I chose this option because at the time I was interested in creating a unit that I can use in my practice if not immediately than in the near future as I think that digital citizenship is an area of growth for my school. When Boramy reached out to the cohort with a suggestion about creating something at the elementary level it was the perfect opportunity. Originally I thought that different standards could be used but upon conversations with Boramy, we decided that what we have now is a better fit for the age group and length of the unit. I think this was one of the biggest issues, how big to make the unit. We both found that while making this that it was easy to continue adding lessons and the hardest part was keeping the unit contained in a digestible package for the students that they would not get tired with.
I found the collaborative process to be quite seamless and one of my big takeaways from this unit is that it is pretty easy to plan with someone remotely. Although I think it would be much better to plan face-to-face and develop a relationship first to go over the norms of collaboration, we got along well and from my perspective, shared the workload equally. We were lucky that there was only one hour separating us and this made FaceTime calls and collaborative work on Google docs quite easy. Going further I am much more open to working with others overseas or in another city or timezone as we have the tools at our disposal to communicate easily almost as if we were in the same room. Thanks, Boramy for setting this up, although I don’t agree with how you spell behaviour, it was still a great experience.
I think that this experience is similar to units I have planned in the past as it follows the process of tuning in, finding, out, digging deeper, and going further. We always try to plan units and lessons that provide students with opportunities to access their prior knowledge, then take that further and think about new ways to present. This year I focused on providing my students with the choice of tools to use, and we worked together a lot to find the right applications. Often my students suggested applications that they thought would be the best way to express their ideas and I went through channels at my school to get those applications on their iPads. I always believe that the best way for students to learn is to provide them with the agency over how they create and this planner is no different. I think that the planning for me is different from past unit planners as it has a lot more links, resources and technology tools in it. I would say that this is because of the planning process involving planning for tech-rich units from this course. Normally I tend to teach a bit less scripted, I was told very early in my teaching career by my faculty advisor that I tend to rush when I try to follow lesson plans so I shouldn’t make as many steps. Of course, I prepare lessons with questions and resources but I don’t usually plan out a step by step method as a lot of lessons follow the same steps.
This unit relates to what we learned in Course 2 firstly because it is about student agency and play. We purposely planned for a lot of opportunities that give time to students to make choices, play around on Interland, and help each other. When originally conceiving the main concepts and standards for the unit we thought about the ideas of ethical and kind behaviour online. In Week One about respecting the intellectual property of others, although not explicitly assessed in this unit can be covered in lesson three and four when and if students find images to support their work, or when students are commenting on others and don’t see citations. We did not put this in the unit as the lesson scope was already getting large. Week two content about the evolution of connections connects strongly to this unit as the first lesson uses a new program to engage students in digital citizenship, then throughout the rest of the unit students are using technology in a meaningful way to create, give feedback, and practice ethical and kind online behaviour. Week four about contributing positivity online to the communities you are a part of is a core idea in this unit as students learn about and use the ladder of feedback to help other’s improve. These types of positive contributions are lifelong skills. The same could be said about Week five and the understanding that each of us has the ability to make positive impacts on our local communities.
I really enjoyed working on this unit plan and I am excited to teach it in August. I am switching grade levels next year to a grade that begins their year with a Unit of Inquiry on Who We Are as Learners. I think that this would be a great introduction to the ideas of digital citizenship, learning with the tools I plan to use the Grade, and also discovering what the students already know about it. I think that it will work great with the Key concept of responsibility and really help to set the tone of the year about how we are expected to behave towards each other and that safety and kindness are the foundations for taking risks and sharing your learning in the classroom. I think that if I were to teach it that it would be well received by students in upper elementary. The embed function was not working for me tonight, I would have liked to have embedded the planner and lesson plans in this post but you will have to settle for links as the headers to the sections, most apologies.