Unit 8 – Identifying what the end user doesn’t know

A potential project for students (in this case the end user)

This project is designed for high school students who need arguably the most guidance with how to appropriately use technology.  It encourages students to question their own posts and also put the power in their hands to advise their peers and a wider audience about what digital citizenship means.  

This lesson would begin with students watching this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I47ltgfkkik

The power would then be given over to students to create their own PSA on the importance of digital citizenship.  Students could use their phones, laptops, or borrow available flip cams from the library to record their video.  These videos could involve live people, photos and videos from the internet, or any other medium that students come up with.  The PSA must provide its audience with the dangers and implication of over sharing online.  




DISCUSSION OF POSSIBILITIES

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to get a Google Doc started to share ideas.  I am honestly I little confused about what we are supposed to be creating as a group for this unit…

But here’s a space to discuss.


Here are my thoughts on the readings/watchings for this unit…

The idea of digital citizenship is what really stuck out to me.  I think that students often struggle with this and they are receiving mixed messages about what to share/not share from the media.  Literally, there is a song out right now, Down in the DM, that encourages “Snap chatting that pu**y.”  When you’re walking down the hallway and hear kids singing these lyrics, it’s pretty concerning!  Especially at the high school level, students may be sharing things that will put them in compromised situations later on.  The more education we can provide them on this topic, the better.  Maybe we could create some sort of video message or social media blast that would reiterate the importance of digital citizenship.  Maybe even making a parody of the original song with the same beat, but different lyrics!  

What are your thoughts about digital citizenship?  


It was also helpful for me to be reminded of the basics of communication.  I recently became a social media liaison for the district at my school.  Now more than ever, I need to be mindful about what language I am using and who will see what I post.  I have access to post to the high school’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  The quote, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” comes to mind!  

What role do you think social media has in the classrooms of today?

Hello Lizzy,

I am in the same boat as you however I think you have an excellent idea for this unit. Ironically, the school district in which I work just put into effect a rule banning students from sexting etc…  Teachers now have the authority to check anyone’s ipad if they suspect this type of behavior taking place. I agree with this because I know that many students take part in these activities. Once a child was bullied because a boy was showing all of his friends naked pictures of a girl that sent him x-rated pictures.

I think the role of social media in our classrooms are great given it is part of our world. However, when it is used in a negative light, it can become disturbing while taking away from academics.

Unit 8 – Identifying what the end user doesn’t know

A potential project for students (in this case the end user)

This project is designed for high school students who need arguably the most guidance with how to appropriately use technology.  It encourages students to question their own posts and also put the power in their hands to advise their peers and a wider audience about what digital citizenship means.  

This lesson would begin with students watching this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I47ltgfkkik

The power would then be given over to students to create their own PSA on the importance of digital citizenship.  Students could use their phones, laptops, or borrow available flip cams from the library to record their video.  These videos could involve live people, photos and videos from the internet, or any other medium that students come up with.  The PSA must provide its audience with the dangers and implication of over sharing online.  




DISCUSSION OF POSSIBILITIES

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to get a Google Doc started to share ideas.  I am honestly I little confused about what we are supposed to be creating as a group for this unit…

But here’s a space to discuss.


Here are my thoughts on the readings/watchings for this unit…

The idea of digital citizenship is what really stuck out to me.  I think that students often struggle with this and they are receiving mixed messages about what to share/not share from the media.  Literally, there is a song out right now, Down in the DM, that encourages “Snap chatting that pu**y.”  When you’re walking down the hallway and hear kids singing these lyrics, it’s pretty concerning!  Especially at the high school level, students may be sharing things that will put them in compromised situations later on.  The more education we can provide them on this topic, the better.  Maybe we could create some sort of video message or social media blast that would reiterate the importance of digital citizenship.  Maybe even making a parody of the original song with the same beat, but different lyrics!  

What are your thoughts about digital citizenship?  


It was also helpful for me to be reminded of the basics of communication.  I recently became a social media liaison for the district at my school.  Now more than ever, I need to be mindful about what language I am using and who will see what I post.  I have access to post to the high school’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  The quote, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” comes to mind!  

What role do you think social media has in the classrooms of today?

