Tag Archives: Week 4

Week 4: The Future (is Now?)

image by dtavres via Pixabay

Essential Question: What is the future of education?

What a question! This week’s topic led me back to one of my favorite posts I wrote when I was a COETAIL participant five years ago (“Tomorrowland”) where I felt like I really started to recognize and articulate the shift I had made in my mindset about education. (And I reflected on my own 10 year old self being skeptical about the technological changes that could happen in my lifetime….boy was I wrong!)

This topic also reminded me of this video and although it is almost six years old, I find myself watching it at least once a year and thinking about, in my opinion and based on my experience, what progress has been made, what potential we have, and what challenges remain in education.

Although some of our readings for this week could be considered ‘dated’, perhaps some of these ideas were ahead of their time. Maybe some ideas have developed more fully than others; found a place in education. What were considered ‘innovations’ in the past might now be common practice or their time was short lived. Here are some additional resources based on our topics from this week…

Check out Jeff Utecht’s Shifting Our Schools recent podcast: Episode 43: It’s All About the Badges.

“…a conversation with Doug Belshaw from the UK. Doug has made his way from the classroom to being involved in multiple different projects including the Open Badge Alliance. A great conversation about digital badges and the future of where they are going.”

Global Collaboration
There are lots of resources out there about global collaboration but if it seems a bit overwhelming, here are a few resources with the basics

7 Steps to Starting a Global Collaboration Project (ISTE)
ISTE Global Collaboration Network
Collaborative Learning Spaces: Classrooms That Connect to the World (Edutopia)

A Recent Development: The Emergence of AR and VR in Education
And something that’s been gaining attention in education in the last few years…AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality)…and its potential impact on teaching and learning.

Virtual Reality: The Next Generation Of Education, Learning and Training (Forbes)
10 Reasons To Use Virtual Reality In The Classroom
Real Uses of Virtual Reality in Education: How Schools are Using VR

Course 4 Check for Week 4
By April 15 you should have

  • 4 blog post completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • 4 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • You are welcome to comment outside the cohort, but please continue to read and comment within it as well.

If you are working toward GET certification, make sure you are working towards or have already completed the Level 2 Google Certified Educator exam, as well as the Trainer Exam. (More details about the COETAIL/GET Requirements here.)


The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.” – Stephen Hawking

“The challenge of the unknown future is so much more exciting than the stories of the accomplished past.” – Simon Sinek

Week 4: Digital Storytelling


image by thommas68 via Pixabay

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts for this course, the topics from this course around visual literacy really had an impact on my teaching. While teaching middle school Humanities at my previous school, I offered a digital storytelling elective and was able to integrate digital storytelling into my Humanities class as a way for students to share their learning. I also began to facilitate professional development sessions on digital storytelling in the content areas. (Here is a link to my Google Site for a workshop I did a few years ago – it does need some updating but it contains examples and many of my go-to resources for digital storytelling).

With the technology tools we have available and some preparation and planning, digital storytelling can be a powerful way to engage students in sharing their learning. There are many benefits to using digital storytelling beyond creativity and technology skills that can help students share their learning and teachers assess it. (6 Reasons You Should be Doing Digital Storytelling with Your Students; Digital Storytelling: An Efficient and Engaging Learning Activity)

Here is a story about one of my learnings from using digital storytelling…The first time I taught a digital storytelling elective was even before I started COETAIL and it was a steep learning curve for me. A couple of my students had iPhones with iMovie on them and even though I had set up a process for them to develop their story first, they said they’d have their story done by Monday. Keep in mind, I was not experienced with iMovie or how this worked on an iPhone at this time. On Monday, they shared this movie they created about spies in their apartment building including falling and exploding cars. At first I was impressed with the technology and what they were able to create visually. But once I watched it again, as a teacher assessing their work, I realized their story did not make much sense and it was mostly them improvising. Also, it was difficult to hear their dialogue and keep track of the characters. Was it impressive visually? Sure – mostly because it was a new format for me. Did they communicate their story effectively? Nope. So we as teachers we must keep in mind, that creating a digital story is more than just the software or app that is being used. Even if students are tech saavy in creating digital media, they still need guidance on creating an engaging story.


Here’s a TedEx video of iPad storyteller Joe Sabia about the evolution of technology and storytelling which relates to our essential question for this week: How does this new form of storytelling differ from forms in the past?

Looking forward to reading more about your learning and experiences with digital storytelling!

Note: For more about the power of storytelling > The magical science of storytelling By  David JP Phillips at TEDxStockholm (shared his presentation “How to avoid death by PowerPoint” in my Week 3 post.)

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 4: Teaching and Learning and Technology

Checking In

To be up to date…

  • read and completed all
    units up to Week 4 in the “My Courses” tab
  • begun thinking about your Course 1 Final Project
  • written 3 blog posts & 3 comments
  • recorded the URLs of each of the posts & comments you would like assessed as part of COETAIL on your grading spreadsheet

If you are behind for some reason, it happens, but please make an effort to catch up. If you get too far behind it may become overwhelming and you may feel left out of the conversation. The program policy for late work can be found here. Please, please let me know how I can support you at any time during the course of this program.

Implications in the Classroom

EQ: Have (and if so, how have) teaching and learning changed with the introduction of new tools?

This week’s essential question is a hot topic of conversation for many and has produced research and lots of opinions about the impact (or lack of) of technology on teaching and learning.

This week’s readings (from Digital Youth Project and Marc Prensky) are from 2005-2006 but I think it’s interesting to read and compare/contrast them with what is happening in schools today. You can easily find more current resources on this topic and I’ve listed a few below if you are interested.

Are We Getting Smarter about Ed Tech? (Edutopia)
Technology Integration Research Review (Edutopia)
The Pros and Cons of Technology (Edudemic)

A couple other videos you might be interested in were shared by Online 9 participants @megodek and @cescobar in their Week 3 blog posts.

From Megan

From Carolin

(FYI: Here is how to embed videos in your blog posts)

Thanks for your continued sharing in your posts and your interaction with each other. I’m seeing thoughtful analysis and reflection and relevant sharing of ideas and resources. And I appreciate the time and effort you are putting into this learning journey!