Thursday, 28 March 2013

Digital Identity: The Big Bad Web & Why It Needs You

     *This blog post is the second portion of a two-part collaborative post between myself and Mary Bertram. Head over to her blog, Prairie Inspiration, to see the first portion of this post on digital identity, online presence and reasons to join the online education community.
_________________________________________________________

#etmooc, digital identity, online presence, developing an online identity

     When you Google yourself are you happy with what you find?* Does the search bring up pages that reflect you as a professional or are the pages not even about you? Perhaps your search for "Jane Doe" brings up "Jane Doe" from Tennessee who has unprofessional taste in life choices... how do you know that a potential employee, student or parent will not assume that the other Jane Doe is actually you? How do you go about creating and maintaining an online presence that is not only professional, but also positive and rewarding for yourself?
digital footprint, digital identity, online presence
#ISRU11 - We ALL leave a digital footprint by OllieBray. Flickr Image at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/olliebray/5542813754/
     The following is our "Top 10 Tips for Creating a Professional and Positive Online Presence". Whether you are exploring online for the first time or already have a well-established digital identity, these tips can help ensure that your online presence best reflects you as a professional.
     
1 ) Find Platforms that Fit Your Style/Needs/Comfort Level
- There are countless platforms online that are designed for networking,
  file sharing, etc and it can be a little overwhelming at the start. Find one
  or two platforms that fit what you are looking for or that you are most
  comfortable with and begin developing your digital identity from there.
- If you choose too many it is easy to get bogged down and not gain anything
  meaningful from them. If you have been online for a while, start going through
  the multiple platforms that you've signed up for, update the ones you want to
  use and disable the ones you don't use anymore.
2 ) Pick Your Standard Identity
- Determine how you want to represent yourself online and keep it
  consistent across whatever various platforms you decide to use. This 
  ensures that when someone searches online, they can determine if they
  have found "Jane Doe" the teacher, or "Jane Doe" the dancer.
- Your name, picture and location are all part of your identity. Whatever
  you decide to use with one platform, you should use with all of the others
  to maintain consistency. 
3 ) Include Your Professional Contact Information
- Most schools have webpages that include teacher's names and school
  contact information. If applicable, we suggest including this information
  in your online profiles to establish your professional identity and ensure
  you are not mistaken for someone else.
- This can be as simple as including the school name or as detailed as 
  including full school contact information depending on your comfort level.
* Remember to review your school/divisional online sharing policies before
  posting full school contact information. 
4 ) Keep Your Profiles/Information Updated
- Your profile is often the first thing that is reviewed when you have new
  visitors to your page and it is a direct reflection of you. Out-of-date 
  information can lead to misrepresentation or might even suggest laziness.
- Make sure that whatever information you include matches the standard
  identity that you maintain across all of your online platforms. 
5 ) Manage Your Privacy Controls
- Privacy controls help determine who has access to your information and
  can also help prevent your account from being hacked. Set privacy controls
  that work for you and ensure that your information is only shared in a way 
  that you approve.
- Privacy controls are especially important if you are using certain platforms
  for personal use and others for professional use. It is one thing to have a
  public Twitter account which you use professionally to develop a PLN and
  having a public Facebook account which you use personally to post pictures
  of your weekend activities.
* Use your professional judgement to determine what privacy levels your
  platforms need. 
6 ) Keep it Small (at first)
- It is really easy to get sucked into signing up for multiple tools once you're
  online but it can quickly get overwhelming to maintain. Until you feel very
  comfortable with the digital identity that you want to establish, try to limit
  yourself to a few platforms that you use well as opposed to signing up for
  everything and letting your digital identity suffer.
- Remember to use your standard identity each time you create a new account.
7 ) Establish Your Network 
- Once you are comfortable with the platform that you have chosen and have
  "lurked" around for a while you should begin making connections and building
  your network. Think about what you want to get out of your experience and
  connect with people who can help you reach your goals.
- For example, if you are on Twitter and teach high school Chemistry, you may
  begin to follow other educators, chemistry departments from various universities,
  chemistry resources for students and/or find applicable hashtags like #education,
  #chemistry and #chemchat.
* It is okay for your network to change as your needs and goals change.
8 ) Remember the Golden Rule
- Interact positively and enthusiastically with those who are in your network.
  If someone responds/shares/likes/etc  one of your posts/tweets/pins/etc 
  make sure you respond back, engage in conversation and thank them for
  their interest.
- If you want to have a positive online experience and get the most out of your
  network make sure that you use proper etiquette and pay it forward whenever
  possible. 
9 ) Contribute, Don't Be Just a Consumer
- To get the most out of your online experience and help solidify your digital
  identity it is not enough to simply be a consumer of information. The best
  networking opportunities and learning experiences occur when you are an
  active part of the process and contributing to the experience.
- This can be as simple as passing along helpful resources to others in your
  network or as complex as creating your own videos/blogs/podcasts/etc.
10 ) Re-Familiarize Yourself with Your Code of Professionalism
- One of the most important tips to remember, online and offline, is that your
  behaviour must reflect the standards outlined in your Code of Professionalism.
  It can be easy to assume that you are anonymous when it comes to online
  behaviour but in order to develop a professional digital identity and have a
  positive online presence then your Code of Professionalism must always be
  in your mind.
- To review the Code of Professional Practice, as outlined by Manitoba Teachers'
  Society, follow this link.
                        _________________________________________________________  