Hello Lizzy,

I am in the same boat as you however I think you have an excellent idea for this unit. Ironically, the school district in which I work just put into effect a rule banning students from sexting etc…  Teachers now have the authority to check anyone’s ipad if they suspect this type of behavior taking place. I agree with this because I know that many students take part in these activities. Once a child was bullied because a boy was showing all of his friends naked pictures of a girl that sent him x-rated pictures.

I think the role of social media in our classrooms are great given it is part of our world. However, when it is used in a negative light, it can become disturbing while taking away from academics.

Self Assessment!

I <3 CONNECTED LEARNING!!



  • How well do you feel you successful met these expectations this semester?
I feel that I was fairly successful in meeting the expectations above this semester.  The Google Hangouts in particular were a space where my thoughts could be challenged or enlightened.  I enjoyed this opportunity to engage in the content each week.  I was also able to engage with a community outside of this course through my work with TAG and specifically the  iTAG Revolutionizing Education through YPAR.  This experience coupled with what I was gaining from our community helped to create the framework for my final make and eventual unit on YPAR, racial profiling, discipline, and statistics.  I will also be sharing this work at the Unconference this coming week at Arcadia as part of a larger unit.
This class is also what inspired me to create a teacher blog for my students.  It has been very helpful for them and me to have all of our content in one organized place.  If I had not been forced to get more into blogging, I probably would not have made the teacher blog and would not be engaging with my students in that way.    
  • Where do you think you could have improved?
I could definitely use work on my blogging skills.  I am not naturally drawn to writing, so it was sometimes hard for me to get started with blog posts.  I appreciated when you gave us the idea to use a different form for blogging like a video blog or other multimedia approach.  I think I could have gotten a little more creative with this.  In the future, I will not see blogging as just the written word, but post information in a variety of forms.  You modeled this well by not always giving us just articles to read, but also videos and infographics.  
  • How do your successes and reflections on improvement inform your connected learning moving forward?
Moving forward, I want to start putting more content out there and also explore more.  This course was very open and free in that each of us could go in a different direction and find (5 or 6 or 7) things that applied to our individual practice and experiences.  I think I could be a better explorer with my students as well.  Through my work this semester, I would hear myself complaining a lot about the constraints of teaching in the current structure with so much testing and systems of “accountability.”  Instead of complaining about this, I am inspired to rewrite curriculum to make it more relevant, connected, and ultimately equitable.  
I also learned that connected learning does not necessarily have to use technology, which I definitely thought before.  Technology is an amazing tool that can improve connectivity, but connected learning is about more than that.  I am now beginning to find ways that, without using technology, students can engage in projects that are production-centered with a shared purpose that is relevant and interesting to them, all while being academic in nature.  Reading about the work of others and approaches like gamification and badges helped to open my mind to the possibilities of this work.  The YPAR work I was simultaneously learning about (both in this class and my iTAG) is so linked to connected learning it’s not even funny!  When I completed my final make and had to write about its connection to the principles of connected learning, it was so easy because the two go hand in hand.  I am really excited to look at more possibilities for integrating YPAR into my teaching.  
The whole idea of what is academic and who gets to decide is also very compelling to me.  I want to explore this more with my students to see who decides and benefits from the current curriculum.
  • What else do you want me to consider when assessing your performance over the past semester?
Although I was probably not the strongest of bloggers and I do not feel that I contributed as much as others sometimes to our community, I would want you to consider where all of this work has led me.  I created (and plan to create many more) useable lesson plans through my journey.  I have really been challenged to find workable solutions to integrate connected learning into my Algebra I classes in order to make them more equitable.  My mind has been opened to new possibilities to drive my instruction and give all my students access to a subject that is traditionally extremely irrelevant.  I was empowered by this class to try new things and take risks both personally and professionally; this has been an awesome experience!


Side note:  I am currently obsessed with the Chinese app My Idol where the picture above is also from. It is hilarious and amazing.  
Here’s me on a motorcycle  :)



Self Assessment!

I <3 CONNECTED LEARNING!!



