Dare to Care

create, communicate, collaborate, and think critically

28/Jul/2017
by Denise Krebs
5 Comments

Digital Citizenship

This week’s #EdublogsClub Prompt #28 is about Digital Citizenship. We read this article on Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship based on the book Digital Citizenship in Schools by Mike Ribble and Gerald Bailey, published on the webpage DigitalCitizenship.net

The nine elements of Digital Citizenship:

  • digital access
  • digital commerce
  • digital communication
  • digital literacy
  • digital etiquette
  • digital law
  • digital rights & responsibilities
  • digital health & wellness
  • digital security (self-protection)

The article is worth reading and mentioned aspects I had yet to think of as being part of digital citizenship, such as access, commerce, law and even health and wellness. Certainly all important aspects of digital citizenship.

For 20 years now, my students in a variety of grade levels (K-8 since the late 90s) have had digital access. Together we have learned about respecting fellow students’ digital file folders when they weren’t password protected, how to share six laptops for 25 students, managed a digital environment with MacBooks for all, and, of course, the never-ending learning curve of navigating the Internet.  In the past and where I spend most of my time as teacher is on Ribble and Bailey’s elements of digital etiquette, literacy, and communication.

Teaching and modeling etiquette in many areas of life are important, I believe, and one of those areas is teaching digital good manners. We can’t let up or leave it to chance learning. It has to be taught explicitly.

Here is a Prezi I made with my junior high students in 2011. I believe it still has a lot of truth about Netiquette (or Internet Etiquette). It was inspired by this online summary of the book Netiquette by Virginia Shea, which is well worth the read.

We spend time on digital literacy and communication in class. My grade 5 students can do a lot already, but I try to take them to a more advanced level of responsible usage. For instance, we learn to use Creative Commons images instead of the ubiquitous Google search and snatch method. They learn to post photos and videos on their digital portfolio to share with their parents. They learn to create and edit Google documents while they write novels. And more.

In addition to etiquette, literacy and communication, there is another important element of digital literacy I model and teach. It is that of digital production. I attempt to inspire my students to be more than consumers. When they are with me, they produce–online publishing, forming connections with world-wide audiences, and adding their voice to make the Internet a better, warmer, friendlier place than it could be without them.

Used with permission from Krissy Venosdale, digital producer extraordinaire.

What do you think?
Is digital production another element of digital citizenship?
Are there other elements not mentioned?

25/Jul/2017
by Denise Krebs
15 Comments

Even the Boy Scouts of America

Donald Trump gave a speech to the 2017 National Scout Jamboree, a once in four years major event for tens of thousands of Scouts, Venturers and their leaders.

On this, the 19th ever National Scout Jamboree, the eighth one that a sitting president attended became another political game for Trump. His speech, which lasted 38 minutes, was an equation of laborious teleprompter reading (and misreading)  of a speech he didn’t write and doesn’t believe plus his off-the-cuff remarks in his infamous political campaign rally style.

After slamming the press twice in the first minute and taking credit for the Scouts’ record-breaking crowd (“That’s a great honor, believe me.”), he then introduced his speech saying he was happy to leave politics behind and talk to the Scouts about success:

Tonight we put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, D.C. you’ve been hearing about with the fake news and all of that. We’re going to put that aside. And instead we’re going to talk about success, about how all of you amazing young Scouts can achieve your dreams, what to think of, what I’ve been thinking about. You want to achieve your dreams, I said, who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts? Right?

I was intrigued, so I kept listening. I thought I would give him a chance to give that speech. However, in two years of listening to too many of his speeches, I have never heard that speech–that speech about anything but himself, fake news and politics.

It turns out everyone who was listening for that speech was disappointed, as I was. Besides mentioning the fake news media or the cameras that won’t show his crowd size at least a half dozen times, here are just a few of his comments to the BOYS SCOUTS OF AMERICA:

And very soon, Rick (Perry), we will be an energy exporter. Isn’t that nice? An energy exporter. In other words, we’ll be selling our energy instead of buying it from everybody all over the globe. So that’s good.  We will be energy dominant.

Thank you, Mr. Trump, for defining this second grade vocabulary word for these young people (12-18 years old). I’m sure they wouldn’t have understood the concept of energy exporting had you not taken time to teach them.