     Now that you have those tips in your back pocket it is time to determine what online platforms you are going to use to help create or re-vamp your professional digital identity. We compiled what we believe to be the "Top 4 Social Networking Sites for Educators" as well as some how-to guides to help you get started.**

1 ) Google+
- We recommend Google+ For Educators: LiveBinder created by
   Steven Anderson
- To read about an educator's experience with Google+, see Will
   Deyamport's post (with video!): Google What? Google+
  My MECA 2013 Presentation
2 ) Twitter
- We recommend Twitter for Educators: A Beginner's Guide created by Amber Coggin
- To read about my experience with Twitter, see my post: Twitter... 1 Year Later
3 ) LinkedIn
- We recommend Social Networking Part 3: Teachers Guide to the Use of LinkedIn
  created by Med Kharbach.
4 ) Facebook
- We recommend the Facebook for Educators Guide put out by Facebook themselves
  and The Complete Guide to Facebook for Educators by Lisa Nielsen.
                        _________________________________________________________  

To read Part 1 of this post on digital identity, online presence and reasons to join the online education community. Head over Mary Bertram's blog, Prairie Inspiration.

To read more about Digital Citizenship: Identity, Footprint & Social Activism, read some of the great posts by the #ETMOOC community.

*If you would like to see what I found when I Googled myself, see my post: My Digital Footprint.

**Remember to always maintain a standard identity online; whether you are using a social networking site like Twitter or a file sharing site like SlideShare. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

"Honest Trailers" Classroom Edition

 
screen junkies, honest trailers, honest trailers in the classroom
Screen Junkies. (2008). "YouTube Channel Heading". Screenshot. Available online at: http://www.youtube.com/user/screenjunkies
     Have you ever heard of "Honest Trailers"? I hadn't heard of them until today but I am very excited about the role that they could play in the classroom. "Honest Trailers" are put out on YouTube by ScreenJunkies and provide humorous, straight-forward analysis of recent movies by revamping their movie trailers. Here is how they describe their channel:
   
     Where guys go to get honest and authoritative advice on what movies
     and TV shows they should watch and which ones aren't worth the time.
     With breaking news, trailers, reviews, and original features, ScreenJunkies
     filters through the glut or entertainment choices to highlight the shows and 
     movies worthy of guys' previous free time.

     To get a real example of what an "Honest Trailer" is, here are some examples from their YouTube channel:


     Now obviously these are created with a tad of sarcasm (just a bit haha) but it got me thinking about how they are basically able to explain the entire movie plot in just a few minutes. Every English class requires our students to be interacting with text and responding in some way. Usually this response takes shape in some type of book report, journal response, diorama, character sketch, etc. What if instead of these platforms, we had our students create "Honest Trailers" to explain what they've read.

     If students were working with fiction they could explain the main character's personalities, plot development, setting, etc (in similar fashion to the way the movie trailers were set up). If students were working with non-fiction and expository texts they could explain the thesis behind the text, the supporting arguments and any examples to help clarify the ideas. By creating an "Honest Trailer" response, students are required to Evaluate what they've read, which is the highest level of Bloom's Taxonomy, and rate/recommend it to their audience.

     I feel like students would find the sarcastic nature of these videos humorous and more interesting than some of the traditional options that I discussed previously. With this in mind, however, a specific rubric would need to be provided to ensure that students didn't get too caught up in the sarcasm and end up missing the actual evaluation of the text.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Resources To Start Off Your Week 58

     Happy Spring Break everyone, as of Friday the 22nd we have officially been on holidays and won't be back in the classroom until April 1st. The weather is almost feeling like spring time (it is around -10 C) but we still have well over two feet of snow that can begin melting anytime (seriously... anytime now). We don't have a lot of plans for the holidays as we are calving on our farm so I've ended up having lots of time to prep for school and spend time with our new puppy, Kevin!
I've been spending some extra time scouring the web to find some really awesome resources to use once we come back from Spring Break and I think I found some pretty neat ones. As always, I will be adding these to my lists of resources under the Fav Websites heading.

