A Learning Management System (LMS) is a structure to provide consistent access to instruction and resources. It provides a pathway for students, families and teachers to access the learning and feedback at all times. Many teachers and families had their first experiences with an LMS in response to Covid-19. However, a Learning Management System, whether it be Schoology, Google Classroom, or Seesaw has a purpose and a place far beyond a pandemic.
In a world where all educators are working to guide students to become Global Collaborators, Creative Communicators, Knowledge Constructors, Empowered Learners, and engaged Digital Citizens we need to provide the structures and spaces that authentically deliver these opportunities on a daily basis. A well organized and thoughtfully implemented LMS is the foundation to this work.
Access to a Learning Management System provides students:
For Our Families
Use of a consistent LMS means that caretakers will have peace of mind knowing their students have access to all the resources listed above. It also means that families will:
Learning Management Systems in jeffco
Every day, we see students struggle with how to
mindfully manage the potential and power of their digital devices.
With our TechforEd initiative, and other 1:1 school programs, it’s become obvious that students need time to examine the consequences of their online activity. Here are some reasons why educators should take the lead in promoting digital citizenship curriculum inside their classroom and some helpful resources for how to implement.
The number one concern we hear from teachers across our district is related to inappropriate use of technology by students in the classroom. With our TechforEd initiative, we knew we would need to provide instruction and guidance for staff and students around this topic. Jeffco’s Digital Citizenship scope and sequence and associated supports are built on Common Sense Media’s research based curriculum. This school year, resources are released monthly to schools and include lessons, activities, reading materials and family communication. If you are new to Digital Citizenship, these free resources are a great way to engage your students.
2. Incessant multitasking
If we want students to thrive in the digital world, they must be taught and have time to practice sustained attention. This is not a new practice, but urgent in the current environment. In the classroom, we can (and should) offer students incentives to engage in undistracted learning on their devices.
1. Time their engagement
ex: if students are on task for __ minutes, they get 2 minutes of YouTube
2. Create more engaging digital tasks.
ex: Create slideshows in Pear Deck, allowing for digital interaction with the content
3. Give students choice in how they show they learning.
ex: a typed essay, a Google site, a WeVideo, a podcast using Soundtrap, a digital poster using Google Drawings or Boardbuilder in Discovery Education
Educators tend to have two major assumptions. First, we assume that as digital natives, there is no need for teaching students how to use technology. Second, technology comes in many forms and we tend to lump it all together. In reality, the quality of the tools and devices matters. Remember creation vs. consumption. Engaging with an educational app (like Book Creator) for one hour per day is far more valuable than something that provides entertainment.
- Keep it short. No one likes to watch lengthy films unless they are coming from Hollywood or experienced film makers. The most difficult films to make are often the shortest ones because getting content that tells a great story into small time frames is challenging. Limit the films to minutes at most to keep them interesting, anything over a few minutes is far too long and students won't want to watch them. A great place to start is 60 seconds or less and work up from there.
- Don't forget the planning. Great films aren't just put together on a whim, they often involve months if not years of planning and revising. Setting goals and involving planning processes such as outlining, drafting, storyboarding, and deadlines, are essential to creating films that will captivate an audience. Editing and revising are also essential components that need not be forgotten. It's critically important that students understand how planning and revising are components of all processes we engage in.
- Group work is easier. It's rare to see people doing great things alone, there are often multiple people involved. Providing students opportunities to work in groups when creating films will make outcomes more attainable and lead to better products. Group work also provides opportunities to develop collaboration skills. Working with others is essential to success in any environment and students need practice. Getting captures worthy of being involved in a final film product takes time and work and it's much easier to have multiple people capturing different things. This provides options for choice and the more we have to choose from the better the final product will be. Lastly, sometimes there is a need for a camera person, a director, or an editor, and working in groups makes all of these roles easier to fill as students learn to collaborate together.
