they are connected. Did they know about Connected Educator Month? How do they connect with other teachers in their state? How do they connect overseas? How do they connect with family? What do they use to connect? Write a post about your results telling us some statistics about connectedness at your school.

Activity 2. Create a mindmap showing how you connect as a student. Include the tools you use to connect as well as who you connect to. Think carefully about all the ways you connect to different members of your family.

Activity 3. Here is an example of a connected teacher. Do you think this is similar for a connected student? Explain the differences and similarities. Click on the image to get a larger version.

 

Being connected with all this technology means everyone is leaving a digital footprint.

Activity 4. Watch the two videos below then leave a comment on this post about something that you found very interesting in one of the videos. Write a post explaining the differences between the videos. Which did you prefer and why?

Activity 5. After watching the two videos, write a post about your digital footprint. Is it positive or negative? Would you be proud to have your grandparents or your future grandchildren look at everything you have included in your digital footprint? Why or why not? Maybe Google your name to see what is online about you, that you might not have put there.

Activity 6. Imagine your are debating this topic: It is better to have a negative digital footprint than no footprint at all. Give three reasons to support each side of the debate.

Activity 7. Here are some websites to visit related to cybersafety and digital footprints. Visit some of them and write a post, create a poster or glogster, create a cartoon about what you found out. Your teacher might also give you other websites to visit.

  • ACMA Australia – cybersafety for young kids, kids and teens.
  • Google has some digcitizenship adventures relating to digital footprints – more for middle and high school students
  • Kidsmart from the UK has some great tips and information

Activity 8. Mainly middle and high school students – There are 9 elements to being a good digital citizen. Read this post then write your own post about what you consider are the most important parts of the nine elements. Are there certain areas you need to improve on? Why?

Activity 9. There are both advantages and disadvantages to being able to connect and communicate more easily. Write a post or run a debate on this topic. Maybe create a comic strip showing each side.

Security

Teachers

Here are some links to  sites relating to digital footprints and internet safety

Still time left

Visit other student and class blogs, read our flip magazines, add links to your blogroll of blogs you visit often. Try to categorize these eg class blogs, overseas students, my friends etc.

 

Image source from flickr

Challenge 8: Are you connecting?

How are you going getting comments from people other than your classmates?

Have you received comments from overseas visitors?

Has anyone in your family left a comment? Remember you might need to teach them how to leave a comment.

Activity 1: Write a post about your family – include their interests, where you might have been together as a family. Remember to include grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.

Activity 2: Encourage family members to leave comments on your posts over the next few weeks. Check out Mrs Yollis and her class who celebrate family blogging month in November.

Activity 3: How can you increase the number of comments on your blog? Write a post about ways to get more comments on your blog. Be creative and think outside the square – can you find at least ten ways to get more visitors and comments? You might want to make a poster for this activity – glogster or notaland remember to get permission from parents or teacher to join.

Activity 4: Have a family member write a post for you to add to your blog. They could write it and email or post it to you. Does this post attract more visitors or family members leaving comments? One family member regularly blogs on Mrs Yollis’ blog – Where is nonno?

Activity 5: Interview a family member and write a post about them – include the interview recording. You could use audioboo online or from your phone then upload the file to your blog.

Activity 6: Write a post about the overseas blogs you have commented on – why did you choose that blog and particular post?

Activity 7: How do you connect with teachers, family or friends in the real world? Put together a collage showing how you connect – think more than just using technology. Here is an image of a networked or connected teacher. Would student connections be different ? Would parent connections be different?

Finally, this is the week for our game. This is another way to connect globally.

Those who have taken part in a challenge before know the game of  ‘Count Out Three’. Here are the instructions:

  • click on a blog on the student list – count one
  • now click on a blog from their blogroll – count two
  • finally click on a blog from that blogroll – count three

Leave a comment on an interesting post at this blog.

Do this activity at least three times and finally, write your own post saying which blogs you visited and which posts you left a comment on. Why did you choose that post? Remember to include a link back to the post you left a comment on so that student gets a pingback or trackback.

Attribution:

Image: ‘NetworkedTeacher