1 ) Gynzy: Interactive Whiteboard Tools
- If your classroom has an interactive white board, like a SMART Board,
  then this website is definitely the one for you! It offers a lot of tools that
  are pre-created to help utilize your interactive white board to it's full
  potential.
- Users can search by subject area (Social Studies, Math, Science, etc) or
  by grade level to find the tools they need for their classroom.
- Some of my favourite tools are definitely the floor plan creator that allows
  you to design your classroom setup or pick from pre-created options, the
  traffic light (great for managing classroom noise), and the interactive
  maps of the world.
- One down side is that you do need to sign up and create an account
  which only gives you a trial. Perhaps if there was enough interest your
  school could create an account for you or you could get a collaborative
  account with your fellow teachers.
http://www.gynzy.com/en/corporate

2 ) Padlet
- Padlet, previously known as Wall Wisher, is a great interactive site
  for brainstorming and sharing ideas in the classroom. Teachers can
  create a "wall" and students, on their devices, can post notes on the wall
  that can be shared with the class.
- I've used this in the classroom and asked students to "post" their responses
  when we read texts, brainstorm ideas, share prior knowledge and more. I
  find that students really like it because they can engage with multiple platforms
  (reading text but responding digitally) and it allows them to utilize their devices.
- Students can add their name to their post or leave it blank if you want them
  to be anonymous (which can be a good feature). The wall can then be shared
  if you post student work online for those who missed, gain feedback from
  another class or PLN and/or share through your classroom's social media
  networks.
* Check out the "wall" I created below
http://padlet.com/
padlet, wall wisher,

3 ) DS106: Open Course on Digital Storytelling
- DS106 is a mooc (massive open online course) about digital
  storytelling and all of the different platforms that digital storytelling can
  encompass. This course has been running since 2010 and still has many
  active participants who are interested in learning more about digital
  storytelling.
- I think it would be amazing to have students participate by completing
  one of the projects or have students explore the site and complete any
  project of their choosing. It can also serve as inspiration for teachers who
  can create projects for their students based on what they see.
- Some projects include Photoshop projects, GIFs, lip syncs, creative
  postcards, CD cover remixes and A LOT more. If you teach any of the
  digital design courses this online resource could essentially plan your
  entire course!
* Big thanks going out to Tyler for sharing this resource with me.
http://ds106.us/
digital storytelling, ds106 digital storytelling, teaching about digital storytelling
DS106. (2010). "DS106 Hall of Fame: Page Header". Screenshot. Available online at http://ds106.us/hall-of-fame/ 
Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

2 Stars & A Wish: Appropriate Pacing

     My second week of student teaching has come to a close and we are now officially on Spring Break until April 1st; so we are off for a full week. I am hoping to utilize this time to further prep for my classes and possible interviews that can come up in the next few months. Two things I think went really well this week were:
1 ) Enforcing Accountability with my Students
- This week we had a few preliminary assignments that we worked
  on in my various classes. They were not extensive or time consuming,
  but I needed them to be completed before the students went into Spring
  Break. When assignments were not completed in class time, or for 
  homework, I had three students who had to join me at lunch so we could
  get them completed on time.
- I feel like this helped to solidify what my expectations were in regards to
  missing assignments; simply not doing them is not an option. I was able 
  to go into Spring Break with all my assignments in and students were able
  to have a week off knowing that they did not have any homework at all. 
- It is my hopes that after Spring Break my students and I will be on the same
  page in regards to expectations and that work will be completed on time.
2 ) Creating an Interactive Display of Student Work for Parent-Teacher Interviews
- One of the projects my students worked on this week in Grade 10
  Geography was creating infographics on various mineral resources that
  are used on a daily basis. They needed to research:
  a ) the top three locations where the mineral is mined
  b ) if it is a metallic or non-metallic mineral
  c ) if it is abundant or scarce
  d ) three uses for the mineral
- Once they were all completed we created QR codes that, when scanned 
  by a device, would take them to all of the written research that had gone 
  into the infographic. We attached the QR codes directly to the infographics
  and had a really neat interactive display to show parents during parent-teacher
  interviews.
- The students seemed to really enjoy the tech aspect of this and I feel like it
  reinforced the importance of citing your work and giving credit where credit is
  due. It can be really hard to include all your references on poster displays like
  these so by having a QR code that links to the research you are still able to 
  show all of the research while maintaining the aesthetic look of the poster. 

QR codes in the classroom, using QR codes with students

     One thing that I feel like I need to work on, however, is setting appropriate pacing for my Grade 8 Social Studies class. When I had planned out our unit on Ancient Greece and Rome I had tried to pencil in how many days I wanted to spend on the various outcomes based on what type of activities we had planned. Unfortunately, this week we only had ONE day together due to a snow day, me being away with my Grade 10 Geography class and parent-teacher interviews. Furthermore, when we return from Spring Break we will be missing additional classes due to a PD day, their band trip, science fair, and a guest speaker at another school in our division. With all this missed time, I know that I will have to spend some time this week going over my unit again and reevaluating what I want to accomplish and what can be done differently. My goal for Spring Break is to revamp my unit plan to ensure that I can still complete our unit appropriately while working within our time constraints and leaving enough time for portfolio assessment (which I want to work on during our last week together). I will keep you updated on how it goes!

