Growing digital smarts? Check our biases…

karen spencer

‘Tis the night before the #edchatnz conference and I am mulling over the session I am hoping to facilitate…

It’s been just over a month since I joined NetSafe as their new Director of Education, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting my head around a ‘same but different’ view window on education. The ‘same’ being broad, effective understandings around learning, curriculum, digital technologies, online spaces and professional development. The field feels very familiar. The ‘different’ includes spotlights on cybersafety research, wellbeing and how digital citizenship aligns with future-focused ideas related to learning, but also law, crime and community norms.

12640239264_ae3e5b7a05_zOf great interest is the strong focus on how interventions in the online environment are unlikely to be effective without the direct and regular involvement of young people and their whānau/families.

Seems kinda obvious, of course. And yet.

While there are some great pockets of practice around, there is still a strong bias in places towards assumptions…

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WHEN LESSONS ADD UP STUDENTS ENGAGE (And Teachers Teach Better) – The Shift Paradigm Series


lesson.001Imagine yourself in classroom. Where you are observing a teacher and her students. You watch the lesson that she is teaching. Scan the room. Look at the students. See the behavior of each student that corresponds to what is happening in the lesson.

Are students engaging? Do they do what they are supposed to do? In five minutes, see what is happening in the lesson. Scan the room. What is each student doing? Are they on task? Repeat every five minutes until the bell ends the class period.

As you watch, a pattern emerges of the students’ engagement with the lesson. Most likely the pattern is like this. The class begins with attendance, announcements, and other business. Then the lesson starts. A majority of students, but not all, engage with the lesson. As the lesson continues, fewer students engage. Over time, less than half are engaging. At some point, as…

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