Monday, May 6, 2013

Digital Citizenship (First Grade)

What is it?

           Digital Citizenship is basically learning to use technology appropriately in a classroom.  "Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology. Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use.  Too often we are seeing students as well as adults misusing and abusing technology but not sure what to do. The issue is more than what the users do not know but what is considered appropriate technology usage." (Ribble)  Social networking, podcasts and twitter are just a few of the latest developments in technology today.  There are nine different themes associated with digital citizenship including digital access, commerce, literacy, communication, etiquette, law, rights and responsibility, health, wellness and security.

What does it mean for first graders?

           Below is a video that answers this question perfectly.  It was created to show the vision of students in grades K-12 dealing with digital citizenship.  The video shows how students are twenty first century learners and tries to reach out as an inspiration to schools who need more technology.  Teachers can use this video as a source to help engaged children in higher levels of thinking using technology.  Students are digital learners and they want to be engaged in a classroom and have learning be fun.

Why is it important to promote and teach digital citizenship to my students?

           Digital citizenship is so important to teach because there is so much focus on academics.  "Being a twenty first century learner means you have can collaborate and communicate."  (Kanaval)  "It is important for our district to address digital citizenship because it reflects the world that our kids live in."  (Jenkins)  This helps us to better understand them and where they are coming from.  

What issues can and have arose surrounding digital citizenship issues relevant to first grade?

           There is always going to be some issues when using technology in a classroom.  First graders may cause a few more issues than other grades simply because of their age.  The students are young and need to understand that technology is a learning tool.  Children this age need to know how to use it properly so that they are not causing harm to the technology which is very expensive.  This would fall under social and ethical issues.  Knowing rules of a computer lab would also go along with that.  Knowing all about how to use technology such as using the keyboard and mouse can eliminate misuse in a classroom.  It is so important that they know Internet safety so that they don't get into any trouble when using the internet for things.  "Internet safety for kids is a topic getting much attention because children are being exposed to the Internet at a younger and younger age."  (Lauber)  Using technology can engage students but it can also be frustrating for some of them, especially first graders who are still pretty new to using it.  They may loose interest after a while which is another issue we are seeing.  The video below explains in detail some issues students face with safety.


What resources can teachers use inside their classrooms to promote and teach it?  What makes these sources valuable and viable for the teacher?

          There are several items teachers can use that promote and teach digital citizenship.  Here are just a few of them.  The first thing you could try is using an LMS.  "Edmodo and Schoology are free learning management systems which provide teachers with platforms for discussions, resource sharing, grading, messaging and networking. More to point, however, they offer a school-oriented, safe, and age-appropriate space where students can learn how to connect through social media."  (Teachers Alliance)  Second you could try modeling it to them using expectations for their grade level.  This means you should show them that learning can be fun incorporating technology and becoming familiar with it.  Set good examples and show them why you love it.  Third, you can connect and collaborate.  This means using technology to help them connect with other people and share different ideas.  Fourth you can use Google apps.  "Students can create, share, publish, collaborate, and connect through the use of Google Apps for Education. Both Edmodo and Schoology are Google Apps integrated now, allowing for students and teachers to pull resources from their folders in Google Docs into the LMS platform to either create or submit work for grading." (Teachers Alliance)  Last I would suggest trying to maintain a balance.  Use technology but do not overwhelm students with it.  A good balance will be perfect for them and they will learn much better.  These resources help make the teacher look better because she can back up her information and teach the students new skills in the classroom. 

Works Cited

"A Vision of K-12 Students Today - YouTube." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2013.       

"Digital Citizenship - Bing Images." Bing. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2013.

"Digital Citizenship." IIS7. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2013.

"Digital Citizenship." Digital Citizenship. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2013.

"Internet Safety for Kids K-3 - YouTube."YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2013.

"Reviews and Ratings for Family Movies, TV Shows, Websites, Video Games, Books and           Music." Reviews and Ratings for Family Movies, TV Shows, Websites, Video Games, Books and Music. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2013.  

