Category Archives: Course 2

Week 6: Finishing Up Course 2 and 2017

image by rawpixel via Pixabay

We’re into the final stretch of Course 2 (already!) and I’ve been really impressed with all the reflective and engaging and informative blog posts. This course covers some heavy, complex topics and you’ve all really shown how much you’ve gotten out of it. I’ve also loved seeing the interaction between all of you via the comments and even on Twitter.  I’m thinking about setting up some Google Hangouts after the New Year so we have some chats in real time.

I know you’ve already been working with your collaborative groups on your Course 2 Final Project. Please review the Understanding the Course 2 Final Project module to make sure you are clear about the option you’ve chosen and the rubric I will use to assess it. Week 6 ends on December 10 and I will have final grades done by December 17. As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns that come up!

Final Checklist for Course 2

  • 5 blog posts completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • Remember as a part of your GET certification it is important to be trying to incorporate ways you are planning trainings for your colleagues and/or using GSuite tools in your daily work
  • 5 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • 1 Final Project and accompanying blog post
  • Please continue to check for and approved all comments on your own blog and of course respond to them

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

I know I’m not alone in counting down the days to our Winter Break and will be heading to the US (Colorado) on December 15th for some family time. Course 3 officially starts January 22, 2018 so you’ll have an extended break from COETAIL before we finish off the school year with the majority of COETAIL courses completed! Again, thank you for all the effort and energy you put into Course 2 and best wishes for a relaxing, wonderful holiday season!


Week 5: Empowering Connections

image by geralt via Pixabay

As we move into Week 5, a reminder of what you should have done so far…

  • 4 blog posts completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • Remember as a part of your GET certification it is important to start trying to incorporate ways you are planning trainings for your colleagues and/or using GSuite tools in your daily work
  • 4 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • You are encouraged to comment more, but only log one per week
  • Please continue to check for and approved all comments on your own blog and of course respond to them
  • Connected with another member of the cohort and making progress on your Course 2 Final Project

Social Media and the Power of Change

I think this topic is a great way to wrap up the topics we’ve been covering in Course 2. We’ve looked at copyright & plagiarism, digital footprints, online privacy, and digital citizenship. All which can be daunting especially when trying to  figure out how to address them both personally and as an educator. And it’s to find all the negative aspects of technology and the internet in this digital age and how it’s ruining all our lives – but what about all the ways it has improved and enhanced our lives and others. This week’s understanding is a provocative statement to turn all the concerns we have to remind us of how tools and resources can be used for good.

When I talk about my PLN via Twitter I sometimes get those comments about how Twitter is full of trashy celebrities and nasty trolls. I admit that you can find all sorts on Twitter but I choose not to engage in those negative aspects and build my Twitter to suit my needs and interests. And for me, my Twitter has provided an inexhaustible source of resources, ideas and support. So this week’s understanding “The communication tools that exist today are powerful mediums to help spread positive change and global awareness.” And we can easily find, and have even experienced, how social media and modern technology can have a positive impact.

The article “Social Media as a Formidable Force for Change”, explores the power of the hashtag as one medium and aptly introduces the topic with a powerful statement…

The power of social media is hard to dismiss. What once seemed like a trivial way to keep in touch with friends, sharing photos and jokes, has become a force for societal change, shining light on subjects previously unknown, deepening conversations and empowering citizens of the world to unite and effect change in a number of ways.

Here’s an article from Harvard Business Review “Creating Social Change with Social Media” that uses #GivingTuesday (which is tomorrow!) as an example to provide suggestions how social purpose organizations can use social media to promote their cause. Or this article “YouTube Creators Using The Internet For Positive Change” providing examples of how this video sharing platform has provided a space for many people “to raise funds and awareness for causes ranging from anxiety to world hunger. The success of these digital do-gooders relies on the empowerment, education, and engagement of their audiences, rather than just views.”

And these are just a handful of examples of the positive power of technology and social media. What other examples have you found or experienced yourself?

