And just like that 4 weeks have already passed since the first day of school. For Digital Literacy, it was a time to have the students familiarize themselves again with the digital tools they will be constantly using for learning.
The first week was spent making sure students understand the concept of acceptable and responsible use of technology resources in school. A discussion on the guidelines for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program was also part of the lessons. It was rewarding to have the students know the difference between right and privilege, and access to technology and BYOD as privilege.
In the following weeks, students were exposed to learning about the resources they can use from the library. Aside from the available print and audiovisual resources, Follett Destiny, the library’s online catalog offers a convenient way of accessing web resources through WebPath Express. Students learned about creating their bibliography and citation lists of resources they use from the library or WebPath Express.
A new online resource which the school has recently subscribed to for our students and teachers is EBSCO. It is an online database that “serves thousands of libraries and other institutions with premium content in every subject area.” Materials include articles from newspapers, magazines, academic journals; primary source documents, biographies, encyclopedia, images and videos.
Sessions have been allotted in Digital Literacy to learn about using Explora, the school user interface, to maximize access to EBSCO and applying them in the informational and research needs in classes. Both Follett Destiny and EBSCO are available on and off campus. Please refer to your Edmodo for the username and password.
Learning about these online resources target the research and information literacy strand in the ISTE (International Standard for Technology in Education) Technology Standards for Students, followed by the Digital Literacy curriculum of CISM.
In the past 3 years that I have taught Digital Literacy in CISM, I have always felt excited with each new school year. Excited because there is just so much to share, for students to learn and apply in school and their everyday lives.
Last year was a blast in Digital Literacy classes. We kicked off second semester with Robotics and the school year ended with Makers’ Fest. Students showcased their creations using Makey Makey, Scratch programs, and robot creations. Another highlight was the presentation of the best Genius Hour projects, which inspired the whole CISM community. It was a student-led event and, most importantly, it used open prompts that just let the students bask in their creativity and imagination.
Reading the students’ end of year reflections affirmed that learning is more memorable and more meaningful if students are interested and if they are in charge of solving problems. A challenge for all teachers not to be in charge, but if we think about what could make the students be more prepared for their future, teachers must learn to let go.
This school year, students will continue to learn to be digital literates, makers and innovators. The first semester will cover lessons that would develop students’ creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, research and information fluency, critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making using technology. A unit on digital citizenship and technology operations and concepts will also be in place.
In the second semester, we will continue with the maker education allowing students to author and create their own computer programs or mobile applications; and using technology, be able to invent practical solutions to common problems.
And making it more exciting this year is Mobile App Development. As this is a new program, Gr. 9-10 students will start on the basic level, then eventually differentiated on the type of tasks they will complete. We aim to produce developers and designers of mobile apps that can be useful to society.
All units and lessons follow the International Standards for Technology in Education (ISTE) for Students.
Course Handouts, which include course expectations, units of study, assessment and evaluation, and classroom procedures, are uploaded on this blog for your reference.
We will also strive to become a paperless classroom, taking advantage of the technology tools available in school. There are 19 new Mac Mini computers in the computer lab, but students may bring their own devices provided they follow the BYOD guidelines set by the school.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, should you have concerns, suggestions, or just something to say.
Have a wonderful school year to all!
As the year comes to a close, the students prepare to show off their final creations in class. In this season’s Makers’ Fest and Scratch Day, scheduled on May 26th, Tuesday, students take on solving real-world problems using technology applications. Gr. 6-7 students research and create solutions for the TRASH TREK Challenge of the FIRST Lego League Competition. The challenge asks students to choose and solve a problem related to trash: “collection, to sorting, to smart production and reuse.”
Grades 8-10 will showcase the robot creations following the theme and guidelines for the Open Category competition of the World Robot Olympiad. The theme “Robot Explorers” asks students to design and build robots which are capable of exploring natural resources in potentially hazardous environments. The robots should be able to demonstrate its features and capabilities through a simulated environment designed by the students also.
Grades 4-5 will also display their interactive stories and games using Scratch program and Makey Makey.
To prepare students for the real competition in the next school year, there will be judges who will be grading their works. Awards like Maker of The Year, Best in Simulation, Most Innovative Solution, People’s Choice, Robot of the Year, best Book Adaptation, Best Game Maker will be given to deserving groups.
Here is the schedule:
7.40 – 8.05 - Booth Preparation
8.05 – 8.15 - Gather at MPH for Assembly (Gr. 3-10)
8.15 – 9.00 - Assembly Program / Genius Hour Talks
9:00 – 9:20 - BREAK / Booth Prep
9:20 – 9:30 - Gather outside LS Library
9:30 – 9:40 - Ribbon Cutting (Gr. 4 – Gr. 10)
9:40 - 10.10 - 1st Run of Presentation/Demonstration for participants (Gr. 4 – Gr. 10)
10.10 – 10.30 - BREAK
10.30 – 11.20 - 2nd Run for Gr. 2 and Gr. 3
11.20 – 12.10 - 3rd Run for PreK – Gr. 1
12.10 – 12.50 - LUNCH
12.50 – 1.40 - Pack Up Booths
1.40 – 2.30 - Awarding at MPH (Gr. 3-10)
Parents are invited! Let’s celebrate CISM’s ingenuity!