  • How well do you feel you successful met these expectations this semester?
I feel that I was fairly successful in meeting the expectations above this semester.  The Google Hangouts in particular were a space where my thoughts could be challenged or enlightened.  I enjoyed this opportunity to engage in the content each week.  I was also able to engage with a community outside of this course through my work with TAG and specifically the  iTAG Revolutionizing Education through YPAR.  This experience coupled with what I was gaining from our community helped to create the framework for my final make and eventual unit on YPAR, racial profiling, discipline, and statistics.  I will also be sharing this work at the Unconference this coming week at Arcadia as part of a larger unit.
This class is also what inspired me to create a teacher blog for my students.  It has been very helpful for them and me to have all of our content in one organized place.  If I had not been forced to get more into blogging, I probably would not have made the teacher blog and would not be engaging with my students in that way.    
  • Where do you think you could have improved?
I could definitely use work on my blogging skills.  I am not naturally drawn to writing, so it was sometimes hard for me to get started with blog posts.  I appreciated when you gave us the idea to use a different form for blogging like a video blog or other multimedia approach.  I think I could have gotten a little more creative with this.  In the future, I will not see blogging as just the written word, but post information in a variety of forms.  You modeled this well by not always giving us just articles to read, but also videos and infographics.  
  • How do your successes and reflections on improvement inform your connected learning moving forward?
Moving forward, I want to start putting more content out there and also explore more.  This course was very open and free in that each of us could go in a different direction and find (5 or 6 or 7) things that applied to our individual practice and experiences.  I think I could be a better explorer with my students as well.  Through my work this semester, I would hear myself complaining a lot about the constraints of teaching in the current structure with so much testing and systems of “accountability.”  Instead of complaining about this, I am inspired to rewrite curriculum to make it more relevant, connected, and ultimately equitable.  
I also learned that connected learning does not necessarily have to use technology, which I definitely thought before.  Technology is an amazing tool that can improve connectivity, but connected learning is about more than that.  I am now beginning to find ways that, without using technology, students can engage in projects that are production-centered with a shared purpose that is relevant and interesting to them, all while being academic in nature.  Reading about the work of others and approaches like gamification and badges helped to open my mind to the possibilities of this work.  The YPAR work I was simultaneously learning about (both in this class and my iTAG) is so linked to connected learning it’s not even funny!  When I completed my final make and had to write about its connection to the principles of connected learning, it was so easy because the two go hand in hand.  I am really excited to look at more possibilities for integrating YPAR into my teaching.  
The whole idea of what is academic and who gets to decide is also very compelling to me.  I want to explore this more with my students to see who decides and benefits from the current curriculum.
  • What else do you want me to consider when assessing your performance over the past semester?
Although I was probably not the strongest of bloggers and I do not feel that I contributed as much as others sometimes to our community, I would want you to consider where all of this work has led me.  I created (and plan to create many more) useable lesson plans through my journey.  I have really been challenged to find workable solutions to integrate connected learning into my Algebra I classes in order to make them more equitable.  My mind has been opened to new possibilities to drive my instruction and give all my students access to a subject that is traditionally extremely irrelevant.  I was empowered by this class to try new things and take risks both personally and professionally; this has been an awesome experience!


Side note:  I am currently obsessed with the Chinese app My Idol where the picture above is also from. It is hilarious and amazing.  
Here’s me on a motorcycle  :)



My Final Make: A YPAR Project

My Final Make is the beginnings of a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project.  Obviously, I need actual student participation to complete the project fully, but this is a basic plan and vision.  It includes a skeleton of a lesson plan and handouts.  The topic of the YPAR project is racial profiling and discipline in schools.  

Day 1:  Google Docs Chat Session
Students will engage in small group analysis of various graphs.  Students will look at a circle graph, a line graph, and a bar graph.  All three representations display data taken from a survey by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.   


The students will be put into groups of four.  As a group, they will also access a group Google Doc and respond to the questions below each graphic.  I will copy these original documents so that each group can edit them and I can see their responses as a group.  This is not only an instruction day, but a jumping off point.  Below are the documents I would use.  This is similar to the work we sometimes do at the start of a Google Hangout for this course.  Students can interact with the questions and express their responses simultaneously.  


