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Congratulations Digital Fluency Academy Graduates!

 

Quinlan ISD’s Digital Fluency Academy, 2016

 

The 2014 Speak Up National Research Project found that 82% of 9-12th graders, 68% of 6-8th graders, and 46% of 3-5th graders are smartphone users! Education must meet the changing needs of these “digital natives.” Quinlan ISD has risen to this challenge by hosting its first Region 10 Digital Fluency Academy (DFA). One teacher from each grade-level content team (PK-12th) attended the four-day academy. It is designed to “develop and enhance the capacity of teachers to teach and learn effectively in a digital world.” Quinlan ISD had twenty-seven DFA graduates!
 
Each of the four days was planned around a different theme. On the first day, we learned about digital fluency and how it changes classroom instruction in the digital world where our students are growing up. Teachers learned about new tools that enhance creativity and collaboration like Padlet and Answer Garden. (Google them and try them out yourself!). We finished Day 1 of the academy talking about Carol Dweck’s “Power of Yet” and the positive learning that comes by “failing forward.” When a student says, “I cannot ...” we will say YET! We cannot do it YET, but we will work together to change YET to YES!

During the second day, we learned about blended learning. Blended learning enables a personalized learning approach by using technology to meet each student’s learning needs.Before using technology, we need to identify why: How will technology purposefully enhance and support student learning with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)? We do not use technology, just to say we used technology. Instead, technology integration is purposefully planned to enhance a lesson that supports the learning objectives. Our focus is always on the curriculum and how we can use the tools to support student learning.

Day 3 of the academy was spent on Digital Citizenship and Information Literacy. It is eye-opening to google yourself and find there are people online who share your exact name! However, those people may not share your values or viewpoints. We want what’s associated with our name to be positive. This is called our digital footprint. Teachers saw the importance of telling their own story, such as through an educational blog or Twitter, to leave a positive and professional digital tattoo. Taking this back into the classroom, teachers are more knowledgeable about how important it is for our students to understand digital citizenship while learning and communicating in a digital world. We discussed the ISTE standards and how we can incorporate digital citizenship training in the classroom. We want our students to THINK before they post... as they are posting their digital tattoos. We want our students to learn and collaborate safely and respectfully in the digital world.

The last day of the academy, we spent time implementing all the new tools we learned, collaborating with each other, and discussing how we will effectively plan and integrate lessons to support our students who are learning in the ever-changing digital world!

 

If you’d like to learn more:

QISD Instructional Technology: http://quinlanisdtech.weebly.com
Speak Up National Research Project. (2015) Retrieved from https://edtechdigest.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/trends-10-things-everyone-should-know-about-k-12-students-digital-learning/
Standards for Students (2016). Iste.org. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards/standards-for-students
Common Sense Media https://www.commonsensemedia.org/
Digital Citizenship Poster: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/middlehigh_poster

 

Published by
Danielle Davis-Fife
Alice Lafferty