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At the beginning of next year, IICS will hold its third annual Digital Citizenship Week. Within this week, secondary students will look at finding a digital balance while primary students will explore issues such as online safety and cyberbullying.
Before this happens though, we wanted to remind you of some resources that are available to parents regarding kids and technology. Our Technology Integration Specialist, Claire Wachowiak and Brycen Davis, created a Frequently Asked Questions page on the New Literacies website. Please take a moment to look through this information. Thanks!
Do you worry if your child is addicted to technology? While searching for resources for next year’s Digital Citizenship Week, Brycen Davis and Claire Wachowiak, came across a page on Common Sense Media. This resource addresses parental concerns regarding addition and technology. Although technology is a prevalent part of our everyday life, check in to make sure your child is in control when using the Internet. To get to this page, please click on the image below:
We recently discovered an infographic regarding permissions and photos found on the Internet. We thought this was an informative graphic and very helpful. See for yourself above!
At IICS, we have been looking into avenues that allow students to personalize their learning experiences. As a result, MYP students have begun to participate in Exploratory groups where they delve into subjects that they are interested in learning about within a structured environment.
One such group is our student coders. These brave computer scientists are led by Phillip, a tenth grade student, and our Primary Technology Integration Specialist, Claire Wachowiak. These students have begun learning about Java as well as the reasoning behind coding with some unplugged lessons.
Although this time is set aside for MYP students, two fifth grade students, Hanako and Joey, have expressed an interest in coding and have begun to join this group to learn more about Java.
The other day however, Hanako, Joey, and Ms. Wachowiak decided it might be interesting to demonstrate Makey Makeys. So last Tuesday, Hanako and Joey took the lead to teach these eighth and tenth grade students a lesson in Makeys; Joey even used his own game he created in Scratch to show what these invention kits can do. Please check out the video below to see these grade five leaders in action.
After visiting a Coderdojo in Kadıköy, Claire Wachowiak, our Primary Tech Integration Specialist invested in some Makey Makey kits. She was inspired by the level of engagement and collaboration that she witnessed and thought it would be an interesting way to introduce students to some hands-on computer science at IICS.
A Makey Makey is a tool that helps students learn about the basics of computer science. By using a circuit board, alligator clips, and a USB cable, a Makey Makey uses a closed loop electrical signals to talk to the computer or website.
Three students, Phillip, Joey, and Hanako explored this tool last week. Please check out the video below to see these students in action; collaborating, learning, and creating.
When we asked second grade students what coding means to them, they came up with some very interesting responses:
- giving commands
- following step-by-step (directions)
- hard, frustrating
- being specific
- happy when you figure it out
- (following a) pattern
- figuring out the least amount of movements to solve a problem
Most students who participated this year’s Hour of Code would agree. Students describe coding as the language of computers. Essentially if you are using technology, code is involved.
However, coding isn’t just about learning a language, it is a skill that encourages collaboration and promotes problem solving, including critical thinking. It helps student to develop their logical thinking skills as well as nurture their creativity.
Please watch the video below to see IICS students coding. If you are interested in learning more about coding, please check this out for more resources.
As part of Digital Citizenship Week, Claire Wachowiak and Brycen Davis, our Tech Integration Team, discussed Internet safety and digital balance with parents during a PTA Coffee Morning. Susan Taylor hosted the event.
During this time, a lively discussion took place regarding the concerns parents have about their children being online. While understanding that the Internet has become an integral part of our daily lives, students need to be guided on how to use this incredible tool as its significant functionality also comes with some inherent dangers. We talked about what IICS is doing to help keep students safe online, including lessons and the Acceptable Use Policies, and also what parents can do at home.
While each home is unique, there are several suggestions below that may help guide students in making smart online choices and to develop healthy screen time habits:
- Talk with your child; make sure to check in with your child about their online lives
- Create an ‘at home’ media agreement with your child
- Talk to your child about Internet safety rules; don’t assume
- Keep technology in a central location
- Limit screen time
- Be a role model for your child in using technology safely and effectively
To help with this, Claire and Brycen have also created a resource page for parents to get information about keeping their children safe online. Additionally, they have created a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) for parents to help navigate this ever changing landscape.
Thank you again to Susan Taylor and the PTA for hosting our Tech Integration Team. It was a lovely morning and we look forward to many more.
On Monday, students in grades two through six discussed what it means to be a good digital citizen. In school, we hear so much about digital citizenship so we thought it would be a good time to establish expectations and responsibilities when online. Also, we reviewed how to positively and respectfully participate in an online community.
Students discussed their thoughts on what it means to be in a community, characteristics of an effective digital citizen, and situations they have run into when online. Many classes also created charts to record their thinking. All and all, a good day for digital citizenship!
Students also watched the video below ‘Characteristics of a Responsible Digital Citizen’