  • You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians, and I see the swamp, and it’s not a good place. In fact, today, I said we ought to change it from the word “swamp” to the word “cesspool” or perhaps to the word “sewer.”
  • And I’ll tell you what, the folks in West Virginia who were so nice to me, boy, have we kept our promise. We are going on and on. So we love West Virginia. We want to thank you.
  • Secretary Tom Price is also here today. Dr. Price still lives the Scout oath, helping to keep millions of Americans strong and healthy as our secretary of Health and Human Services. And he’s doing a great job. And hopefully he’s going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare that’s really hurting us. By the way, are you going to get the votes? He better get them. He better get them. Oh, he better. Otherwise I’ll say, “Tom, you’re fired.” I’ll get somebody. He better get Senator Capito (West Virginia senator who accompanied Trump to this speech and one of the senators who said no to repealing Obamacare) to vote for it. He better get the other senators to vote for it. It’s time. You know, after seven years of saying repeal and replace Obamacare we have a chance to now do it. They better do it. Hopefully they’ll do it.

Yes, I see you left the politics behind in Washington to talk to the Boy Scouts about success.

As the Scout law says, a scout is trustworthy, loyal — we could use some more loyalty I will tell you that.

Yes, you’ve been telling us and people in the Executive Branch about loyalty.

He spent about 20% of his speech telling stories about William Levitt, thrice-married, adultering, racist landlord, yacht-owning real estate guy who lived an “interesting” life after selling the business. Those stories on the yacht in the seas off the south of France, though, Trump wasn’t able to elaborate on because he was talking to “Boy Scouts,” you know. (Yeah, we know. You are talking to young people who are not yet of voting age, thus the puzzle about why you still can’t keep yourself from doing campaign rallies wherever you speak.) William Levitt was the one bit of humanity’s story he chose to share with the Boy Scouts of America’s 19th National Scout Jamboree. He was an interesting role model choice.

He spent another five minutes or so reminding the Boy Scouts that he won the election (“that map was so red it was unbelievable”), the economy is going better than ever, and they will be saying Merry Christmas again.  So much winning.

He finally, haltingly read some more of the prepared speech addressing the Scouts.

The crowd as a whole loved this speech and acted like they were at a campaign rally. That’s frightening. Clearly many of them were tickled that he didn’t just read the copious words off the screen, but he did animate his speech with policy fights. However, I know there were people in the crowd who were not applauding and shouting U-S-A at the anti-American and anti-Scouting values of this speech. There were many young people and adults who long to Live Scouting’s Adventure to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

I am sickened that he politicized the National Scout Jamboree.


Full transcript of this speech from Time.

Trump’s Jamboree speech from CNN.

A Complete History of Presidential Visits to the National Jamboree – Note: they all managed to give an apolitical speech to boys.

George W. Bush’s Jamboree speech –  Breathe in this: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
“Love a neighbor just like you’d like to be loved yourself.”

Disclaimer: Before 2015, I had never been very political. I am moderate and a registered independent. I vote faithfully for the best candidate in all elections–either D or R. I never thought President Obama was perfect, but the longer he’s gone the more I miss him. Since Trump came on the scene, I have been against what he stands for and the damage he is doing to our country. We are not the people we thought we were because we nominated him, elected him and now continue to allow him to serve with impunity. Hopefully the latter will change soon and we will learn our much-needed lessons.

18/Jul/2017
by Denise Krebs
8 Comments

Slice of Life – Interviewing My “Expert”

Yesterday I was considering doing some research about how to make a Mars Curiosity model for my Teachers Write Monday assignment. The assignment, by Sarah Albee, was to do nonfiction research, particularly to talk to an expert. However, I am spending my writing time this summer working on a children’s fiction story. Plus, since I’m hanging out at home with my husband after his eye surgery, he became my “expert.”

My Mr. Fix-it husband would know what kind of motor I needed and how to make the Mars model. I wanted it to be made of cardboard for a shout out of sorts to making, to Caine Monroe, Nirvan Mullick, and the subsequent Cardboard Challenge and Imagination Foundation.

Keith suggested I would need a base to hold the motor. He said you’d want to make a base out of plastic or something.

