As part of my Major Project on presenting to students about smartphone use I thought it would be engaging to have some relevant data gathered from the students being presented to. As I discussed in a previous blog, I was going to gather real-time data during the presentation but decided against this, as I was worried it would take too much time and overload the wifi. So I chose to gather the data earlier using Google Forms at a school wide assembly that our Principal and Vice-Principal were hosting while we were in a teacher area meeting (thank you to them for the help and support). Of about 550 students present for the assembly, I received 261 responses, which although far from perfect, I am happy with as it is a statistically significant portion of the student body (we have about 720 students at our school so this represents about 36% of the student population).
Well this was definitely my most challenging blog thus far to come up with an idea to write about for EDL 820. Maybe, because there were no prompts to start us off, or maybe that I had many negative opinions to express based on provincial words and promises but no actions or sufficient funding to support actions and I much prefer to focus on positives and solutions. I have therefore decided to look critically at the idea of “The Home / School Continuum: Two Lives or One” (Pg 9 of Digital Citizenship in Saskatchewan Schools) as I believe our view of and decision in this realm has a very large impact on how we will approach the idea of digital citizenship in schools, home and society. I understand both perspectives and can quite honestly say that I have not decided which one I feel is the correct perspective to take as a teacher; it is not a black and white issue, but much more of a gray area in worldview. In some situations technology works great at home and school (ie. Google classroom), other times kids “Snap” each other endlessly in both environments. Furthermore, this debate still continues in other very similar situations as to whether school is to prepare students for life, work or both. Are we teaching citizens, workers, university bound youth, or rebels because at times it is hard to understand who school’s really serve and why? The Saskatchewan Ministry of Education has not told us the answer to this question very clearly at this point., but they seem to be embracing digital lives for teachers and students quite specifically.
The main target of my major project is to improve the responsibility of students in using handheld devices in the classroom and school, and the focused method of influencing these students will be through a 12 or so minute presentation to about 350 students at a time, one presentation to Grade 9 and 10’s and one presentation to Grade 11 and 12’s during Advisory. I have permission from my principal and after completing the Major project outline (Part 2) recently, I have progressed to developing the presentation and slideshow.