Dare to Care

create, communicate, collaborate, and think critically

03/Jun/2011
by Denise Krebs
3 Comments

June, July, August Project – Photo a Day

I am having so much fun taking a photo a day. When I wake up in the morning, I’m full of wonder about what the day has in store for my camera and me. I have never done anything like this before, so it’s great fun! Another perk in this project: I am learning to use Flickr. What a great program! The slower pace of summer is allowing me to learn all the ins and outs, so I can be a better curator of my photos.

Thanks to a discussion between Paula (@plnaugle), Mary (@scitechyedu) and Barbara (@BarbaraDay), I was able to join other teachers in a mini version of the 365Project. In this shorter challenge, we are taking a picture a day for June, July and August, Twitter hashtag #JJAProject. Read more about it at Welcome to the #JJAProject. It’s not too late to join in the fun. Grab your camera and start today!

Special thanks to Sheri (@grammasheri) for inviting me to participate! And now, before further hyperlink abuse, I will leave you with a few of my first photos! Thanks for viewing!
06-01-11

06-02-11

06-03-11

07/Apr/2011
by Denise Krebs
10 Comments

Joining the Conversation…

Over the past few months I have delighted in meeting so many excellent educators through their tweets and blogs. So many people contributing their genius out in the digital world! A few are amazing writers, but many of us are not. But you know what? I’ve found it doesn’t matter!

Is writing the most important contribution people make in their lives? No, of course not. Does it have to be the most important mark you leave on the Internet? No, it doesn’t. You don’t have to be a great writer to be effective.

Your contribution is not a polished five-paragraph essay or creative writing assignment. Your job when you join the digital conversation, should you choose to accept it, is to create, contribute, connect, collaborate and curate.

All those things can be done without Pulitzer prize-winning prose! Let me tell you about an example that happened in my class recently. Nicole, along with Leah and Kim, created a silly video as they tried out a new tool called Animoto. She wrote a quick paragraph explaining a contest related to the video.  (And they painstakingly checked it for proper English conventions, I might add.) Here is her blog post.

Next,  she sent it out to the world using Twitter and the hashtag #comments4kids. Fourteen seventh graders, Mrs. Sigler’s first graders, and a sophomore Spanish class accepted her challenge to write a story about the video she created. You can read the stories here. Look at the number of lives Nicole touched. Look at the people who practiced literacy as a result of Nicole’s 21st century contributions.

Finally, we created a digital prize on Xtranormal. You can watch it here and at the beginning of this post.

Was Nicole’s greatest contribution her writing? No. She wrote, but she also did much more. Look at all the things she accomplished…

  • created–the initial video and digital prize
  • contributed–added her blog post and made it a contest for the world
  • connected–sent out the link to the world
  • collaborated–worked with Leah and Kim in the classroom, worked with me on Xtranormal
  • curated–this is an elusive one. Nicole and all of us need to not become overwhelmed with the wealth available to us online. Nicole didn’t just launch a random monkey blog post and leave it. She organized her online world. Even though she was busy, she approved the comments, read the stories, determined the winner, and followed-up to complete the task.

I am so proud of her and my other student bloggers. They are becoming 21st century learners and using technology to create, contribute, connect, collaborate, and curate.

Is there a benefit in doing those things online, as opposed to doing them in the regular classroom? Yes, there are many reasons that I am just learning about. One thing I have become convinced about is the fact that we have the chance to be accepted in a new way. The bullies and the bullied, the straight-As and the strugglers, the cool and the nerdy, the introverted and extroverted, the acne-ed and the brace-faced, the too thin and the too round. It doesn’t matter what we look like or how we are perceived on our campuses. Online we can all be on a level playing field. We can all make valuable contributions. Even the weakest writers can do the work of the 21st century when they share their own genius.

Be anonymous

Don’t get me wrong. I know we need great literacy skills; we should not be lazy about literacy development in ourselves or our students. More than ever, in this digital age, we need to be strategic readers and effective writers. (At the least, everyone can proofread their own writing or ask a friend or teacher to help.) However, I believe blogging, joining the conversation, 21st century teaching and learning–whatever you want to call it–is about doing those five C’s: Create! Contribute! Connect! Collaborate! Curate!

So, whether student or teacher, you can join the conversation. In fact, as Angela Maiers says, “You are a genius, and the world demands your contribution!” Please join in the conversation. We need you.

Will you please leave a comment telling how you were inspired to join the conversation?

