Thursday, June 12, 2014

Preparing For Division 2

Hi everyone! I don't actually teach Div1, but I've been invited by Colette to come blog because we've shared a whole bunch of resources this year. I teach a grade 4/5/6 class, and we've been talking recently about the skills that we'd love to see kids come to us with. Here's a list of things that I'd like to see, but always end up teaching kids how to do in September and October:

1. I'd love to see kids that are familiar with creating things in Google Drive, whether it's a document, a drawing or a presentation. I get why forms and some of the other more obscure ones aren't used all the time, but those three would be the basics. It would let us jump into creation instead of getting a feel for tools and the inevitable "Create" button talk.

2. Have an understanding of how passwords work. Too many kids have had the same password for way too long. It'd be nice if by the end of Grade 3 they're familiar with creating a password that's unique to themselves and why they shouldn't be sharing it.

3. Check and send basic email. This is a 21st Century skill, and every year, I end up emailing things to kids and answering the same question; "How do I find that?" If we're really teaching kids about Digital Citizenship and how to use things correctly, then they're going to need to understand the basics. Email writing should replace letter writing. I can't believe the Great Canadian Mail Race is still going on (but that's a topic for another time).

4. Numbers 4 and 5 kind of go together, but they're important in this day and age. Google something. It'd be really nice if they could think "I'm not sure about this..." or "I'd like to know..." and then could go to Google and look at search results to find answers. Kids already know this early, but we should be guiding this to make sure we're getting the results we want from this strategy. The critical thinking piece of looking through results, and explain their reasons for picking specific results is something that should be developed on a yearly basis.

5. "Google Before You Tweet..." The permanency of things on the internet is important, and kids need to have an idea about "The Grandma Rule" and sharing things. If we're talking about sharing things with a class Instagram or Twitter account, they should know just what to put up there, and be thinking about why they're sharing it as they're doing it.

Most of these are pretty basic, and if you're using tech in your classroom, you're probably doing them already. (If you are, thank you!) If you've got suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments, email me, or tweet me @NotebookNick. Thanks for reading.