Summer and Technology

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!

Frequently Asked Questions

Technology Addiction

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:

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 10.35.31

Internet Safety and Some Coffee

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.

IMG_2414During 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:

  1. Talk with your child; make sure to check in with your child about their online lives
  2. Create an ‘at home’ media agreement with your child
  3. Talk to your child about Internet safety rules; don’t assume
  4. File_000Keep technology in a central location
  5. Limit screen time
  6. 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.


What is a Good Digital Citizen?

IMG_5089On 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’


Keeping Kids Safe Online

The presentation below was given to parents during the Primary ‘Parent-Teacher Conferences’ in October. Please see the presentation below for some tips on how to keep your child safe online.

Keeping Private Information Private with Edmodo!

Students in Grade 2 are starting to use Edmodo so we thought this would be a great time to discuss what information is private and how to keep safe online. Please view the presentation below:

Going Online Safely with Grade 2

Students in Grade 2 learned about what they need to do to stay safe online. Please watch the Google Presentation below:

Student Created Video: Nose to Nose

The following video was shot by students and edited by students.  It is an excellent example of the things that the IICS students are capable of.  Find more information about Nose to Nose here.

Common Sense Media in Grade 6

Students in Grade 6 started working on Digital Literacy using the Common Sense Media curriculum.  They watched videos, had small group and whole class discussions, worked on their computer using shared Google Docs, and hand-wrote some ideas in the lesson.

The lesson overview and objectives were as follows:

Students first watch a short video in which teens share their rules of the road for connecting with others online. Through a guided class discussion, students then learn strategies for recognizing and responding to risky online interaction. Finally, students work in groups to rate the riskiness of several online scenarios using the Internet Traffic Light Student Handout.

Students will:

  • Describe positive aspects of online talking and messaging
  • Identify situations in which flirting and chatting become inappropriate and risky
  • Understand rules for safe online messaging, and feel empowered to deal with uncomfortable situations when communicating online

Wikispace Information

Skills that travel – transliteracy and the Global Librarian A powerpoint on transliteracy and what it is.


InformationFluencyContinuum.pdf – New York City Department of Education K-12 Information Fluency Continuum

Common Sense Media – website which contains ideas for Digital Literacy

Video of Mimi Ito on Digital Literacy (7 mins) Yes this is the same one posted on the Home Page

Wikipedia has a good definition for New Literacies

Digital Information Fluency model

NCTE Framework for 21st Century Curriculum and Assessment National Council of Teachers of English in Illinois. I particularly like their definition of Literacies. “Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy.”
I found this particularly useful in our Unit in Technology, small adaptations can be made to fit the units with most of this framework. However there is much to do to make the units fit in more completely.

Interesting look at the Networked Student

Some questions for the Edutech committee to consider digital literacy at IICS

What is our definition of Digital Literacy?

What do our students need to be taught or encouraged to develop in this area? How do we evaluate progress?

Who will teach it? How can we assist them?

What do you know of Digital Literacy in education? Have you worked in schools that are working well in this? Do you know of school working well in this?
While digital literacy is not only about skills this article on the top 10 tech skills every student should have includes some digital literacies

Flipped Blooms

Digital Blooms with great resources