21/Feb/2011
by Denise Krebs
5 Comments

21st Century Digital Citizenship

We are in the 21st century, and there are some new skills we must learn to be good citizens.

iPhone by William Hook
Attribution-ShareAlike License

Internet etiquette, or netiquette, is important for all ages, but as teachers we are in a unique position to teach digital citizenship, copyright laws in an age of plagiarism, and protection of our digital footprint.

Inspiration for my Netiquette rules is Virginia Shea in her Netiquette book, available online by Albion.

Literary cat by SuziJane
Attribution-ShareAlike License

With my class, I need to work on my Comment Guidelines, so I have taken inspiration from two exceptional class blogs. I’m hoping to use these guidelines this semester while my students and I gain experience in commenting enough to write our own. The teachers and students at Huzzah! and Scattergood Biology have some excellent commenting guidelines. Thank you for allowing us to learn and grow from your good work.

Since we have such a large job curating all the information about new digital literacy, I’m including several links in a Diigo List of Internet Safety and Acceptable Use and another list on Copyright.

We have a big job becoming 21st century digital learners ourselves. We have an even bigger job teaching our students to be responsible, safe, and effective digital citizens. Let’s help each other, shall we?

21/Feb/2011
by Denise Krebs
9 Comments

The Do’s of Classroom Blogging

KrebsClassBlogs

Do Create
Make your class blogs a place to showcase the creativity of your genius students. Post their work, so their audience is not limited to just one–the teacher. For years I have posted student work on our web page, but now I believe posting it on our blog makes our potential audience so much greater than just family and friends.

Do Contribute
As Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Everyone has something important to contribute. Allowing the students to do so makes the world a better place.

Do Connect
Make a commitment to connect with others in the blogosphere. For one whole year, we “blogged” with a very small audience; it was just classmates, parents and me. I guess I was hoping someone else would read, but we never reached out. Now, I understand that it’s our responsibility to develop readership, so we have begun to make connections with the world by commenting, asking questions on our blog posts, and using Twitter.

Do Collaborate
As a result of new connections, we are hoping to find partners to collaborate with. This is new for us, and we are just in the baby steps of collaborating. Here is our first attempt.

Do Curate
A curator is a manager. Like in a museum, the person in charge of deciding what to display is a curator. According to the Smithsonian, less than two percent of their collection is on display at any given time. Teachers have a great opportunity to begin to manage for students the excessive information in the 21st century digital smorgasbord. I’m still figuring out what this looks like, but I do know it is imperative to help students learn to manage and organize. In blogging, we have a perfect opportunity to model for our students. I’ve learned that I need to have clear objectives and organized categories and tags. If I want to publish something on my blog, but it doesn’t fit, I might need to wait, or post it on a different blog, or add a new category, which was the case with this post. I added a category called Blogging with Students Challenge. I also learned, through last month’s challenge, that I needed both a professional blog and a class blog–two different ones. Kevin was a good example to me of how this looks. His professional blog is Kevin’s Meandering Mind and his class blog is the Electronic Pencil.

I love the words create, contribute, connect, collaborate, and curate to describe what we are doing in education in the 21st century. I am just beginning this journey. My classroom blog is just one month old, so I am open to suggestions! Do you have any additional ideas for what classroom blogs should be?

Graphic made with Iconscrabble and BeFunky

22/Jan/2011
by Denise Krebs
3 Comments

Why? To Create, Contribute, Curate and Connect

WHY do we do what we do in the classroom? WHY do we use the wonderful Web 2.0 apps and platforms? We need to remember to ask WHY, start with WHY.

Too often, we start with the WHAT. Smartboards, blogs, wikis, Glogster, Animoto, and on and on. Yippee, look at this new gadget! Let’s jump on board!

Secondly, we approach the HOW. OK, we’ve got this cool new app, how do we use it? We pore over help pages. Professional development time is spent learning how to use a new gadget or platform.

Angela Maiers has been challenging us these last three days at the digital literacy class #digitalliteracyiv at Prairie Lakes AEA, “Building Learning Communities: A Hands on Adventure,” to go beyond the WHAT and HOW.

Many of us, in effect, skip the WHY. According to Simon Sinek we need to Start with Why. Angela told us the WHY for everything in technology is to CREATE, CONTRIBUTE, CURATE, or CONNECT.

If the new gadget I’m considering doesn’t help me do one of those things, then I’ll find something that does.

How do you stay focused on starting with WHY?

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