- Portions of the work needs to extend beyond the classroom. Capturing for film should always be done outside of a classroom. Students see their classrooms everyday so capturing them is certainly no novelty. Classroom time can be used for planning, revising, and compiling however, much of film work will take place beyond the wall or outside the school. This can be a replacement for homework but shouldn't be called homework. The term "homework" has many negative connotations so terms such as capturing or filming can be used instead. Students often love to use their phones (or their parents phones) outside of school and the purpose of capturing for films makes the use of their phones interesting and purposeful, as well as, authentic. Rather than spending time scrolling through social media feeds or messaging with friends, students can find joy and purpose in figuring out ways they want to tell their stories.
- Celebrate the successes and challenges. There will be many successes but there will also be many challenges and celebrating both will help students want to continue honing their film skills. When students realize they didn't get the capture they wanted or something is missing, they will face opportunities to reflect and create new practices so they avoid those situations in the future. Call it building resilience, learning from our mistakes, or something else, these opportunities are priceless moments for growth and they need to be celebrated. The first film products might be a little rough around the edges but what are the areas of growth and the new learning that comes from those final products? Students will excel if we allow them time and space to reflect on their work and identify what they will do differently in the future.
- Don't forget about the laws. With film and multimedia come a wide range of copyright laws and it's important to know what is permissible and what is forbidden. There are plenty of royalty free options for music and images and helping students understand where to find them is useful. A great resource to help you with finding them is your DTL (Digital Teacher Librarian), they have expertise that is invaluable in these areas. We have some increased rights for using multimedia when it comes to education however, as students become more engaged in capturing and sharing their learning, it will be vital for them to understand where the lines are drawn in regards to copyrights. It's also important for them to understand so they can protect their own work as they grow into more experienced film makers. Ultimately, it's a great lesson in citizenship and ethics that will help them throughout their entire lives.
- Look for ways to authentically challenge your students. There are a variety of options for students to begin engaging in authentic challenges when it comes to film. The Denver Film Festival has created opportunities for high school students to be a part of the festival each year by attending the festival for a day and being involved in a film competition if they so choose. You can register a group of students to attend this year's festival for free by visiting this link. At the festival, students have opportunities to engage with professionals in the industry to learn tips and tricks, as well as, possible careers in film. If you would like more information about the Denver Film Festival opportunities, contact Nick Steinmetz (email@example.com). Digital Promise also has a great FilmMAKER Challenge and 360 Degree Filmmakers Challenge for students. Check out some of the student film products on the Digital Promise Student Film page or share them with your students to provide inspiring looks at how other students around the world are sharing their learning through film.
A journey Begins
Starting with the "Why", not the device
A common element of writing a belief statement is collaboration. Having multiple voices in the process can help build efficacy and ownership.
Resources which helped the Pomona area schools develop their "why" included:
Warder believes in empowering the learning experiences for our students through authentic and innovative technology integration.
Weber Elementary believes in transforming the learning experience through authentic tasks that enhance critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration skills through the thoughtful integration of technology.
Little Elementary believes in providing students the opportunities and skills needed to become creative communicators and curious learners in the digital world.
Building a Roadmap
Digital Teacher Librarians, Instructional Coaches, Principals, and leadership teams came together to build a plan for a successful 1:1 roll-out.
Four main milestones began to emerge as necessary components for success:
Our IT colleagues supported many system and school-based decisions regarding the logistical components of the project including repair processes, tracking, and ongoing technical considerations. We are thankful for the partnership in this work!
Schools were then freed up to focus on the implications for student learning. This blog will focus on the remaining three milestones which the Pomona elementary schools continue to implement and reflect upon.
Communication & Partnerships
Guiding Questions to Consider:
Expectations and Digital citizenship
"It is very important to be proactive rather than reactive. Take the time to teach and implement expectations and not just think they have already got it." Digital Teacher Librarian
"Start Early!" 1st grade teacher
- Media Balance & Well-Being
- Privacy & Security
- Digital Footprint & Identity
- Relationships & Communication
- Cyberbullying, Digital Drama & Hate Speech
- News & Media Literacy
Some teams of teachers engaged in a common book study in preparation of setting up their classroom expectations. Jeffco Ed Tech has online resources to share with schools interested in facilitating a book study at your school too!
