Sunday, October 2, 2016

Discovering What Our Digital Tattoo Is

In my semester long Digital Citizenship course, we start off by analyzing our presence online.   This is an overview of our Digital Tattoo unit:

To begin this unit, I have the students start their blog off with what they think they will find when I have them Google every username and email they have used online as well as searching Google Images to see how they are portrayed online.  This is then followed by 35 minutes of gasping and laughing as they discover what is out there and what others have been putting online while tagging them.  They then have to finish that same blogpost with what they found and their thoughts on it.  You can read some of their blogs here:


Next we had the opportunity to have a webinar with @HSSocialMedia and Coach Bouffard
about what colleges are expecting out of college applicants, college students and those who are on or are applying for a scholarship.  You can read more about it here: Digital Tattoo .  They were so helpful in pointing out how students who receive scholarships or are athletes are held to a higher standard.   They also provided us with some ways that social media can serve as a conduit for positive interactions: Link

Next, a former student of mine, Tucker Sholtes, came in to talk about social media usage in the business world and what HR is looking for when hiring and how businesses will regulate your usage of a personal cellphone if you are checking email on that device.  He also reminded us that not everything that happens in your life needs to be on social media. He cautioned us not to compare our real lives to people's highlight reel on social media.  Lastly, he taught us about LinkedIn and how we can use it to highlight our accomplishments and start to build our professional online presence.

Next, Betsy Kane and Alyssa Estus, both Admission Counselors at SUNY Plattsburgh, shared what they are looking for when they examine college applications.  They also talked about when they find fake accounts, deleted accounts or a total lack of a social media presence. Additionally, they told us about how social media is often used on campus to get out the message and can be used to spread the positivity around campus.

Lastly, Deputy Stapleton, our School Resource Officer, came in to talk about how criminals can use your social media accounts to hack into your life and what information they can glean from your accounts.  He also spoke to us about geotagging and how to make sure you are not exposing too much information in your pictures.  He reinforced that not everything you do in life has to wind up on social media, especially if it would give the wrong first impression to someone just meeting you.

After hearing all of this information, the students had to create a way to pay forward their learning.  They could choose from this list of platforms but if they had another one they wanted to use, they could add it to the list and dive into it.  They had to come up with a dynamic way to share 12 pieces of information they learned that they thought others should know and would be interested in learning.  See some examples here:

Stephanie, Alicia, Sarina, Theresa

The students in class then evaluated their peers based on some of the criteria that is also on the rubric.  You'll notice the last question on the peer evaluation is what percentage of peers must determine that you are an expert to receive your Techspert badge.  As you can see, the class voted that you must have at least a 90% peer approval rating to receive the badge.  The goal is to make experts out of each member of the class so they can help each other throughout the semester and then transfer those skills (both with the platforms and teaching others to use digital platforms) to other classes and experiences in life.
The students then have a choice if they do not receive a 90%+  approval rating.  They can try that platform again to try and earn their badge or they can move on to another platform.  Generally, the expectation in class is that you cannot use the same platform more than once so that we are continually adding to our digital platform skills and also so that we can get used to hitting hurdles and challenges and persevering. However, I emphasize a growth mindset with the students and usually they choose to try again so they can earn their badge and show their additional skills.

We then reflected on the process by answering these questions: 
1. I learned...
2. Next time I do a project I'll...
3. I think I
 did a great job...
4. An area of improvement could be that next time..

Here is an example of a student's reflection

1. I learned that I would enjoy using piktochart in the future
2. Next time I do a project I'll make a Powtoon
3. I think I did a great job on making it eye catching
4. An area of improvement could be that next time I use more of my creative abilities in sharing information

I would love your thoughts and feedback on this project because we are better together!

Thank you!

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