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The surveillance of our youth

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The following is a new blog post related to education and teaching and relevant to our website visitors. The blog post is not based on the opinions or values of our company but is related to education and teaching, so we wanted to share it with YOU! If you ever have any questions please let us know. Now… on to the post!

Big BrotherLike many school districts, the Southeast Polk School District in Pleasant Hill, Iowa monitors the Web usage of its students on district-provided computers for inappropriate activity. And like some school districts, Southeast Polk also uses a monitoring service that sends weekly emails to parents summarizing their students’ Internet search history. This raises some difficult issues because we know that young people need space away from the heavy thumb of adults for healthy identity formation and the development of self. 

Why do teenagers go to the mall, or congregate at the park, or cruise the strip, or gravitate toward the online spaces where adults aren’t? Because they need spaces that are separate from us. Should we monitor every single book or online resource that our children read? Should we use biometric school lunch checkout systems so that we can see exactly what our children eat for lunch each day? Should we dig through our children’s belongings and rooms every morning after they leave for school to see if they’re doing something that they shouldn’t? Should we install RFID and GPS tags into our children’s clothing and backpacks so that we can track them in real time? Should we slap lifelogging cameras on our kids and review them every evening? Should we install keystroke logging software or monitor everything that youth search for on the Internet? Which of these makes you uncomfortable and which doesn’t?

We can think of numerous reasons why students might search the Internet for things that they don’t want their parents to know about, just like they talk daily about things that they don’t want their parents to know about. For instance, perhaps there is a gay boy who’s struggling to make sense of things but is not ready to come out to his family yet. Or a teenage girl with liberal politics in an ultraconservative family. Or a young couple that is pregnant and searching for information and options before they tell their parents. Or a teen who’s in a spat with a peer but doesn’t want clueless adults stepping in and creating more drama. Or any teen or tween with normal adolescent concerns who just needs some information, resources, or nonlocal empathy and connection. Do these students deserve some space? Do they deserve a presumption of privacy? Or should they immediately and automatically be outed by school software?

danah boyd asks some important questions about youth privacy, including Who has the right to monitor youth? and Which actors continue to assert power over youth? She also notes that:

Just because teens’ content is publicly accessible does not mean that it is intended for universal audiences nor does it mean that the onlooker understands what they see. . . . How do we leverage the visibility of online content to see and hear youth in a healthy way? How do we use the technologies that we have to protect them rather than focusing on punishing them? . . . How do we create eyes on the digital street? How do we do so in a way that’s not creepy?

Similarly, First Monday notes:

The right to privacy is stipulated in Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [and] Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as numerous international and regional human rights treaties and conventions [and has been found to be a protected Constitutional right by the U.S. Supreme Court]. The right to privacy essentially protects the integrity of the individual and his or her home, family, and correspondence. A common denominator for the different areas of privacy is access control: thus control over what others know about us; control over private decisions and actions; and control over a physical space. The right to privacy builds on the presumption that a zone of autonomy around the individual is central to individual freedom and self-determination.

Should school districts be complicit in the hypersurveillance of our young people? What messages do we send our students when we monitor their every action and send out weekly reports? Are we creating digital social graphs for our children and then placing them in the hands of commercial vendors? Are we intentionally instituting oppositional and distrustful stances against our own students? Are we fostering the creation of graduates who will shrug at the infringement of their civil liberties as adults because their families and educators have done so for years?

I wonder if there’s an opt out for families that don’t want to Big Brother or helicopter parent their children…

See also

Image credit: Big Brother is watching you, Photon

Time To Teach reviews each blog post by our contributors but if you feel this is a blog post better suited for another page please let us know. Teachers and Educators are our heroes. We want to thank you for the work you do! Yours In Education! Time To Teach

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SAM Labs blocks put students in charge of creative learning

We believe in thanking our sources! This post was sourced from the following blog/website: http://ilearntechnology.com/wordpress/?p=5834

The following is a new blog post related to education and teaching and relevant to our website visitors. The blog post is not based on the opinions or values of our company but is related to education and teaching, so we wanted to share it with YOU! If you ever have any questions please let us know. Now… on to the post!

SAM Labs Alpha Kit empowering kids to be creative in learning

What it is: Recently, the good people at SAM Labs sent me an Alpha Kit to play with and review. You guys, this is such a cool product! I love that as soon as students open it up, it puts them in charge of the learning. Best of all, it encourages the learning to happen through playful trial and error. Each SAM Labs Kit comes with clever little blocks that each does something specific (think switches, light sensors, temperature sensors, DC motors, etc.). These little blocks interact with the SAM Labs app and empower students to become the inventors of great ideas. Through these 17 blocks (the Alpha Kit comes with 4 of the 17 blocks), students get a front row learning experience to delve into programming, logic, and analytical skills while they express themselves creatively and become problem solvers. The uses of the blocks are seriously endless, paired with the app they can do anything from composing music, to creating a remote controlled car, to exploring temperature, to auto-tweeting or post to Facebook. You can play with these little blocks all day long and keep coming up with new combinations of things to do with them (in fact, I did!). I’m imagining all of the new directions SAM Labs could take our inquiry blocks this year!