"Set expectations early and be clear about consequences when students don't follow the expectations and of course follow through with consequences. That advice is true of all classroom management." 5th grade teacher
What existing structures in your building create clear expectations with students? Weber Elementary added to their PBIS matrix and included descriptions for Safety, Organization, Achievement, and Respect for learning on devices, just as they had student expectations for the playground and hallways.
View some common slides curated from multiple schools across Jeffco when considering setting up expectations at your school.
Pedagogy: Professional Learning Plan
Supporting teachers through a thoughtful professional learning plan can help scaffold instructional best practices in a 1:1 classroom.
Teachers in the Pomona area were invited to join a Learning Lab. Teachers are building a community, opening their doors to each other to watch technology teaching and learning occurring in the classroom, and taking those implications forward to their own instructional practices.
"The Learning Labs effectively introduce new tools for teaching. [The facilitator] is intentional about supporting us in this learning by modeling how technology can be intentionally integrated to transform our classrooms rather than just as a shiny, new gadget. I always come away from our Learning Labs with tons of new ideas - maybe not things I will implement the next day just for the sake of it, but ideas that have changed entire units of instruction to be more meaningful and that ask students to think and work in new ways." 5th grade teacher
Additionally, schools designed on-site professional learning for teacher needs specific to their school.
Questions to consider:
Transforming the Task
"The heart of really transforming education is in transforming student task. If we are not profoundly changing the things our kids get to do and experience in the process of learning, we aren't really changing anything." Jeffco Generations, Transforming Student Task
Pomona teachers have been utilizing their understanding of SAMR to integrate technology beyond a substitution level and instead to redefined learning opportunities. The Jeffco Generations & ISTE Comparison chart helps educators identify the student outcomes they wish to develop.
Below are some artifacts from teachers which showcase their journey towards transforming student learning experiences in their 1:1.
"5th Graders are working on persuasive podcasts. This unit has allowed us to transform Opinion essay writing into meaningful conversations around relevant issues to our 5th graders. We have explored the many ways that communication happens in our world and students are practicing this in a new way! We are writing opinions and arguments that are compelling and based in reliable information, but we are learning how to communicate that effectively to our audience. We will create feedback questionnaires to go with our podcasts so that listeners can provide timely feedback to the podcast creators and engage in further conversation around the topics they have chosen.
1st grade students shared their understanding of Wants and Needs utilizing SeeSaw to draw and record their thinking for their teacher. Making thinking visible in the first grade classroom has been enhanced through video and voice recording. Teachers have insight into student thinking.
"We have been able to have students create their own understanding by using Hyperdocs. Students are given options and choice as to how they want to demonstrate their learning. It is nice to have constant access to technology. In the past it has been difficult to plan units involving technology because we could not always count on having technology available on the dates and times that we needed."
The Journey Continues...
What is Digital Wellness?
How do I feel after spending time on social media?
I wonder if I can keep my personal data more secure?
Am I spending time with my friends online and in person?
Do I act online in a way that represents the real me?
Some examples of topics which can fall into the category of digital wellness include, but aren't limited to: cyberbullying, screen time, self-image and identity, violence in media, social media, online privacy and safety, healthy relationships, and digital reputations.
In schools, digital wellness is often a part of a larger Digital Citizenship curriculum.
It takes a village
Curriculum and resources have been developed to support learners of all ages (K-12) for teachers to bring to life real dilemmas and conversations with students.
