Course two is in the books or should I say in the blogs. Our group of international educators overcame both time and space as we collectively crosschecked and improved a Responsible Use Agreements for my current school UWC Thailand. My awesome team included Coetail members Carolin Escobar currently living in the USA and Kehri Magalad currently living in Qatar. We were also joined by Maria José Terán, a friend of Carolin’s and current tech coach at Carolin’s school. Maria currently works out of Ecuador and happily linked up with us to offer her professional perspective and expertise. Our group Google Hangout was an overall success, allowing four different people from four different countries, across a 12-hour time zone, to share and discuss ideas in real time. It was there that the seeds for our RUP idea were planted. We then played to our strengths and took ownership of different parts of the project, communicating through Twitter and in the comments of our Google Docs.
After some digging, I found that there are quite a few different platforms beyond Whatapps that we could have used to communicate. Here are 10 great social collaboration alternatives to WhatsApp.
RUP Background Information
Regarding the RUP, the document itself was a bit dated and not really owned by the students. This year, I have been tasked with reviewing and refining many of the UWCT documents that pertain to digital citizenship.
As a Kindergarten teacher, the first thing I noticed was they were left off of this document. We decided to add them to this document because we all agreed that they are more than capable of understanding how to take care of equipment. Furthermore, after weeks of digital citizenship and footprint readings, blog posts and TED Talks, I realized how important it is to be ready to equip and empower young learners with technology that’s not being micromanaged.
In addition, I believe that it’s important to teach Digital Citizenship and responsible use at this age level especially at my school if we want to create any sense of vertical alignment in our primary school.
We also noticed that within the document there is also no mention of privacy. Safety is mentioned but there is nothing pertaining to privacy. This is another reason why we should have ISTE and Common Sense as our backbone, ensuring that we do not have any other oversights. You’ll notice on our RUP that we have used the ISTE standard 3a, 3b, 3c, & 3d, all which fall under the category of digital citizenship.
Because we had many chats on students ownership, we also added a digital citizenship e-book for grades K-2. This interactive e-book will help engage our younger learners and keep the focus on digital citizenship in a developmentally appropriate way.
The eBook could easily be shared and personalized through a QR code, and or downloaded off of the web. This would be especially helpful if teachers wanted to replace the images with images of their own student’s in action, modeling how to be safe, responsible and respectful digital citizens.
Collaborating on this project was a wonderful learning experience. Using Google docs and slides to collaborate really helped us all create, communicate, and house all of our progress along the way. Gsuite for education continues to provide everyone with functional and user-friendly tools. Although time was against us, Google helped us connect globally and create this great cross-continental collaborative project.