Tag Archives: student

Speak Up 2012 report: “From Chalkboards to Tablets: The Emergence of the K-12 Digital Learner”

“The results being released today show that we are indeed in a new world. And we as adults need to learn from kids in this instance. We need to learn from students about how they learn, where they learn, and how they seek information. I believe we must harness this information to give all students a 21st century skill set to prepare them for high-growth, high-demand jobs in the global economy.”U.S. Rep. George Miller, the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

Project Tomorrow has released the Speak Up 2012 report: “From Chalkboards to Tablets: The Emergence of the K-12 Digital Learner

This report is the second in a two part series to document the key national findings from Speak Up 2012. In 2003, The Speak Up National Research Project was born to give K-12 students a voice in critical conversations, and to hopefully provide their parents, teachers and administrators with new insights about the expectations and aspirations of these newly minted digital learners. Now in its tenth year, the annual Speak Up National Research Project and the resulting trends analysis provides a birds’ eye view of the changing environment for digital learning, both in and out of school.

Why is this important?

If you are working in a school, district, or organization planning your educational technology vision, you need to know the latest data on technology usage from the real users of technology. Don’t be satisfied with what you think you know about technology – find out! In fact, poll your own students on these same questions. If you are one of the smart schools that participated in the Speak Up data survey, lucky you! You are getting your own customized set of data for your own use. If aren’t participating – make plans for next year now!

Key Findings from this year’s report

  • With smartphone usage dramatically on the rise – 65 percent of students in grades 6-8 and 80 percent of students in grades 9-12 are smartphone users – a main concern among today’s digital learners is how to leverage the unique features of different devices, from laptops to smartphones to tablets or digital readers, and use them for certain academic tasks.
  • While only 21% of teachers in middle and high schools are assigning Internet homework on a weekly basis, 69% of high school seniors, 61% of high school freshman and 47% of 6th graders are online at least weekly to find resources to support their homework.
  • In just one year, the number of middle school students with a personally acquired, digital reader more than doubled from 17 percent in 2011 to 39 percent in 2012.
  • In fall 2011, 26 percent of students in grades 6-8 said that they had a personal tablet computer. In one year’s time, the percentage of middle school students with tablets jumped to 52 percent, a doubling over the 2011 percentage.
  • Despite this increase of mobile devices in the hands of students, schools are still reluctant to allow them. Among high school students with smartphones, only half say they can use their device at school and only nine percent of students say they can use their personal tablets at school. With 73 percentage of high school seniors saying they have a laptop, only 18 percent of the Class of 2013 say they are allowed to use their personal laptop at school.

Download both reports!

Sylvia

Tips for student presenters at conferences

It’s educational technology conference time of year! There are so many educational conferences that you could literally attend 24/7. Hopefully some of you are taking students along with you to share their work.

There’s nothing more exciting than seeing students step up and hit a home run when presenting, and there’s nothing more excruciating than watching the slow-motion train wreck of a bad presentation by young people who are clearly unprepared or uninterested.

Here are some tips to have the “home run” presenting experience instead of the “train wreck”! (By the way, authentic student voice doesn’t mean they don’t need adult help.)

Ten Tips for Coaching Student Presenters

  1. Make it personal. Have each student tell their own story from their own perspective. It will be more engaging than a generic presentation of what the whole group did.
  2. KISS. Edit down to the essentials. As you practice, help them edit their story down to the essential points. Stick to a 5 minute rule – no one person should talk for more than 5 minutes at a time. Break up the presentation with videos or demonstrations.
  3. Practice, but not too much. Practice out loud in front of other students or teachers if possible. Try not to over-practice; it will sound forced and boring.
  4. Memorize the opening line. Practice the first line until they can do it in their sleep.
  5. Don’t use a script. Even a memorized script will sound stilted.
  6. Try it without notes. It’s a crutch that can be more of a distraction than a help.
  7. Look at the audience, not the screen. Don’t stare at or read from the screen, it disconnects the speaker from the audience.
  8. Timing is everything. Agree on a “secret signal” that means wrap it up. Practice this so they learn to complete a thought without stopping mid-sentence. Explain that you will interrupt their presentation if they go on too long.
  9. Audiences may behave badly. One very odd thing about conferences is that people may get up and leave in the middle of a session. This is normal – don’t take it personally. Be sure to warn students.
  10. Be authentic. Some people are serious, some are born game show hosts. Let them be who they are, use their own words, and show their own personalities.
  11. Rules are made to be broken. If you have one (or more!) exceptionally articulate students, give them more time, but make sure they can stick to the essential message of the presentation.

For more tips, check out this PDF – Sharing Student Voice: Students Presenting at Conferences (PDF). It also covers:

  • Balancing the needs of the audience with the needs of students
  • Research on student voice, 21st Century skills and student empowerment
  • How to plan and submit sessions with student presenters
  • Maintaining student ownership and authentic student voice
  • Logistics tips for bigger conferences and exhibit halls
  • The role of the teacher

Let’s get out there and share!

