Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Navigating Our Digital World

Starting a new school year, establishing safe and appropriate online behavior is always a priority for me as a middle school teacher.  I searched many options for my students and it was not an easy task. Many of the secondary digital citizenship games and interactive sites covered topics such as phishing with details that I did not want to bring into my class.  Many of the elementary sites, however, were too simplistic and my students needed more content.  So, I was thrilled when I found Common Sense Media's Digital Compass.  It was in an interactive game format that required students to made decisions as the characters went through their day.  Each character faced unique challenges from citing sources to facing peer pressures.  Opportunities to explore the pitfalls as well as the 'upside' of digital media are included, which makes for a great learning experience for all students.

The Educator Guide is full of great ideas to extend and the content covered in the site.  I adapted the reflection questions and extension tasks for use with my students.  They worked in small groups of three to four students so they had plenty of opportunity to share ideas and discuss the digital media choices they make in their own lives.

Here are the tasks, questions and rubrics adapted from the Digital Compass Educator Guide.

Link to Digital Compass Game:  https://www.digitalcompass.org/game/index.html
Rubrics, questions and tasks adapted from the Educator Guide

Extension Activities:
Reflective Writing Prompts
Think back upon your decisions.

  1. Which choice did you make that led you the most astray? How applicable do you think that scenario is to your daily life? Provide an example from your own life.

  1. How does playing with negative outcomes, even the fantastical ones, help you apply new thinking to your real world?

  1. Why is the digital world filled with so many ups and downs? What do you think are the best opportunities in the digital world? What are the pitfalls that you and your peers need to watch out for? Provide one or two examples.

  1. Did you find that you played with the positive or negative choices first? Why?

  1. What lessons stood out to you, and how do they apply to your own life?

  1. What other digital dilemmas or ordeals were not covered in this story? What is another related issue that you see your peers grappling with quite often?

  1. Were there any characters or situations that prompted you to think twice about particular digital behaviors? How so?

  1. Which lessons would you pass along to a younger sibling or friend?

  1. Which character do you most relate to? Why? How are you similar? In what ways are you different? Can you make any personal connections to the story?

  1. Think about a particular decision or ending. How did it relate to your real life?


Tech it up:
Consider recording your thoughts digitally. You could even journal in a podcast, video, or multimedia format. • Explain Everything • Educreations • VoiceThread • QuadBlogging • Mural.ly • Prezi • Mozilla Popcorn Maker • Animoto


Extension Projects:

  1. Give a snapshot of a day in the life of a teenager. How does digital media play a role (for better or worse) from sunup to sundown?

Use Make Beliefs Comix to bring your narrative to life as a graphic novel.

B.  What if you were to write a “Dear Abby” advice column for your peers? What questions would you want to tackle? And what would your suggestions and recommendations be?

Choose a character in Tellagami to dispense your sage advice.
OR
Write and publish your own advice column in a newspaper format

C.  Create your own choose-your-own-adventure story. Start with a positive, a neutral, and a negative ending and work backwards to map out a story tree. Then, pick a character and a theme to craft an engaging narrative using the second-person point of view (“you”).

Build interactive webpages using Office Mix (new from PPT) or Keynote. Create two decision buttons on each page, and hyperlink each button to other story slides.
OR
Use inklewriter to write your choose-your-own-adventure story.





Reflective Writing Rubric


Attributes
4
Strong, Consistent
3
Effective;
Reasonable
2
Developing;
Inconsistent
1
Emerging;
Limited
Organization & Structure
  • Focus
  • Sequencing
  • Transitions
  • Fluency
  • Progression




Development
  • Ideas
  • Details
  • Techniques
  • Pacing




Craft
  • Voice
  • Word Choice
  • Description
  • Dialogue
  • Style




Conventions
  • Grammar -
mechanics & usage
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation









Creative Writing Rubric

Evidence of writing process:

  • Brainstorming    
  • Drafting
  • Revisions
  • Editing
  • Publishing

Attributes
4
Strong, Consistent
3
Effective;
Reasonable
2
Developing;
Inconsistent
1
Emerging;
Limited
Organization & Structure
  • Focus
  • Sequencing
  • Transitions
  • Fluency
  • Progression




Development
  • Ideas
  • Details
  • Techniques
  • Pacing




Craft
  • Voice
  • Word Choice
  • Description
  • Dialogue
  • Style




Conventions
  • Grammar -
mechanics & usage
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation





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