How to integrate SAM Labs into the classroom: SAM Labs boasts itself as a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) tool. And it is. But SAM blocks are so flexible, that I think that they reach beyond these few subjects. When I look at the blocks, I see endless inquiry possibilities. Yes, students will learn programming basics, how motors and light sensors work, how to use logic to build if/then type scenarios. But students will see more possibilities with these open-ended blocks. SAM Labs has a great collection of lesson plans to get you and your students started if you like, but like Legos, I like to see what the students come up with BEFORE they get the prescriptive input from the adults. They will come up with things we wouldn’t have dreamed of and then we can let the iteration begin! Speaking of Legos, the SAM Labs components snap together seamlessly with Legos. I’m telling you, the sky is the limit with these! I adore tools that are flexible for any classroom, capitalize on student ingenuity and imagination, and give students the power to dream big. Using the SAM Labs blocks students can explore light and temperature, compose songs, experiment with resistance and friction, monitor plant life, create “smart” devices, test out properties of matter, begin to understand programming and patterns and learn about circuits.

I think Anastasis students are going to find some pretty unique ways to hack these little blocks into something that hasn’t yet been imagined for an inquiry project or experiment!

Tips: The Alpha Kit that SAM Labs sent me to play with is impressive even with a limited number of bricks. For a classroom setting, I’ll definitely be purchasing more. These will be a hot commodity for student creations…no need to cause unnecessary arguments over whose turn it is to use them! (Top tip: we solve those kinds of arguments with dance-offs!)

 

Have you played with the SAM Labs blocks? What have your students dreamed up with them?

Time To Teach reviews each blog post by our contributors but if you feel this is a blog post better suited for another page please let us know. Teachers and Educators are our heroes. We want to thank you for the work you do! Yours In Education! Time To Teach

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The Countdown is On! 5Sigma Launch: The Power of Student Agency (featuring keynote speaker @gcouros)

We believe in thanking our sources! This post was sourced from the following blog/website: http://ilearntechnology.com/wordpress/?p=5884

The following is a new blog post related to education and teaching and relevant to our website visitors. The blog post is not based on the opinions or values of our company but is related to education and teaching, so we wanted to share it with YOU! If you ever have any questions please let us know. Now… on to the post!

We are in full-on countdown mode for our yearly education conference, 5Sigma. It’s hard to believe that it is just 10 days away! This year our theme is Launch: The Power of Student Agency.

I could not be more excited for our fifth annual conference! Each year we work to include educators who have inspired our work. This year is no exception. We have a pretty incredible lineup! Including George Couros (Author of Innovator’s Mindset) as our Keynote! I’m so thankful for the way that each of the people you see below have shaped me, and inspired me. I know they will do the same for you!

Some things that you can look forward to at the 5Sigma Edu Conference:

  1. We will spoil you (because you do hard work every day, and deserve a weekend of being spoiled).
  2. You will leave inspired, changed, and with practical ways to “launch” (did you see the lineup below? I mean….)
  3. Two incredible food trucks including the famous Mac ‘N Cheese truck!!
  4. Happy hour meet up (because we are convinced that the Happy Hour is Education’s Magic Bullet).
  5. You will see what happens when students are empowered (we can’t wait for you to meet the students of Anastasis, they are seriously the COOLEST! *slight bias*)
  6. The opportunity to talk shop: have you ever dreamed of starting a school? Re-imagining assessment? Throwing away the one-size-fits-all curriculum? Ditching homework? Ditching the test?  Team Anastasis will share how we’ve done it, what we’ve learned along the way, share our insight into what not to do, and be transparent.

We’re excited to meet you! If you haven’t already registered, it isn’t too late! Learn more and register at http://5sigmaeducon.com  If you need help requesting the professional development dollars to attend, we are happy to help out, customize our template letter.