Sylvia

Infographic: Students have their say on online rights and responsibilities

Check out the results of the 2013 ‘Have your Say’ survey, the UK’s largest ever survey of young people’s attitudes toward online rights and responsibilities. Over 24,000 young people age 7-19 from across the UK responded to the survey, and a further 90 young people explored these findings in focus groups.

Two infographics below with primary and secondary results – these are large files, so why not make a poster! And ask your students what their top ten are to compare.

Sylvia

 

What Your Kids Are Really Doing Online

“…there exists today an underground, invisible network of children taking turns as teachers and students, sharing with each other the skills, ideas, secrets and technological breakthroughs they cherish. This university without walls or national boundaries is, without exaggeration, unparalleled in human history. Children have always been at the mercy of parents, teachers and school administrators when it comes to the question of how, what and when they learn. Now the game has changed and the power has shifted to kids.”

from: What Your Kids Are Really Doing Online by Michael Levin.

Sylvia

Kid Power

Kid PowerKid Power: The Oak Hills Local School District’s eKIDs program reverses traditional student/teacher roles in the pursuit of technology knowledge.

We love to see our schools get the recognition they deserve!

“When I heard about the program, I wanted to do it,” says Allie Schaefer, a Bridgetown seventh-grader who joined eKIDs in August, at the start of the 2011–2012 school year. “Usually, teachers teach kids. But with eKIDs, the kids teach the teachers. That’s pretty cool.”

Read more >>

Sylvia

Student Tech Leadership Summer Camp

Granville Students Attend Regional NYSSTL Training

Five students from Granville Central School District in New York attended a week long New York State Student Technology Leader (NYSSTL) Training Camp at WSWHE BOCES in Saratoga, during the last week of July. At the summer camp, students learned how to become New York State Student Technology Leaders in their school. There were approximately 30 students from WSWHE BOCES regional schools, from as far south at Ballston Spa Central School and as far north as North Warren Central School.

At the camp, students discussed and demonstrated their understanding of crucial contemporary Internet technology topics, including Internet safety and ethics, copyright and fair use, citing sources of information, evaluating websites and checking author credibility, netiquette, cyber bullying, and digital footprints.  They also learned to use new technologies and completed two technology projects using these tools to demonstrate their technology literacy.

As the training progressed, students spent time learning to become peer mentors, so that they can help other students with technology projects at school. They practiced this skill at the camp as they completed work on technology projects throughout the week.

Students were also trained to assist teachers with technology. They were provided with accounts and taught how to access and use their school’s NYSSTL Help Desk which is an online tracking system and communication tool. Students learned how to help teachers request a TAP or Technology Assistance Project, and also how to use many of the tools built into the online help desk.

In addition to discussions, role plays, and working with computers and various peripheral devices, students also participated in recreational games such as competition cup stacking, bocce, ladder ball, and ultimate Frisbee. All students who attended the camp received complimentary breakfast, lunch, and desserts, such as make your own sundaes. They also received embroidered NYSSTL T-shirts, TechYES Technology Literacy Student Guides, 4GB flash drives, and messenger bags, which they decorated with fabric markers at camp.

Granville Computer Technology Teacher/NYSSTL Advisor, Leanne Grandjean, along with experienced Student Technology Leaders, freshman, Josh Sumner, and sophomore, Marc Billow, also went to the camp to lead and support students who were training to become Student Technology Leaders.

Mote here!

Drama! Why adult concepts of cyberbullying don’t mesh with teens

It’s an unimaginable tragedy for any person to commit suicide. It’s a family’s worst nightmare and a problem that society must address. In recent months, more and more news stories are surfacing about very young people committing suicide and tying the cause to bullying, especially in online environments – cyberbullying.

Campaigns have started to find ways to reach youth with media and school anti-bullying programs. Of course people want to do the right thing. Of course adults want to help young people. But what really does help?

Alice Marwick and danah boyd, both highly respected social media and youth researchers wrote an op-ed for the New York Times today – Why Cyberbullying Rhetoric Misses the Mark

It’s based on a new paper – The Drama! Teen Conflict, Gossip, and Bullying in Networked Publics

You should read these, both of them. Why? Because the authors talked to teens, and listened. For six years. Across all kinds of kids, all kinds of socio-economic groups and geography. What they heard was that teens do not use the same language as adults. What an adult might label “bullying”, teens call “drama.” And in the paper, the authors distill what that means and how it plays out in real life (both online and off.)

It’s not just a different word for the same thing. The authors listened to youth about the motivation – why would teens engage in drama? What do they get out of it? It’s a fascinating read.

One of the big takeaways for me was the relationship of adult bullying solutions to the issues of youth agency. When we ask young people to accept adult definitions and solutions to the problems of their lives, adults often ignore the fact that this is asking them to put a label on themselves. If you are being bullied and adults tell you “tell an adult”, it’s meant as a friendly, supportive gesture. However, for a young person, that means first accepting that they are a victim. This is a big ask for a young person building their own identity.