Day 2:  Survey Development
The next day of the project would be spent developing a survey to see what is happening at our school.  YPAR is all about the youth getting involved.  I would want the survey questions to come from them, but I have a sample of what I envision the survey might look like attached below.  Once again, we would use Google Docs.  Students could collaborate in the document to create meaningful questions that will generate the data that they want to know about their school.




Day 3 & 4:  Teach Probability
The next day the survey would be finalized and passed out to students.  I would assign each student to interview two male students and two female students.  Each person would get a different grade level to survey so that our data varies and we have a large representation of the school.  


On the third, fourth, and maybe fifth day, students would learn the basics of probability.  Issues of social justice would be integrated into the examples we use to teach this topic.  This also buys time for students to give out their surveys and get them completed.


Day 5:  Compile Data
We’re back to Google Docs to compile the data.  I would have done my "homework" in creating a Google Form or Survey Monkey to input the data.  Each student will log on and enter their four surveys.  The last question requires that students write their own name.  This is mostly for me to hold them accountable that they did their part in the data collection.


Going off of the sample survey I made, this is what the Google Form might look like.  Google Forms places all of the data into one spreadsheet.  All I would need to do is send the Form out to all my classes.  This way, all of the data for my three classes goes to one place and we have a combined sample space among my 75 students.


Day 6:  Analyzing Google Forms Results
In the interest of time, I will most likely have created graphics based on the data that students collected.  In groups, students would look at the data through various lenses.  We would have some graphs that look at gender, some that look at race/ethnicity, and some that look at grade level.  There would also be questions similar to those in the original assignment to help students think critically about their findings and draw some conclusions.  

Day 7:  Twitter Chat
After analyzing, I would like students to really think critically about their findings as a group.  I think it would be cool to pair with an English teacher for this lesson.  Students would engage in a Twitter chat around our survey results.  I haven’t thought of how exactly I would structure it, but thought about using the hashtag #cheltstats or something like that to link the conversations.  It would also be cool to have my 1st period start it off and then have my other two classes continue the conversation later in the day.  This day would purely be about what the students are feeling about their findings.  



Day 8:  What Now?
The last and perhaps most important part of a YPAR project is the action component.  It is hard to say what my classes’ action would be without completing this research.  Some ideas I have about what the action might be include creating an infographic of the data we collected, presenting our findings to administration and other stakeholders in the building, or posting our findings on social media in some sort of collective, agreed-upon form.  The action especially should be driven by the students, so I would let them get creative with this and lead the way.



Reflection of Connected Learning Principles
Looking at the principles of connected learning, YPAR incorporates almost all of them.  YPAR encourages all students to fully participate because they are all responsible for data collection and have a vital role in the process.  It also fosters social connections through Google Doc Chats, Twitter Chats, and in class discussion among peers.  This project in particular;y is grounded in student interests, peer culture, and a shared purpose.  I have heard students express that they feel they are racially profiled in the school, so I know it is of interest.  Racial profiling is also prevalent in the news currently.  In doing their own research about racial profiling at our school, students share a purpose in data collection and analysis.  Finally, it is academic!  Students are doing real research and learning not only about the process of action research, but how to interpret data represented in various forms.  

What I love about YPAR is that it is relevant to students’ lives because it is driven by them.  You are able to take a real world topic and adapt the math content to that context.  This innovative approach could help students to better understand the realities we live in.  The best part is the action!  Students are given a voice in an effort to change issues that they see as unjust.  In this way, equity is at the heart of YPAR work.  Not only are all students given access, but they are given agency.  I am excited to try this YPAR project in my classroom this spring!    

My Final Make: A YPAR Project

My Final Make is the beginnings of a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project.  Obviously, I need actual student participation to complete the project fully, but this is a basic plan and vision.  It includes a skeleton of a lesson plan and handouts.  The topic of the YPAR project is racial profiling and discipline in schools.  

Day 1:  Google Docs Chat Session
Students will engage in small group analysis of various graphs.  Students will look at a circle graph, a line graph, and a bar graph.  All three representations display data taken from a survey by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.   


The students will be put into groups of four.  As a group, they will also access a group Google Doc and respond to the questions below each graphic.  I will copy these original documents so that each group can edit them and I can see their responses as a group.  This is not only an instruction day, but a jumping off point.  Below are the documents I would use.  This is similar to the work we sometimes do at the start of a Google Hangout for this course.  Students can interact with the questions and express their responses simultaneously.  


