Week 6: The Internet and the classroom

Internet-based resources

Blog: Choose one of these issues and discuss how it could impact on integrating technology into your teaching, and what steps you could take to deal with it. Read some blog posts of others and add to the discussion if appropriate.

I feel that that the issue of copyright and plagiarism in the integration of technology in the classroom is not so much of a controversy, as an opportunity to teach students about copyright and plagiarism. I was recently teaching a year 11 class in earth and environmental science where they were studying a local area. I used this as an opportunity to have the students perform their own research into the local area with several computer classes where they would research the geology, the history of the area, threats to the ecosystem. Throughout this process, I was able to highlight the importance of recognising other people’s work – making sure that I link its relevance to different areas in work and life, so they didn’t see it as a purely academic issue.  Education World (2017) provides a number of guidelines for helping students to avoid plagiarism in more formal reports/assignments.

The integration of technology in the classroom gives an opportunity to teach about copyright and plagiarism much earlier that would otherwise be the case – I didn’t learn about it until university. Student blogs and other online tasks provide a great way of introducing the topic of recognising others’ work, so that whenever they’re posting pictures, videos, or other information, they’re able to properly acknowledge the owner of the work.

Blog: After having looked at the resources listed above, what have you learned about the technological knowledge you need to develop further for your Tech-Pack?

I like the Google how search works page (Google, n.d.a.). It could be a good way to show students how Google collates all the information from the internet and therefore how searches work.

The helping students become better searchers Google resource is another good source of information and even has different lesson plans for teaching search skills (Google, n.d.b.). I could also use this to top-up my search knowledge!

I found the bookmark management suggestion chapter 7 of the text (Roblyer and Doering, 2014) really helpful. It can be hard working across different platforms and losing bookmarks.

 

Web 2.0 resources and issues

Describe 3 ways that you could use Web 2.0 tools in your teaching: Post these to your blog.

Podcasts

From Hew and Cheung’s (2013) review there appears to be a small positive effect on learning from podcasts. I personally really enjoy podcasts and see these – like most technologies – as facilitating learning and boosting engagement, whilst helping to develop other key skills for students – critical thinking, collaboration etc. The studies reported in the Hew and Cheung (2013) review just looked at undergraduate students listening to podcasts, whereas in a school environment, students could be creating their own podcasts, using their phones, as collaborative assessment tasks. This could prove highly engaging, whilst utilising students’ phones which can otherwise be a source of distraction (Thomas, O’Bannon and Bolton, 2013).

Video presentations

Videos can be both engaging and enhance learning in the classroom (Neiss and Walker, 2009; Berk, 2009). Jones and Cuthrell (2011) provide a good review of some of the potential benefits, and issues with using YouTube videos in class. I have used them to help visualise certain topics in biology, where I’ve found them very useful.  Just like with the podcasts above, students could be creating their own presentations about a given topic that could be recorded with their phones/tablets. These could then be uploaded to somewhere like YouTube for students, and the world, to see and comment.

Blogs

Blogging is a fantastic way to help boost student engagement whilst developing writing, critical thinking and collaboration skills (Sawmiller, 2010). Although, Hew and Cheung’s (2013) review concluded that there was only a weak positive effect on both writing and critical thinking from blogging – though there appears to be a lack of robust studies in this area. Again, I see the major benefit here being student engagement and facilitating collaboration and online commentary of each other’s work – helping students learn about responsible use of social networks.

Any of these technologies are just another tool to be used and with appropriate use, they should be able to improve student engagement, help provide 21st century learning skills and provide a more enjoyable learning environment.

Blog: Does your school/organisation have an Acceptable Use policy? Is it effective? Are there any issues with it?

My work doesn’t have an Acceptable Use policy, and at my recent teaching placement, I didn’t see one there either – though I did find the Acceptable Use policy for students from the NSW Department of Education website (NSW Department of Education, 2016). It would be good to make sure that students are aware of this document, and could also be discussed in a class meeting.