I hope you take the time to read both the article and the full paper. They are worth it!

Sylvia

Paper Abstract: While teenage conflict is nothing new, today’s gossip, jokes, and arguments often play out through social media like Formspring, Twitter, and Facebook. Although adults often refer to these practices with the language of “bullying,” teens are more likely to refer to the resultant skirmishes and their digital traces as “drama.” Drama is a performative set of actions distinct from bullying, gossip, and relational aggression, incorporating elements of them but also operating quite distinctly. While drama is not particularly new, networked dynamics reconfigure how drama plays out and what it means to teens in new ways. In this paper, we examine how American teens conceptualize drama, its key components, participant motivations for engaging in it, and its relationship to networked technologies. Drawing on six years of ethnographic fieldwork, we examine what drama means to teenagers and its relationship to visibility and privacy. We argue that the emic use of “drama” allows teens to distance themselves from practices which adults may conceptualize as bullying. As such, they can retain agency – and save face – rather than positioning themselves in a victim narrative. Drama is a gendered process that perpetrates conventional gender norms. It also reflects discourses of celebrity, particularly the mundane interpersonal conflict found on soap operas and reality television. For teens, sites like Facebook allow for similar performances in front of engaged audiences. Understanding how “drama” operates is necessary to recognize teens’ own defenses against the realities of aggression, gossip, and bullying in networked publics.

Student ipad deployment – the first big decision is not technical, it’s about agency

This past year we’ve been gearing up for several Student Technology Leader projects across the country with a new twist. This fall, for the first time, many of our Student Technology Leaders will be equipped with iPads as they assist teachers in technology integration, tech support, and technology literacy efforts. Two projects in particular, College YES (a federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant) and a project funded by the Rural Schools and Community Trust for improving STEM education are kicking off this fall.

We are in the middle of a busy summer teaching some amazing students leadership and technology skills, plus how to use the iPad as a technology integration tool. Student Tech Leaders will use the iPads to assist teachers with STEM project resources, help teachers track and assess technology literacy projects, manage help desk and trouble ticket requests, and more.

We’ve learned quite a bit about iPads and school deployment in the past few months which I hope to share soon. But in short, there is one major decision that schools must make when deploying iPads – whether to set them up individually or as a managed group. Now, there are lots of great websites that help with this, but this one basic decision has ramifications beyond the technical – it’s a decision about student agency and ownership.

I don’t mean who really “owns” the device – but who has responsibility for it day to day. Who is making choices about its setup, use, and apps. I’m also not talking about the kinds of loaner situations where you hand an iPad out for an hour or two with no expectation of long-term use. I’m talking about an expectation that the iPad is a tool that a student will use for real work on a long term basis.

If you configure the iPads with a management system, the agency will lie primarily in the system administrator. If you configure them individually, the agency lies primarily with the student user. The point is, it’s not a totally technical decision, nor should the only consideration be making it easier for technical staff. Yes, you must be sure that students can’t access “bad stuff”, can download great apps, and that problems can be fixed quickly. But that’s possible with both kinds of configurations.

So, in our iPad deployments, we’ve set up them up individually. We believe the students will take their responsibilities seriously and not abuse them. Time will tell if this trust will be rewarded – but it usually is!

Sylvia

When students are in charge of maintaining the computers in schools

A nice internationally flavored post came our way recently. Michael Trucano writes in Edutech: A World Bank Blog on ICT use in Education on When students are in charge of maintaining the computers in schools

Recounting the ways that schools try to adapt to more and more computers to support, he writes,

“Another approach was explained to me by a headmaster in a rural school in Eritrea, who said he kept the computers locked in his office to ensure that they did not ‘break’. (I checked them out and, sure enough, all appeared to be in great shape!)”

Yes, that’s certainly one way to keep computers from breaking – just keep them away from pesky users!

But that’s not going to help students learn. So how can schools support computers, even when faced with limited tech support resources and teacher professional development?

“One approach that is not well known, but which perhaps should be, is to have students assume primary responsibility for the technical maintenance of a school’s computer-related infrastructure.

A recent presentation and discussion at the World Bank by AED’s Eric Rusten and Josh Woodard explored lessons from schools in Macedonia and Indonesia (Sumatra) that have been doing just this.”

The article goes on to mention GenYES, our approach to teaching students how be part of the technology support solution, and several stories about student technical support making a difference in Macedonia and Sumatra.

This is an idea whose time has come!

Sylvia

Student support of education reform – video

This is a 5 minute EDtalk shot at the Learning@School conference I keynoted in New Zealand in February. I touch on how students can be allies and advocates in the effort to improve schools, and how this enhances digital citizenship efforts.

And I did it in one take!

Sylvia