Thursday, September 9, 2010

Getting Started

The following is from a weekly column I write in the OCDSB Business & Learning Technologies e-Newsletter called Curriculum Connections.

Welcome back to a safe, inclusive and creative year. We are bursting with plans and ideas to help you use the tools and software readily available to facilitate demonstrations of understandings about curriculum, globality, citizenship and diversity.

To assist with some of the early classroom dynamics of using digital media, we have been working hard to help with computer lab and classroom workstation management, first day activities and digital media learning skills. The Instructional Technology Coaches will be contacting Principals soon to re-establish the connections they made last spring and to provide the supports where needed.

What to do once the students are logged in?

A great first day activity, which would promote acceptance and appreciation, would be to create a “Classroom of Care” using Bitstrips. Open an account and have students create an avatar to add to the class profile. Students can select attributes, props, and backgrounds that reflect who they are, and then present themselves or let classmates determine what makes them special. You can connect with other OCDSB Classrooms of Care online through a safe, sharing environment. If you are new to Bitstrips, take a tour . You and your students will have created a magical place for chronicling all the great collaborations throughout the year.

The following is a document that reflects the Learning Skills from Growing Success.

Learning Skills for Computer and Multi-media Projects

•    I will use the computers and Internet appropriately for school purposes.
•    I will report any problems with the equipment to my teacher.
•    I will complete and hand in assignments within agreed upon timelines.
•    I will not share my userid or password.
•    I will ask before I print.
•    I will respect copyright.
•    I will respect the equipment and leave my workplace tidy.
•    I will have my userid and password.
•    I will sit at my assigned computer and place books under my chair.
•    I will use my time effectively when researching on the Internet.
•    I will complete all pre-work (storyboards, scripts) before using the computer.
Independent Work
•    I will review my work to ensure that I can finish within the allotted computer time.
•    I will get on task.
•    I understand that computer time is limited, so I will stay on task.
•    I will understand my role in group work (e.g. data researcher, equipment manager).
•    I will listen to others' ideas about how to use the computer or applications.
•    I will ask my elbow partners if I do not know how to do something.
•    I will use new resources and tools to create assignments.
•    I will try to solve a problem on my own before I ask the teacher.
•    I understand that I have the right to a safe learning environment, and so do others.
•    I will be aware of how my projects are progressing.
•    If I am not sure about something, I will ask.
•    I will choose applications or web resources that will help me be proud of my work. 


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