Friday, November 3, 2017

The evolution of digital safety to digital leadership

Over the past few years, we have witnessed the shift from teaching about digital or online safety to teaching digital citizenship.

When teaching about online safety, we talked about WHAT NOT TO DO to keep ourselves safe online:
Source Mini Matisse
When talking about digital citizenship, we shifted the the conversation to a more positive emphasis on WHAT WE WILL DO to be responsible and appropriate contributors to the online world:
Source Lessons By Sandy
Even more recently, thanks to the work of educators like George CourosKristen Mattson and others, the conversation has evolved to talk about fostering and encouraging digital leadership as outlined in this video produced by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

This doesn't mean that digital safety and digital citizenship are no longer important. Quite the opposite in fact.  The evolution of these concepts have just laid the ground work for this current conversation about "empowering proactive digital learners".
Source: ISTE

In this era of "fake news", cyberbullying and increasing concern and uncertainty about the impact of social networks and technology on the lives of our students, the need to lay a solid foundation of "respect - educate - protect" that Dr. Mike Ribble has advocated for over so many years needs to create digital citizens needs has never been more important. But we need to go one step further. We put that ever evolving understanding of citizenship into action - to make a difference.  

Our students need to understand that their digital presence can play a positive role in making our world a better place and that their ideas and talents can be used to create a positive change in their communities. But what does this look like in practice? How can we foster this idea to build digital leaders in our classrooms?

I would love to hear what you think about this topic. As educators, we need to figure out together what this looks like in our classrooms. How do we ensure our students are learning the skills they need to be able to live, learn and work in an ever changing digital world?

Please contribute your views to this Flipgrid. Having a growing collection of voices discussing this topic will be valuable in moving this discussion forward.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

My Personal Learning Philosophy

As part of the requirements for an online course I am taking in instructional design, I had to create an introductory video that utilized a Web 2.0 tool to help explore my learning philosophy. I don't get to play around in GoAnimate as much as I would like so I picked that tool to create my video.

I have included it in this post in case you are interested in watching it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Digital Citizenship in Blended Learning

While attending the Building Student Engagement in Distance and Blended Learning Conference this week in North Battleford, I had the pleasure of presenting "Digital Citizenship in Blended Learning" to a large group of teachers. The presentation was very well received and contains a number of resources for teachers looking to incorporate digital citizenship into their blended learning environments.

I have shared it here in case you find it helpful:

One tool that I used throughout the presentation is called Mentimeter.  This is a great interactive tool that can be used for formative assessment throughout a lesson or engage an audience during a presentation. It is very customizable and user friendly. I also really like how you can export your results in different formats, making it multi-purpose.  Here is the collective word cloud that we built to define digital citizenship:

Monday, July 3, 2017

#Share Our Love

Usually I only write about education and technology on this blog. However, a major life event was greatly influenced by my work to promote digital citizenship and inspiring kindness that I have been doing over the past few years.  

On June 3rd, I married my best friend, Jeremy Mohr. It was an amazing day that created memories we will treasure for ever. 

As we prepared for our wedding, we decided to do something a little different. Recognizing how fortunate we are and that there are many people in our our world that could use a little more love, we decided that we would prefer not to receive traditional wedding gifts from our guests. Rather, we hopped family and friends would "share our love" by performing an act of kindness and then telling us about it. Our wedding wish was that our love would inspire 100 acts of kindness and that the stories about those acts would be shared on our blog to help inspire others to be kind and generous towards others.

We were very thankful that so many of our friends and family were willing to "share our love" and submitted stories for our blog about their acts of kindness. We are so lucky to have so many amazing people in our lives and we truly enjoyed reading the notes and emails we received.  Thank you for helping us to #ShareOurLove. 

For more information, please visit our website,

Friday, May 26, 2017

Supporting Reconciliation in Saskatchewan Schools

Over the past year, I have had the privilege of working with my colleagues at the Ministry of Education to conceptualize an online resource for educators to assist them in teaching about the legacy of residential schools in Canada. This project was developed as part of the Government of Saskatchewan's response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls To Action.

After consulting with educators and Elders, our team determined that there were already many resources that were available for learning about residential schools. Although new resources are still required, we wanted to help save educators time by bringing those resources into one area online that was easy for everyone to access. In the end, we decided to house our site on Blackboard and developed an online organization called Supporting Reconciliation in Saskatchewan Schools.

The purpose of this online organization is was to support educational professionals to work together to expand their understanding of truth and reconciliation as well as the legacy of residential schools. We decided that this site would house tools and learning resources that would help to facilitate truth and reconciliation conversations amongst school staff. By using our provincial LMS, we could also provide a collaborative online space for educational professionals to engage in province-wide discussions and to work on joint-initiatives that support reconciliation. We also wanted to start collecting provincial stories on reconciliation and created a section to highlight Saskatchewan-made resources and projects to help inspire others to act.

Here is a walk-through of the site:

I hope that this site will help teachers and communities start the important conversation about reconciliation. This will be a long journey that we all must embark on together. The intent is to have this site grow and evolve overtime so I hope you will be willing to join the organization and begin to contribute to the discussion.