Day 2:  Survey Development
The next day of the project would be spent developing a survey to see what is happening at our school.  YPAR is all about the youth getting involved.  I would want the survey questions to come from them, but I have a sample of what I envision the survey might look like attached below.  Once again, we would use Google Docs.  Students could collaborate in the document to create meaningful questions that will generate the data that they want to know about their school.




Day 3 & 4:  Teach Probability
The next day the survey would be finalized and passed out to students.  I would assign each student to interview two male students and two female students.  Each person would get a different grade level to survey so that our data varies and we have a large representation of the school.  


On the third, fourth, and maybe fifth day, students would learn the basics of probability.  Issues of social justice would be integrated into the examples we use to teach this topic.  This also buys time for students to give out their surveys and get them completed.


Day 5:  Compile Data
We’re back to Google Docs to compile the data.  I would have done my "homework" in creating a Google Form or Survey Monkey to input the data.  Each student will log on and enter their four surveys.  The last question requires that students write their own name.  This is mostly for me to hold them accountable that they did their part in the data collection.


Going off of the sample survey I made, this is what the Google Form might look like.  Google Forms places all of the data into one spreadsheet.  All I would need to do is send the Form out to all my classes.  This way, all of the data for my three classes goes to one place and we have a combined sample space among my 75 students.


Day 6:  Analyzing Google Forms Results
In the interest of time, I will most likely have created graphics based on the data that students collected.  In groups, students would look at the data through various lenses.  We would have some graphs that look at gender, some that look at race/ethnicity, and some that look at grade level.  There would also be questions similar to those in the original assignment to help students think critically about their findings and draw some conclusions.  

Day 7:  Twitter Chat
After analyzing, I would like students to really think critically about their findings as a group.  I think it would be cool to pair with an English teacher for this lesson.  Students would engage in a Twitter chat around our survey results.  I haven’t thought of how exactly I would structure it, but thought about using the hashtag #cheltstats or something like that to link the conversations.  It would also be cool to have my 1st period start it off and then have my other two classes continue the conversation later in the day.  This day would purely be about what the students are feeling about their findings.  



Day 8:  What Now?
The last and perhaps most important part of a YPAR project is the action component.  It is hard to say what my classes’ action would be without completing this research.  Some ideas I have about what the action might be include creating an infographic of the data we collected, presenting our findings to administration and other stakeholders in the building, or posting our findings on social media in some sort of collective, agreed-upon form.  The action especially should be driven by the students, so I would let them get creative with this and lead the way.



Reflection of Connected Learning Principles
Looking at the principles of connected learning, YPAR incorporates almost all of them.  YPAR encourages all students to fully participate because they are all responsible for data collection and have a vital role in the process.  It also fosters social connections through Google Doc Chats, Twitter Chats, and in class discussion among peers.  This project in particular;y is grounded in student interests, peer culture, and a shared purpose.  I have heard students express that they feel they are racially profiled in the school, so I know it is of interest.  Racial profiling is also prevalent in the news currently.  In doing their own research about racial profiling at our school, students share a purpose in data collection and analysis.  Finally, it is academic!  Students are doing real research and learning not only about the process of action research, but how to interpret data represented in various forms.  

What I love about YPAR is that it is relevant to students’ lives because it is driven by them.  You are able to take a real world topic and adapt the math content to that context.  This innovative approach could help students to better understand the realities we live in.  The best part is the action!  Students are given a voice in an effort to change issues that they see as unjust.  In this way, equity is at the heart of YPAR work.  Not only are all students given access, but they are given agency.  I am excited to try this YPAR project in my classroom this spring!    

Seek 7 Sunday #s7s

As I think about my final make and this course, I have been very inspired by the use of Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) in classrooms.  The examples and literature about this topic seem to really bring together many principles of connected learning into one approach.  Here are some things that are helping me develop my final YPAR make.

1)  I will undoubtedly need to use Google Forms to compile data for this project.  This is something that I can give all of my students access to using Chromebooks to input all of our data.