"Why Schools Should Teach Digital Citizenship | Common Sense Media."Reviews and Ratings     for Family Movies, TV Shows, Websites, Video Games, Books and Music. N.p., n.d. Web.         6 May 2013.        digital-citizenship

"5 Ways You Should Integrate Digital Citizenship Into Your Classes | TeachHUB." TeachHUB | K-12 News, Lessons & Shared ResourcesBy Teachers, For Teachers. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2013.

"9 Themes of Digital Citizenship - YouTube." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2013.  

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Learning to Unlearn

          There are always going to be things in the classroom that a teacher has to unlearn.  This may be challenging because you are used to what you already know and have been doing.  Breaking bad habits in the classroom will be very beneficial to students.  Keeping the room current and up to date will make a big difference in their learning and how they focus.

          As there are things a teacher has to unlearn, there are also things you have to relearn.  This may be difficult because it's different from what you already learned and you have to put in the time to learn it.  Relearning things is important because it keeps you updated.  Things change all the time and knowing how to adapt to it will help you a lot in a classroom.  One example of this is technology incorporation.  It's such an important thing and something that is always changing.  You may also need to improve classroom management and behavior tactics.  This is a good opportunity to learn more skills that may be useful.  Overall, the main theme of this post is out with the old, in with the new.  You have to familiarize yourself with new information and ways of learning to be successful as a teacher.  It affects all aspects of children's learning.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Interactive Whiteboards in Today's Classroom

          Recently in my SEDU 183 class we have been learning about Interactive Whiteboards.  Personally, I don't think they make a difference one way or another when teaching in a classroom.  Every room has some sort of chalk board, white board or interactive board.  Does one really make a difference over another?  The argument could go either way.  As I stated before, I don't think it really makes a difference in learning one way or another, but I do think there are way more positives to having them than negatives and they allow for better participation from differentiated students.  The articles I have linked below both discuss the positives and negatives of having an Interactive Whiteboard and support my opinions on them as to why they are both useful and not so useful.

          The positive side of Interactive Whiteboards can be shown in an examination of the following.  They ect.  Overall it just makes learning more fun for students.  I know this from personal experience.  The only downside to Interactive Whiteboards is that they are only cool and exciting for a short time.  Eventually they just get old and students don't care anymore.  They become just like any other board.  Another setback is that there are still some bugs to work out with these boards.  Teachers need to still make the class interesting on their own or else students won't pay attention.  They also need to know how to use these boards properly.  I know when I was in class and the teacher used these boards, they usually had no idea what they were doing, or they just did not work properly for whatever reason.  There are definitely two sides to having these types of boards in a classroom.  They are more interesting than just a plain chalk board or white board.  You can do so many things on it because of the technology involved.  Technology does enhance learning because it gives the teacher access to other ways of presenting information and communicating as opposed to not having it.  Students are more likely to be engaged in the lessons because of all the cool things you can do on the board.  Some of these include changing the font color, style, layout of the page, background,

          I think these white boards would be very good for children with all different types of needs in a classroom.  You are always going to have differentiation with your students.  Incorporating their needs and making them all feel equal is very important.  It also helps you present the information in different ways.  Students have all different types of learning styles.  I believe that classroom interaction and hands on activities makes learning easier.  I know from my own personal experience that doing activities that were interactive helped me out a lot in the classroom.  It was more fun and made it easier for me to remember the information as opposed to just being lectured and learning it on my own.  These are the ideas that surround my opinion on Interactive Whiteboards in a classroom.

related articles:
Some Educators
Interactive Whiteboards

Sunday, March 17, 2013


                                                                                   Lately in my SEDU class, we have been learning about differentiation.  Differentiation is something that you will always experience in a classroom.  It is recognizing differences among students.  These differences could be personal backgrounds, education, readiness, interests or knowledge.  Students will always be at different levels and need different types of assistance in a classroom.  Learning how to adapt to these needs is very important so that every student can learn to their full potential.

       I personally have experienced differentiation in my classes.  There are always several students of different backgrounds who come together to learn.  It can be helpful to share experiences and build off of each other.  I personally was never very good at math or reading.  I had to go to someone who was able to work with me more one on one and help me understand it better.  I was weak in those areas, but excelled in others.  Everyone has the ability to learn.  All students learn at different rates and using different techniques can help them learn information better.  I think diverse classroom like this make for a better learning environment.  Even though everyone is not always at the same level, all students have something to learn from one another and it makes for a better experience.