Over the years, our blog has shared resources to support Digital Citizenship instruction in Jeffco for teacher and student supports:
Building Opportunities to Explore Digital Citizenship
Be Internet Awesome: Digital Citizenship and Safety from Google
Digital Citizenship: Lessons Now Available in C-CAP(now Bridge to Curriculum)
But in our outreach, we hear increasing desires to bring this learning beyond the walls of the classroom and connect to our strong partnerships in the home. So, this blog post will dive deeper into resources to support communication and conversations with families.
Host an Event
Preparing for an event has been made simpler with presentations for parents and families available from Common Sense Education. Presentations are ready-made and come with talking points for school-based facilitators. Parent packets provide hand-outs which accompany presentations and can additional resources for parent information tables or newsletters. You'll even find presentations and resources available in Spanish. Utilize the presentation in it's entirety or trim it to fit the time and needs of your event. Take a look at the research-rich presentations in support of digital drama, social media, or learning with technology. You just might find you are one step closer to hosting your very own family event at your school!
Facilitate a Conversation
Conversation cases contain curated research and questions to consider about a digital topic, family resources, and a digital dilemma (a fictitious scenario to spark conversations). For example, is media multi-tasking and distraction a shared concern of teachers and parents? There is a conversation case for that! Grounded in research and with the goal to make common structured discussions possible.
Check-out a Conversation Case and download the participant resources, facilitator tips, and even watch the short video to get a feel for how it sounds to facilitate the discussion.
Post, Share, Print
Common Sense Education has curated an educator toolbox and a family toolbox. Find your favorite article, video, or handout and then pass it along. Post it. Print it. Link it.
Ed Tech support
Why use digital Annotations?
Getting started with Digital Annotations
How should you treat others online? How can you handle cyberbullying? How can you preserve your online reputation or “digital footprint” on both social media and elsewhere on the Internet? How should you handle unwanted attention or strangers online? These questions and more are at the center of the Kids Safe Online MS-ISAC Poster Contest. Students from kindergarten through twelfth grade can demonstrate their understanding of these complicated issues for a national audience through the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analytics Center.
Updated Curriculum resources
Going Deeper- Recognition
As students wade deeper into the learning around digital citizenship, and have access to technology in schools, teachers and schools can guide students towards making safe choices in the digital age. Teachers and schools can become Common Sense Educators . As defined by Common Sense, “[These] educators are committed to helping kids and schools thrive in the digital age. Anyone who is an educator -- whether a classroom teacher, administrator, tech coach, librarian...-- can become a Common Sense Educator.” The process includes a personalized roadmap for professional growth in three steps: LEARN, DO, REFLECT. Criteria and resources can be found here and take between four and six hours. This honor is granted for a year at a time and can be submitted anytime before June 30, 2019. Schools can follow a similar process and become Common Sense Schools (resources here). Schools can then promote how they are preparing students with the skills to navigate the digital world.
Using their learning from the Common Sense Media, Be Internet Awesome and other digital resources, students have an opportunity to create landscape posters illustrating the safe use of Internet and/or mobile devices for MS-ISAC, the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center. Students can create hand-drawn and electronic art in either a single full page or a 4-panel comic. Winners from each age group (K-5, 6-8, 9-12) will be chosen and will have their artwork displayed in a calendar which is distributed throughout United States. The artwork is used in campaigns to raise awareness among children of all ages about internet safety and computer safety. The top four entries will also be produced as posters promoting cybersecurity practices. The contest is open now and runs through January 25th.
- Website: https://www.cisecurity.org/ms-isac/ms-isac-toolkit/
- Guidelines and Entry Form
- Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and they provide more information on the contest. All submissions and forms can be sent to email@example.com as a scanned image, or can be mailed to the address below:
"To make the most of the internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence."
Designed for students in 3rd-5th grade, the campaign focus on five fundamentals:
Be Internet Smart: Share with Care
Be Internet Alert: Don't Fall for Fake
Be Internet Strong: Secure Your Secrets
Be Internet Kind: It's Cool to Be Kind
Be Internet Brave: When in Doubt, Talk it Out
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