Friday Breakout Sessions
  • Don’t Get Ready; Get Started! with Noah Geisel
  • Strategic PD Planning with Design Thinking
    with Alex Inman
  • Students as Curators: Moving From Student to Learner with Nancy White
  • Tomorrow Was Yesterday with Kyle Erlenbeck
  • Maker Centered Learning with Colin Reynolds
  • Ingredients of Modern Instructional Design
    with Bob Dillon & Kristina Ishmael
Saturday Breakout Sessions1
  • Finding Motivation with Kristina Ishmael & Zac Chase
  • A Computer Science State of Mind 
    with Jeremy Macdonald
  • Honoring Student Agency Through Assessment Practices with Kelly Tenkely
  • Maker Centered Learning with Colin Reynolds
  • Cultivating Creative Thinking – It’s Not Just
    for Art Class!
    with Michelle Baldwin
  • A Computer Science State of Mind with
    Jeremy Macdonald

Time To Teach reviews each blog post by our contributors but if you feel this is a blog post better suited for another page please let us know. Teachers and Educators are our heroes. We want to thank you for the work you do! Yours In Education! Time To Teach

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Hundreds of Sacramento Teachers Walk Out on One-Day Strike

We believe in thanking our sources! This post was sourced from the following blog/website: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2019/04/11/hundreds-of-sacramento-teachers-walk-out-on.html?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mrss&cmp=RSS-FEED

The following is a new blog post related to education and teaching and relevant to our website visitors. The blog post is not based on the opinions or values of our company but is related to education and teaching, so we wanted to share it with YOU! If you ever have any questions please let us know. Now… on to the post!

Hundreds of teachers across the Sacramento Unified School District walked out of their classrooms and onto picket lines for the first time in 30 years, staging a one-day strike alleging unfair labor practices by the district.

Time To Teach reviews each blog post by our contributors but if you feel this is a blog post better suited for another page please let us know. Teachers and Educators are our heroes. We want to thank you for the work you do! Yours In Education! Time To Teach

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Here's How 7 States Are Faring in the Battle Over School Funding

We believe in thanking our sources! This post was sourced from the following blog/website: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2019/04/11/heres-how-7-states-are-faring-in.html?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mrss&cmp=RSS-FEED

The following is a new blog post related to education and teaching and relevant to our website visitors. The blog post is not based on the opinions or values of our company but is related to education and teaching, so we wanted to share it with YOU! If you ever have any questions please let us know. Now… on to the post!

The prospects were bright earlier this year for dozens of states to overhaul antiquated formulas and take other big steps on K-12 funding. It’s proven a tricky task.

Time To Teach reviews each blog post by our contributors but if you feel this is a blog post better suited for another page please let us know. Teachers and Educators are our heroes. We want to thank you for the work you do! Yours In Education! Time To Teach

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Why Student Data Should Be Students’ Data

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The following is a new blog post related to education and teaching and relevant to our website visitors. The blog post is not based on the opinions or values of our company but is related to education and teaching, so we wanted to share it with YOU! If you ever have any questions please let us know. Now… on to the post!

Students can make gains in taking ownership of their work when they’re given access to their data around that work.

Time To Teach reviews each blog post by our contributors but if you feel this is a blog post better suited for another page please let us know. Teachers and Educators are our heroes. We want to thank you for the work you do! Yours In Education! Time To Teach

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Class Pad: Free digital scratch paper for the math classroom

We believe in thanking our sources! This post was sourced from the following blog/website: http://ilearntechnology.com/wordpress/?p=5842

The following is a new blog post related to education and teaching and relevant to our website visitors. The blog post is not based on the opinions or values of our company but is related to education and teaching, so we wanted to share it with YOU! If you ever have any questions please let us know. Now… on to the post!

What it is: ClassPad is free online software that lets you digitize your math scratch paper. You can create original teaching materials for the math classroom quickly and easily. With ClassPad, you can quickly add mathematical formulas, graphs, spreadsheets, and geometry sheets to share with your students (and other teachers). ClassPad can be accessed from tablets and computers. On touch devices, you can write calculations and graphics by hand, just like on actual paper. Students can access your materials through a unique URL.

How to integrate ClassPad into your classroom: ClassPad is a fantastic tool for the mathematics and science classroom. It makes it easy for you and your students to create original materials. Whether your students need extra practice, you want to make your math materials more hands-on and relevant for your students, or your students are creating proofs, ClassPad is an excellent addition to your classroom.

ClassPad could also be helpful for your math students who struggle to get ideas out through paper/pencil work. The ability to use a tablet or computer may help those students with dysgraphia excel in the math classroom.

As a teacher, you can use ClassPad to create learning material for your students. However, my favorite use would be for students to explore the world as a mathematician and utilize ClassPad to help them express themselves mathematically. I think it would be exciting to pose an inquiry question or word problem for students and allow them to come up with a proof addressing the problem. Because students can share work with a unique URL, each student could submit their work for the class to review. Likely there would be multiple ways to think through the inquiry. This would be a great way to talk perspective, different approaches to problems, and how we solve problems in life. This would also give the teacher additional insight into how students are approaching and thinking through problems. Rather than simply looking for a right/wrong answer, this could provide the space to talk mathematics with students.