I argued. “It doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m not really making it. No one who reads it is going to know if it’s really feasible,” I said.

He acted like he didn’t hear me.

He found a rubber band car on YouTube. After watching the first minute, he said, “OK, here’s what Bailey needs to do. Make the base with straws and toothpicks, like in the video. You can use the bottle caps for wheels. This will be strong enough to hold the motor from the broken RC car he’s going to find abandoned at the thrift shop.”

“OK, maybe,” I said when I woke up this morning.

It was also after the part last night, when I snatched my Chromebook from him and gave the I-said-I’m-not-really-going-to-make-it-!-don’t-you-get-that-? speech.

So here’s a short scene from my story after my “expert” interview:

“Hey, Bailey, look what I found at work today!” Dad came bolting into the kitchen through the back door, the wooden-framed screen door bouncing behind him. Bailey was sitting at the round yellow Formica table–what Bailey used to call “our sunshine table”–munching Oreos dipped in milk. “Some gals ordered smoothies for lunch and they came with these jumbo straws. Perfect, right?” He held up two shiny straws, one peachy cream color and one lavender.

“Perfect?” Bailey said. “Dad, the Curiosity is like white, gray and black. How can these be perfect?”

“Oh, but look how strong they are. You can’t even bend ‘em. They must be close to a half inch in diameter. And heck, we can spray paint them black.”

“Black would be good. Won’t we need more?”

“I asked the women to save more for us. They said they order a few times a week. I had never even noticed them until I saw them in the garbage today. You know, after we watched that YouTube video yesterday.”

“Yeah, I didn’t think that was going to work,” Bailey was still suspicious about it.

“Let’s give ‘er a try after supper. What do you think? And, hey, why are you eating Oreos now?”

11/Jul/2017
by Denise Krebs
4 Comments

My Husband

My husband talks a lot and makes me laugh. Here are some snippets from our Friday afternoon.

While I started the car in the stifling ground level garage, Keith carried the hefty, plastic shopping bag overflowing with garbage toward the dumpster. When he came back to the car, he noticed I had opened my sunglasses case and had it sitting on the center console, ready to grab when we pulled out of the dark garage. He started in, “Now, what am I going to do? You know that’s my job. Are you taking my sunglasses job? Now, I guess I’ll just have to do my other side car driving tasks.” I began driving through the cramped garage. “Watch out…Don’t hit that wall…Careful, there’s a car…Ooh, that was close.”

“OK, wise guy, you can keep your job.” When I got to the door of the garage, I handed him my regular eyeglasses and waited for him to pass me the sunglasses. I put them on and pulled into the narrow alleyway, into the 110-degree heat. (It feels like 113, so the humidity isn’t that bad today.) “So, which mall should we go to?” I asked my husband, who is exponentially more opinionated than I about such things.

“Let’s go to the little fancy mall in the Seef district,” my husband said, “It won’t be so crowded on the weekend.” I turned the car toward the mall of our Friday afternoon walk.

As we rode along, I said, “OK, I have some advice I could give you about church today, if you are interested. About prayer.”

“Yeah, go ahead.”

“Well, when all the pastors and elders were in front praying for individuals, you were the only one I could hear.”

“Oh, no, did I leave my mic on?”

“No, the mic wasn’t on. I think you just need to work on your whisper.”

“Ah, I was projecting! I learned that in seminary.”

“Yeah,” I laughed, “but you shouldn’t broadcast the person’s prayer request. ‘God, help this sister get over her drug addiction.’ Just kidding. I didn’t really hear that.”

“You maybe just heard my voice above all the others because you are so in love.” I could sense him staring and batting his eyes.

“Oh, yes, that’s it.”

Lots more side car driving, “50…50…50…the speed limit is 50!” And later, “I would have gotten off at this exit.” That sort of thing until we arrived at the upscale mall.

“Oh, look, Denise. This place was named after us!” It was a chocolate fountain restaurant called Dip N Dip. We had to stop for a selfie:

At this point, I remembered my little writer’s notebook I was planning to carry this month for Teachers Write. I said, “Hey, I need to write down some of those things you’ve been saying that made me laugh today, but I’ve already forgotten on the way here. Maybe I’ll write about you today, funny guy. Can you remind me what made me laugh today?”