Week 4: Digital Citizenship

image by sasint via Pixabay

Week 4: Digital Citizenship

I’ve been interested in seeing how the topic of Digital Citizenship has evolved since I explored the topic when I was in COETAIL just over five years ago. Most resources and articles and lessons tended to focus on online safety (stranger danger!) for students. I appreciate Digital Citizenship Week in October to bring attention to it, but it becomes more and more obvious that we need more than a week to address this complex topic. There has been a shift over the past few years in defining and expanding digital citizenship to move beyond a week of lessons about protecting your identity and not chatting with people you don’t know (not discounting the importance of those topics but there’s so much more to consider).

In a very recent article on Mind/Shift (which I just discovered has a podcast!), “Making Media Literacy Central to Digital Citizenship”, Tanner Higgin comments,

“We need to move from a conflation of digital citizenship with internet safety and protectionism to a view of digital citizenship that’s pro-active and prioritizes media literacy and savvy.”

There is even an organization, Media Literacy Now, that is pushing the conversation about addressing media literacy in schools in the United States. In one of their articles, Linking Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship in the Public Policy Realm” (linked in the Mind/Shift article above), the sub heading states,

“To be a citizen and participate fully, one must be literate. Literacy today means media literacy, which relies on technology, which today is overwhelmingly digital.”

It’s not just about protecting ourselves, but also to be productive participants as well.

Of course, there’s the whole question of who, how, when do we incorporate this into our already full (over-flowing) plate as educators….

I look forward to reading your ideas, opinions and perspectives on digital citizenship education!

A Recommendation for Those Interested in Teens and Social Media…

An important component of delivering digital citizenship education is understanding our students’ experiences and perspectives and interactions with technology and digital spaces. One of your readings this week, Bullying Has Little Resonance With Teenagers, is by danah boyd who contributed to Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (2009) which was developed from Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project that you read in Course 1. If you work with teens and/or have your own teens, danah shares her findings from more than ten years research on how young people use social media as part of their everyday practices in her book It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens (2014).

And your weekly checklist:

  • 3 blog posts completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    *Remember as a part of your GET certification it is important to start trying to incorporate ways you are planning trainings for your colleagues and/or using GSuite tools in your daily work
  • 3 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    *You are encouraged to comment more, but only log one per week
  • Checked and approved all comments on your own blog and hopefully responded to them. You’ll get much more from continuing the conversation.
  • Connected with another member of the cohort to get working on your Course 2 Final Project

Week 3: The Impact of Digital Footprints

Image by Robert_z_Ziemi via Pixabay

This week’s topic is Digital Footprints and Profiles and is an opportunity to do some self-assessment of your own presence out the on the interwebs and then consider how we address this with our students…and parents and even our colleagues!

I took a look back at my own COETAIL post from 2012 on this same topic in which I reflected on my experience Googling myself and my reaction to a postcard I sent from Japan that ended up on the internet. You find out more from my post Digital Footprints: Where Will They Lead?

Another Digital Footprint experience that I like to share happened a few years ago when I was deep in the search for a new job at an international school. At the end of one interview I asked if there was any additional information I could provide to the school regarding my qualifications or experience. The administrator said, “We’re good. We’ve seen you on Twitter.” At first I was surprised (I did include my Twitter handle in my digital portfolio) and then I was actually pleased because I knew that my presence on Twitter was positive and professional.

Final Project Alert

I know it’s only week 3 but it’s important you stay on top of what needs to happen for this course. The Course 2 final project requires you to collaborate with at least one other cohort member who is not in your school. The idea here is to work on a globally collaborative project. I strongly suggest that, if you haven’t already,  you start making these connections with your cohort and figure out a plan soon.

I noticed Mistral has already reached out via Twitter to find a connection. I will send an email so I can find out who is working with whom. Additionally, please review the options and their requirements and the rubric as you work on your final project for Course 2. Let me know if you need any clarification or support.

Common Sense Media

We’ve had some readings and reference to Common Sense Media and I recommend signing up as an educator if you’d like access to all their resources and research. I’ve used their Digital Citizenship lessons (with modifications for language and culture) and they’ve also got resources for parents and for working with parents. Some of their resources tend to be US-centric but I’ve heard that they are working on updating and modifying their resources.