Tips: There are three different ClassPad plans to choose from. The free Guest account gives you the ability to utilize the calculation, graph, statistics, and geometry options. The Basic account for a registered user offers everything the Guest account offers with the ability to save up to 999 papers, share papers, search papers, add favorites, and save your browsing history. The Plus account requires an annual subscription (they are currently offering a free trial). The Plus account gives you all of the features of the first two plans plus the ability to save unlimited papers and comes with additional features for computer algebra, advanced statistics, and handwriting recognition.

Time To Teach reviews each blog post by our contributors but if you feel this is a blog post better suited for another page please let us know. Teachers and Educators are our heroes. We want to thank you for the work you do! Yours In Education! Time To Teach

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Create Individualized Spelling Games Through Flippity Spelling Words

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The following is a new blog post related to education and teaching and relevant to our website visitors. The blog post is not based on the opinions or values of our company but is related to education and teaching, so we wanted to share it with YOU! If you ever have any questions please let us know. Now… on to the post!

Flippity's Spelling Words is a free Google Sheets template that you can use to create individualized spelling games for your students. To do this you simply have to make a list of words that you want...

Read the whole entry at FreeTech4Teachers.com »

Time To Teach reviews each blog post by our contributors but if you feel this is a blog post better suited for another page please let us know. Teachers and Educators are our heroes. We want to thank you for the work you do! Yours In Education! Time To Teach

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Update: North Dakota Innovation Academy

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The following is a new blog post related to education and teaching and relevant to our website visitors. The blog post is not based on the opinions or values of our company but is related to education and teaching, so we wanted to share it with YOU! If you ever have any questions please let us know. Now… on to the post!

Back in October I blogged that CASTLE and I were launching a 7-day Innovation Academy for school leaders in North Dakota. Generously supported by Ted Dintersmith and in cooperation with the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders, the goal was to kick off a three-year investment in leadership capacity-building across the state for future-ready learning, teaching, and schooling. I thought it might be time for a quick update…

We are three days into the Innovation Academy, with Day 4 coming up in February. We have 72 participants representing 14 school districts. Here’s what we’ve covered so far:

  • Day 1 – the big picture; relevance gaps between schools and the needs of society and our graduates; new demands related to college and career readiness; the impacts of automation on the economy and workforce preparation; computers that can see, hear, move, think, and do; new literacies, including multimedia and transmedia
  • Day 2 – what does it mean to be a connected learner?; connected learning audit (personal analysis of our analog and digital learning connections); our connectedness outside of school; connected learning in schools (lots of examples!), crowdsourced learning and resource production
  • Day 3 – student agency and deeper learning, with a strong emphasis on project- and inquiry-based learning; school models that foster deeper learning and student engagement; innovation leaders across the state presented what they’re doing in a PBL showcase
  • Day 4 [coming up in a few weeks!] – rich technology infusion (with a focus on the 4 Shifts Protocol) and blended learning models; translating 21st century vision statements and frameworks into concrete, day-to-day classroom implementation; innovation leaders across the state will be presenting again in a tech integration showcase

As we go along, we not only are highlighting what’s possible but also trying to connect participants to educators in the state who already are doing this work. This allows them to see innovations in action without having to drive too far. We also have an ongoing book study where we discuss a couple of chapters of Ted’s book, What School Could Be, each time we meet.

Things have gone very well so far. Here are our ongoing evaluation results:

Our Innovation Academy participants have been amazing. They have dived right in and are doing a fantastic job of wresting with difficult and challenging concepts. It’s not easy to rethink school but they are giving it all they can. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with during the last two days of the Academy, which is when we begin action planning for next year (and beyond)…

The adventure continues!

[Learn more about my Innovation Academies – including all evalution results – by clicking here!]

Time To Teach reviews each blog post by our contributors but if you feel this is a blog post better suited for another page please let us know. Teachers and Educators are our heroes. We want to thank you for the work you do! Yours In Education! Time To Teach

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A Flipgrid Feature That is Often Overlooked

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The following is a new blog post related to education and teaching and relevant to our website visitors. The blog post is not based on the opinions or values of our company but is related to education and teaching, so we wanted to share it with YOU! If you ever have any questions please let us know. Now… on to the post!

Earlier this week I was leading a workshop about making videos with students. The first part of the workshop included using Flipgrid. One of the features of Flipgrid that I always show is the sticky...

Read the whole entry at FreeTech4Teachers.com »

Time To Teach reviews each blog post by our contributors but if you feel this is a blog post better suited for another page please let us know. Teachers and Educators are our heroes. We want to thank you for the work you do! Yours In Education! Time To Teach

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