“Just write everything I say. You can actually record it. Keep the audio going all day long. That way when I die you can listen and laugh anytime, or cry maybe.”

“Oh, never mind!”

We took a lovely walk around this high-end mall. High-end, yes: For instance, I walked into one small shop with an “up-to-90%-off” sign in the window. I was curious. The first thing I saw on the rack was a long, single-knit teal dress with some embroidery through the middle. It looked like a prom dress. BD1780 was the original price, and the marked down price was BD178 (What? Almost $500!)

“Thank you,” I said, as someone came up to see if they could help me. “I just wanted to take a quick look.” I slipped out after looking at only one price tag. This place was out of my price range, even with 90% off.

When I told Keith about it, he said, “We’ll come back when it’s 99% off.”

It’s a good thing I don’t need a prom dress.

     *      *      *      *     *

On the way home, we enjoyed listening to music on a playlist that Keith created.

It has Beatles, Kansas, and lots of his other favorites–pop, rock and roll, and gospel. I’m not really big on music, but one day, I did say, “How about Gordon Lightfoot and Simon and Garfunkel?” My old time favorites. The next time we went in the car, he had a new playlist including some of my favorites.

Today, when “Rainy Day Lovers” came on, I asked him if he even likes Gordon Lightfoot.

“He’s OK,” he said. We talked about rainy days and loving.

     *      *      *      *     *

When we came back, I baked chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookies to bring to a dinner tonight.

Keith exercised and then came into the kitchen to drink water. Afterwards, he dug into the dish drainer looking for his coffee pots for tomorrow morning. “I’ve never seen anyone who can stack dishes like you. You are super talented in that area! No one else can stack like you, Denise!” He began putting some dishes away. He finally made it down to one of his coffee pots. (I think he has a half dozen). He shook the water out of the pot and gave me some advice, “You know, for dishes to dry, it’s best not to use the super burial method of stacking.”

     *      *      *      *     *

It’s a work day for him tomorrow, so he was ready for bed before me. “Good night,” I said. I wanted to stay up and finish this blog post before I went to bed. “I love you.”

“Yeah, that’s what she says now.”

“Thanks for making me laugh.”

“Yes, I am a Dad joke.”

That you are, but I wouldn’t want you any other way.

“Rainy day lovers don’t hide love inside, they just pass it on.”

08/Jul/2017
by Denise Krebs
2 Comments

Teachers Write is Here

Yay, I’ve been looking forward to this!

#TeachersWrite with Kate Messner, Jo Knowles, Gae Polisner, Jen Vincent, and other professional authors is coming right up. It officially starts on Monday, 10 July 2017. Gae started Friday Feedback yesterday, with guest author Nora Raleigh Baskin.

On Fridays, Gae and her guest authors, share one excerpt of their writing and elicit feedback from the Teachers Write participants. It not only gives them feedback, but it helps us learn to give feedback–What works? What doesn’t work? Do you want to keep reading?–they start with what works to honor the risk the author takes in sharing their work. This Friday, they were so timely. In 24 hours they have read and responded to scores of comments on their post, even though they are also participating in the Nerdy Book Club’s nErDCamp in Michigan. Here is a link to my comment, and you can scroll down to see their fabulous feedback on yesterday’s post.

This summer, I will try to act like an author and be disciplined to write for this significant writing teachers’ summer camp. I’ll post my attempts here at my student portfolio sample blog at this link: http://testblogscs.edublogs.org (NOTE ABOUT THAT NAME: This was the very first blog I ever made, almost 8 years ago–thus the name, it was a test blog for my school at the time, SCS. And that is why I hang in there with it–sentimental value to me, but it also reminds me to choose names carefully.)

Did you know this great writer’s camp is all free to participate? The authors only ask that, if possible, you add four books to your library this summer–one each from Kate, Gae, Jo, and one of their guests. We are buying books anyway, so why not? Read more about this, and to see the many books they have written here or here.

Here is a quote from Gae Polisner about MAKING time to do what you want and need to do.  (Read more inspiration at her 2015 Feedback post here.)

Have you heard of Teachers Write? Have you participated?
Are you planning to? Will you make time? It’s not too late to join.

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