Have a great week and keep building a positive digital footprint via your posts and your Tweets!

Week 2: Balancing Online Connections with Protecting Privacy

image by Timisu via Pixabay

I had a fantastic time at the Learning 2.0 conference in Shanghai this weekend connecting with other international educators interested in innovation in education. I hope you had a chance to check out some of the action via the #learning2 hashtag. If you’re looking to build your PLN, this hashtag is a great place to find people to follow and interact with and the hashtag is pretty active throughout the year, not just during conference time. You can also check out a playlist of L2 Talks on YouTube (like mini TEDtalks).  I highly recommend Learning 2.0 conferences and there are a lot of COETAIL connections to be found among the participants and the topics. 

After spending the weekend at an event that involves a lot of social media interaction and several discussions around digital citizenship and online safety, this week’s topic is a reminder for me to reflect on balancing my online activity and protecting my privacy. This is a huge issue for us personally and professionally. Our online life is important to us not only socially, but has become a staple in daily life for shopping, banking, entertainment, file storage, etc. Technology and the internet have made so many tasks so much easier, but on the other hand a lot of personal information is ‘out there’ on the web and it’s security is not always guaranteed. I found this article that addresses the quandary we can find ourselves in: Why We’re So Hypocritical About Online Privacy. And not only do we need to educate ourselves about this, we have to consider the impact of privacy issues on how we use technology in the classroom and how we educate our students (and parents) about this topic.

Being Connected

I encourage you to follow each other on Twitter (You can subscribe to COETAIL Online9 List which includes all Online9 participants). I’ve already seen some sharing of resources relevant to Course 2 by some of our participants.

Gene Marie Chagaris who shared a tweet with information about podcast on copyright laws and Rory Bell found a great resource on copyright protection. Nick Garvin, who has been participating in a number of Twitter chats, references a chat on remix and responsibility.

Checking In

Just a reminder of where you should be in Course 2

  • 1 blog post completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • 1 comment completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet (It is encouraged to comment more, but only log one)
  • Checked and approved all comments on your own blog and hopefully responded. You’ll get much more from continuing the conversation.

Have a great week!

On to Course 2

image by uniquedesign52 on Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons

Reflecting on Course 1

Course 2 kicks off today but I wanted to share all your hard work on your Course 1 final projects. I’ve added them all to a Padlet and hope you take some time a take a look at each others’ work. You might get some ideas for yourself or your colleagues. Again, thank you for all your efforts during Course 1 and I appreciate all the interactions that happened through commenting on blogs and even some exchanges on Twitter. The cohort aspect is a key element of the COETAIL experience and you’ve begun building a strong support system with our Online 9 group. And as I’ve already shared with some of you, this is a learning and growing experience for me as well and I appreciate all the feedback and communication you’ve shared with me. Now…on to Course 2!

Made with Padlet

Course 2

I highly recommend you take some time to watch Jeff Utecht’s video in the Course 2 Overview. He not only gives a comprehensive overview of the course but also how it fits into the bigger picture of COETAIL and it’s goals.

In Course 2 we’ll explore topics of digital citizenship, digital footprints, privacy, copyright and plagiarism. I’ve found these are topics brought up regularly in schools and among teachers but are often talked ‘around’ with many educators and administrators not sure how to address these issues within the curriculum and the school culture in general. I’ll be interested to hear your idea and experiences in how these topics might be or are already being addressed in your school and/or classroom.

Additionally, your final project will involve collaboration with other cohort members and help you to continue to develop your learning network. Read more about the expectations and options in the Understanding the Course 2 Final Project module.

While your Course 1 projects and most posts, focused on the classroom, you should begin thinking about how you will leverage your learning as a trainer of your peers. Part of the Google for Education Trainer program is providing a series of trainings throughout the year (once your become a certified). It will be important to look at the information through the lenses of both a teacher and a trainer. There will be reminders throughout the course to support you in developing this.

As always, please let me know if you have questions or concerns or need clarification with anything along the way. I look forward to more learning and sharing… and collaboration as we make our way through Course 2.