2)  My work with a community outside of our class has helped me come to this final make.  I was a part of the iTAG (Inquiry to Action Group) Revolutionizing Education through Youth Participatory Action Research which got me interested in YPAR in the first place.  Our meetings for this group (as well as the Google community) were a place for me to explore YPAR more and talk to someone who could help me problem pose and work out an actual plan for potential projects.  Here's more about TAG Philly.

3)  As I was revisiting the TAG Philly site just now, I saw this amazing resource that another Inquiry to Action Group made.  They worked to create a curriculum for schools to run with faculty and staff to help them develop cultural competency.  This is so important in schools.  I have to admit that my YPAR project makes me kind of nervous because of how other teachers might view my work.  If more staff had a better understanding of the children we teach, perhaps more YPAR work would be done!   Here is the resource they created.  It is a very comprehensive and digitally friendly plan.
Developing Cultural Competency Among School Staff

4)  Through our iTAG, we also got access to this online text about YPAR.  If you are looking for explanation about what YPAR is or more case studies...here you go!
Revolutionizing Education through YPAR

5)  Christina shared this...and I think I shared it last week?   But I keep coming back to it as a place of inspiration.  Nicole Mirra uses YPAR in Los Angeles in a year long approach that helps students identify assets and challenges in their community and much more.  She also includes resources for teachers which is especially fantastic!

6)  My YPAR project is part of a larger unit I am developing for my Social Justice Education and Curriculum Development course.  We are using framework from the Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce.  Their philosophies are influencing my work.

7)  Last but not least,  my students are affecting my work!  I would not be thoughtfully planning this project if I did not have my students in mind.  I want this YPAR work to help them develop digital literacy skills, critical thinking skills, but also obviously learn some math in the process!

Alright, time to dig in to fine tuning this project!

-Lizzy

PS - If you're interested in TAG Philly, check out their Education for Liberation Conference next Saturday!  I'll be there :)


Seek 7 Sunday #s7s

As I think about my final make and this course, I have been very inspired by the use of Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) in classrooms.  The examples and literature about this topic seem to really bring together many principles of connected learning into one approach.  Here are some things that are helping me develop my final YPAR make.

1)  I will undoubtedly need to use Google Forms to compile data for this project.  This is something that I can give all of my students access to using Chromebooks to input all of our data.

2)  My work with a community outside of our class has helped me come to this final make.  I was a part of the iTAG (Inquiry to Action Group) Revolutionizing Education through Youth Participatory Action Research which got me interested in YPAR in the first place.  Our meetings for this group (as well as the Google community) were a place for me to explore YPAR more and talk to someone who could help me problem pose and work out an actual plan for potential projects.  Here's more about TAG Philly.

3)  As I was revisiting the TAG Philly site just now, I saw this amazing resource that another Inquiry to Action Group made.  They worked to create a curriculum for schools to run with faculty and staff to help them develop cultural competency.  This is so important in schools.  I have to admit that my YPAR project makes me kind of nervous because of how other teachers might view my work.  If more staff had a better understanding of the children we teach, perhaps more YPAR work would be done!   Here is the resource they created.  It is a very comprehensive and digitally friendly plan.
Developing Cultural Competency Among School Staff

4)  Through our iTAG, we also got access to this online text about YPAR.  If you are looking for explanation about what YPAR is or more case studies...here you go!
Revolutionizing Education through YPAR

5)  Christina shared this...and I think I shared it last week?   But I keep coming back to it as a place of inspiration.  Nicole Mirra uses YPAR in Los Angeles in a year long approach that helps students identify assets and challenges in their community and much more.  She also includes resources for teachers which is especially fantastic!

6)  My YPAR project is part of a larger unit I am developing for my Social Justice Education and Curriculum Development course.  We are using framework from the Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce.  Their philosophies are influencing my work.

7)  Last but not least,  my students are affecting my work!  I would not be thoughtfully planning this project if I did not have my students in mind.  I want this YPAR work to help them develop digital literacy skills, critical thinking skills, but also obviously learn some math in the process!

Alright, time to dig in to fine tuning this project!

-Lizzy

PS - If you're interested in TAG Philly, check out their Education for Liberation Conference next Saturday!  I'll be there :)