Cyberbullying

Blog: Post your thoughts and ideas about how you will deal with cyberbullying in your teaching context.

In the United States, 20-40% of students have experienced cyberbullying (Tokunaga, 2010). This suggests that cyberbullying is a real problem, which is compounded by its pervasive nature, as students are rarely separated from their digital devices – as of 2010 Tokunaga (2010) reported that over 97% of students were able to connect to the internet. As this appears to be an issue with the ubiquitous use of technology and online communication, there needs to be a school-wide approach to dealing with appropriate use of technology (Pearce, Cross, Monks, Waters and Falconer, 2011). Schools really need to embrace technology and integrate it in a way that supports collaboration, thereby providing opportunities to explicitly teach the skills needed to communicate responsibly online. It seems that people expect that children will be able to communicate responsible online – a lot of adults struggle with this!

From an individual class level, I would encourage students to be commenting on each other’s work whilst explicitly stating what is required with any of comment. I would also discuss the issues of cyberbullying with my classes and discuss any issues that arise in class meetings.

 

 

References

Berk, R. A. (2009). Multimedia teaching with video clips: TV, movies, YouTube, and mtvU in the college classroom. International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning, 5(1), 1–21.

Department of Education (2016) Retrieved from https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library/policies/online-communication-services-acceptable-usage-for-school-students.

Education World. (2017). Put an End to Plagiarism in Your Classroom. Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr390.shtml

Google. (n.d.a.). Inside search: How search works. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/thestory/.

Google. (n.d.b.). Inside search: search education. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/intl/en-us/insidesearch/searcheducation/.

Hew, K. F., & Cheung, W. S. (2013). Use of Web 2.0 technologies in K-12 and higher education: The search for evidence-based practice. Educational Research Review, 9, 47-64.

Jones, T., & Cuthrell, K. (2011). YouTube: Educational potentials and pitfalls. Computers in the Schools, 28(1), 75-85.

Niess, M. L., & Walker, J. M. (2009). This Rock’n’Roll Video Teaches Math. Learning & Leading with Technology, 36(8), 36-37.

Pearce, N., Cross, D., Monks, H., Waters, S., & Falconer, S. (2011). Current Evidence of Best Practice in Whole-School Bullying Intervention and Its Potential to Inform Cyberbullying Interventions. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling21(01), 1-21

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson

Sawmiller, A. (2010). Classroom blogging: What is the role in science learning?. The Clearing House, 83(2), 44-48.

Tokunaga, R. S. (2010). Following you home from school: A critical review and synthesis of research on cyberbullying victimization. Computers in human behavior, 26(3), 277-287.

Thomas, K. M., O’Bannon, B. W., & Bolton, N. (2013). Cell phones in the classroom: Teachers’ perspectives of inclusion, benefits, and barriers. Computers in the Schools, 30(4), 295-308.

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One thought on “Week 6: The Internet and the classroom

  1. Hi Jonathan,

    The figure you cited on the number of students in the US who have experienced cyberbullying is indeed very alarming. Although a recent study in Australia found that about 10% of students have experienced cyberbullying (“Cyber Bullying Statistics Australia: The Ultimate Guide”, 2010), the reality is that cyberbullying is quite often not reported (Roblyer & Doering, 2014) and so the actual number may, and quite likely would be, much higher.

    As far as strategies go, I agree with you that classroom discussions can be very effective and the esafety.gov.au website outlines some very handy lessons plans on cyberbullying that could be used for, say, 10 minutes per lesson. Hopefully, with open and engaged discussions in the classroom, students would be able to identify what constitutes cyberbullying and become more conscious of it online!

    References

    Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2014). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6thed.). Harlow: Essex. Pearson.

    Cyber Bullying Statistics Australia: The Ultimate Guide. (2015, December 22). Retrieved from https://nobullying.com/cyber-bullying-statistics-australia-the-ultimate-guide/

    Like

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