Last week was Digital Citizenship week and it got me thinking about how I integrate digital competencies into my teaching. We know that general ICT capabilities are now something we should be embedding throughout many curriculum areas, but how do we squeeze in opportunities for students to develop the necessary skills to be safe and responsible users of technology when the curriculum is already chockers? It's simple make it part of what you are already doing! I am sure you have students creating with technology (please no more Prezi's).
I have the pleasure of being an ICT coach and one of the biggest hurdles I face, when I suggest the concept of using social networks in the classroom, is the fear that students may say or do something inappropriate. I say let’s embrace it. School is a time for learning from our mistakes and sometimes we don’t learn unless we fail. The opportunity to reflect on how we would do it differently next time if the richest learning of any experience. If we can provide students with opportunities to explore social connectedness in the classroom then we have a window of opportunity to discuss strategies in building a positive digital reputation.
So what motivates students to ‘get social’ online and how can we bring this concept into the classroom to optimise engagement?
- Provides an authentic audience for their work. Some might argue that the teacher and other students in the classroom is enough however the power or purpose enhances engagement
- Gives students opportunities to be measured – by real people! What students doesn’t enjoy receiving likes and ratings? By sharing creations online students are motivated to increase output effort because they know their work is being viewed and sometimes judged.
- Allows for exploration of what is possible through sharing ideas and viewing other student work. This promotes the generation of new ideas. For students to see other users’ creations often inspires students create something ‘better’, see what is possible or replicate/refine ideas to develop their own creations.
Here are my Top 4 Free Creative Social Apps where students can create and share their work in a social network environment: