Searching for Something

I thought I knew how to search Google for something. Meaning searching and locating information.  Meaning finding meaningful information.  Meaning doing it efficiently.  Meaning searching effectively.

After reading Jeff Utecht’s article “Why K-12 schools are failing by not teaching SEARCH“, and watching several of the videos from Google’s “Power Searching“, I started asking questions.  Am I a good searcher?  Do I ask good questions?  How do I go about researching information?  If I am not searching efficiently or effectively, how are my students searching?  Am I failing my students by not teaching them search?  How do my students go about searching?

I can be doing better.  I managed to get through the Coetail program without really thinking about how I search.  How was that possible?  Perhaps I am so used to doing things in one way and  got really good at doing it that way.  But to learn and grow, we need to add new information and ways of doing to the old information and ways of doing.

One of my goals for my Physics class is to do a research project.  I now know I should spend time with them learning how to search effectively and efficiently to scaffold them in beginning their project.

What now?  Learn to search more effectively and efficiently and share those skills with my students.  Share tips and tricks and knowledge so we can all find what we are looking for.

GAFE Class, Day 2

In the past hour, I have learned more about Google Chrome than I have in the past… well, forever.  Thanks to one simple, little 12 minute video.

So far, the GAFE class has opened my mind to a new way to manage my online browsing and use of apps, and it’s only been two days.  Where the Coetail program left off, the GAFE class is taking over.  I can’t wait for my week of professional development next week to “play” with all these new (to me) ideas.

I am excited to learn and share, to hopefully help my students broaden their learning to the online, global world.

Now if only the Olympics weren’t on, I could maybe get some work done! (Go Team Canada!)

Digital Footprint: How aware are your students?

Yesterday I participated in watching the first round of videos and presentations for the projects of the fifth (and final!) Coetail (Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy) course. Several of the participants in the American Embassy School Cohort worked on a massive Digital Citizenship project in the Middle School.

The school Curriculum Coordinator, Stacy Stevens, included a presentation on this project from her perspective.  She interviewed several Middle and High School students at AES asking the question “What is a Digital Footprint?”.  The Middle School has spent countless hours educating their students about how to manage digital citizenship and footprints. I was shocked that almost NONE of the students interviewed knew what a digital footprint was!

OllieBray CC-BY-NC-SA

OllieBray CC-BY-NC-SA

Were the lessons effective?  Do the students truly understand what a digital footprint is? Did we do our jobs of educating our students to help protect them and prepare them for an online life? What could have been done differently?

I suppose this is why so many of my cohorts worked on a Digital Citizenship project.  With students being so connected to the digital world, it is important they have control and understanding of their footprint, understand how to manage it and make wise decisions.

If this progressive, digitally savvy school’s students are having difficulty with their digital footprint, how are students at other schools handling and managing?  What is our role as newly graduated Coetailers (after tomorrow!) in helping to educate students about Digital Citizenship? If we end up in a school that isn’t as progressive and active at educating it’s students about their footprint, what responsibility do we have in developing digital education of the administration, faculty and students?

I am hoping that in whatever role I end up in, I can help lead schools develop digitally literate, aware, critical, and proficient students and staff.

New Coetail Blog Post

The end has come for the five Coetail courses I took at the American Embassy School in New Delhi, India.  A huge thanks goes to Bebe Ullrich and Luke LaBaw for sharing this journey of growth with me for our final project, which also served as our Master’s research project.  Another huge thank you goes to Dana Watts and Gary Coyle, the instructors for the Coetail program at AES.

Enjoy the final post for this two year journey!