Friday, February 6, 2009

Understanding MSAD 75's Digital Natives

On Friday, February 13, 2009 MSAD 75 teachers and administrators will participate in professional development. The district leaders have asked that some time be devoted to developing understanding of our digitally oriented students.

District leaders, principals and the District Technology committee are facilitating discussion of Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser. In the chapter on safety, they describe constructive efforts to improve safety. They specifically identify an exemplary use of student's video that addresses some of the issues:
get it right: Tap into - and celebrate - the creativity of Digital Natives (p. 105)
How can can we tap into the creativity and engagement of iTeam members to help teachers and administrators understand their digitally oriented students? Would discussions of digital identity, social networking, and other issues change if students also participated?

Note: The StaySafe site has changed since Palfrey and Gasser wrote their description. It seems as if the video has been removed from the StaySafe site and other venues. This is a more complete description of the contribution:

"A Junior High Student from Utah Makes a Film and a Difference. salutes Trevor, a 14-year old student from Utah. He is proof that one person, no matter his or her age, can make a difference. He not only stars in his short film Predator, but he also wrote and directed it! In the film, Trevor depicts the dangers of online predators - typically adults posing as younger school aged kids - who lie and trick you into believing they are someone else. Whether you are a student, educator, parent, law enforcement, or community leader, we all need to be aware of the risks of online predators.Trevor worked with his school, and even cast his real life principal as his movie kidnapper. In addition, he made arrangements with the American Fork Police Department to provide vehicles and officers for the shooting of this film." Source


Lisa Hogan said...

Steve, I agree with you wonderings about engaging students discussions about being born digital.

My wonderings are:

- do teachers have enough background about the changes to the internet which require us to be concerned about issues of privacy, safety, and information overload? I believe many do not even know or understand why teachers, parents, community members, government officials should be concerned.

-do teachers need some time to reflect on what they learn about the digital world, the new frontier, before they can listen, really hear, and engage in meaningful, thoughtful discussions with students?

-do we want to work through the idea of the new frontier, the new concerns allowing for professional discussions and bring students into the discussion in May at our last workshop day?

Just some thoughts...students should be engaged with teachers in the discussions I am jsut not sure on the timing.

SC Spaeth said...

I suspect that we are dealing with a broad range of backgrounds. Some have already been discussing and working through these issues with their students. Others are only superficially aware of the issues based on popular press stories.
iTeam members are still developing their understanding of new roles, too. Timing is important on both sides.