       Technology can play a big part in a differentiated classroom.  If someone has a hearing or sight impairment, those types of tools could help them learn better.  Some children may be very unmotivated or just have trouble in the classroom.  Using computers or things like smart boards make learning fun.  Children love these types of things because it is fun and makes it seem less stressful.  I personally love using technology for that exact reason.  There are so many positive advantages to it for kids!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Twitter and Me

We have recently been learning about technology and why it is important to use it in the classroom.  Technology is always changing.  It helps get students engaged and more interested in learning.  I think it is a fun way to learn things and it allows you to connect with people all over the world.  This gives you more experience and knowledge than you could get from just within the four walls of your classroom.  In my SEDU class we all created twitter accounts to have discussions with.  Twitter is a popular site that many people use every day just for fun.  Using twitter to do assignments made it seem like we weren't really doing work.  It was simple and somewhat enjoyable compared to not using the technology.  On February 19th we took an online quiz using twitter.  Our professor would post the question and we could all post replies so that everyone could see them.  I personally loved doing this because I am not good at taking quizzes and tests.  I would much rather be able to talk to other people and hear their thoughts as well.  This surprisingly made taking a quiz fun and so much less stressful!  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Final Frontier

       The assignment was to create a Google presentation on an article we read called "Teacher Pedagogical Beliefs: The Final Frontier in Our Quest for Technology Integration?"  The article was about teachers and their use of technology in the classroom.  Technology is advancing all the time.  It is becoming very important to use it in classrooms.  This presentations shows some teacher beliefs and why technology is becoming more of a demand.  It also shows how students respond to it and the positive affects that it has.    The outcomes in doing this assignment were very good.  I think it says a lot about why we need technology and how it helps students.  Collaborating with the group was nice so that was could all discuss and share our thoughts about the article and what we feel about using technology.  Hope you enjoy!



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

All About Me

       Hello, my name is Katelyn Kosterman!  I am currently studying at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.  I am a sophomore and my major is Early Childhood and Special Education with a minor in Psychology.  My goal is to get my Bachelor's Degree, possibly attend grad school for counseling and become a Kindergarten teacher.  I have been a cheerleader for 10 years now and I love it.  I cheer for the University and also do a competitive all-star cheerleading squad.  I am also involved an Alpha Sigma Pi honor and leadership society on campus.  Outside of school I am a host at Outback Steakhouse in Erie.  I love spending time with friends, going to the beach and just enjoying life!

       I personally think technology in learning is very important.  Technology is used for so many different things nowadays.  I think it is very important for students to learn how to use technology and all different types of it.  This will help students in several ways.  They will be well rounded and learn different ways to incorporate those things into leaning.  It helps students learn information in several different ways.  They can be interactive and have a more hands on experience as opposed to just being lectured about a subject.  Almost all of the skills you learn will be used sometime throughout your life.

       I also think that technology in teaching is very important.  Teachers also need to adapt to all the new technologies coming out.  One main reason is because they need to be able to present those resources on to their class and incorporate them into their teaching style.  I think students learn better with the use of many different materials, especially programs they can be interactive with.  It is important for teachers to use it so that they are also well rounded individuals and can present information to their students in several different ways to increase the chance of learning it faster and for a longer period of time.  It also makes it easier to do projects and submit assignments and things.  Some great examples would be smart boards, D2L systems, Microsoft and power point.

I believe that all students have the ability to learn-
       All students have the ability to learn.  Sometimes it just depends on how you get the information across to them.  I think using different strategies and types of lessons is very important.  All children do not learn in the same way.  I personally am better with hands on activities which is why I feel very strongly about using them.  In my classroom, I will make sure to work with each student and make sure that they are keeping up with the rest of the class.  If you make things interesting and add fun creative ideas into your lessons there is a better chance that students will come in ready to learn.  If I just sit there and lecture them and there is no fun involved then I can’t expect the students to be excited about it and put forth the effort.  I will always do whatever I can to help students increase their ability to learn.  Some examples would be review games, group work, interactive lessons and field trips.