Week 1: 2 Stars & A Wish Update
     Last week I shared that I wanted to work on establishing boundaries with one of my students in my Grade 8 Social Studies class. This week was very short for us as Monday was a snow day, Tuesday I was away with my Grade 10 Geography class and Friday was parent-teacher interviews so I only had ONE day of classes with them. Despite the fact that it was one day, however, I still tried to work on our goal. As per our agreement, I privately reminded him of the expectations before class started: 
- Not walk around the room unless it was part of the activity
- Not distract those around him during work time
- Not speak while I or other students were speaking
I did need to remind him one time about not distracting those around him when he restarted someone's iPad in the middle of their work, but overall I feel like it was an improvement. Our activity allowed him to interact with the other students and he was incredibly helpful in troubleshooting some of the technical glitches we ran into with our iPads. I am looking forward to more progress when we return from Spring Break. 

Friday, 22 March 2013

My Experience with Parent-Teacher Interviews

parent-teacher conference cartoon
Bacall, A. (2011). Parent Teacher Conference.
Available online at:
 http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/p/parent_teacher.asp
This week not only marked the last week before spring break, but also "S-School's" springtime Parent-Teacher Interviews. While parent's could technically come in anytime during the week, depending on their schedule, our main interview dates were yesterday evening and today during regular school hours. Luckily, I was able to sit in on parent teacher interviews and learn more about how they are organized and how to address any parental concerns. As I am student teaching and not a staff member, however, parents need to give their consent for me to sit in on their child's meeting. Thankfully, all of the parents that attended were okay with me being present so I was able to see over twenty meetings and see the wide range of interactions that can occur. Here are some of my observations:

ORGANIZATION/SET UP

     Even though I have only been back in the school for two weeks, I set up an interactive display featuring infographics that my Grade 10 class had made regarding minerals as natural resources. Each infographic had a QR code attached to it that could be scanned to show the written research behind the information on the infographic!

using QR codes in the classroom, QR codes during parent teacher interviews

   Almost every teacher that I saw had a different organizational take on how they set up their room and materials for parent-teacher interviews. Some teachers had lots of displays of student work (especially in the younger years) while some had nothing at all. Some had beverages or snacks available while some didn't. I don't think that there was anything that was mandated by administration so each teacher was able to organize their set up depending on their personal preference. Some of the things that I really liked were:

1 ) Clearly Posting The Schedule Outside The Door
- This way parents could visually see that someone would be coming
   after them and that there was only so much time (it seemed to prevent some
   interviews from running over time).
- It also let other parents know when you were with someone so that they
   weren't walking in during the middle of someone else's interview.

2 ) Having Portfolios of Student Work
- Before interviews, have students place samples of their work in a duotang
  so that their parents can see their actual products of work and see the
  rationalization behind the assessment.
- It seemed like a lot of parents had a better understanding about their child's
  mark once they were able to see the work that they had completed and it helped
  to have a visual when explaining what the student's "next step" could be.
* Make sure to pick work samples that demonstrate different skill sets (writing,
   representing) and/or from the different units of study (short stories, grammar).

3 ) Having a Detailed Print-Off Of Their Mark Ready
- I found that a lot of parents didn't come into the meeting with a copy of their
  child's report cards or the child hadn't brought their report card home with them.
  By having a detailed print out of a student's marks in your class it is easy to show
  parents what assignments are missing, trends in marks, and provides insight if they
  hadn't seen the report card yet.

STUDENT WHO IS DOING WELL

     We all know this student, he/she is the one who has marks in the mid 80's and up, they have all of their work in on time and very rarely present behavioural challenges in class. These interviews were very short and to the point. More often than not the teacher just reassured the parents that their child was still doing well in the class and that they should keep up the good work through the remainder of the course. At times, the parent was interested in knowing how they child could do even better but for the most part, these interviews were very short as there wasn't a lot of information that needed to be covered.

STUDENT WHO IS STRUGGLING (PERSONAL EFFORT)

     These students are the ones who have the potential to do quite well in the class but, for various reasons, are not applying themselves. Some reasons for this could be:
- Not taking the time to fully complete their assignments
- Not handing in assignments for assessment
- Not attending class
- Not interested in the class
- Influenced negatively by peers, etc
These interviews tended to address the fact that the teacher knew the student understood the material but due to the student's personal effort, their understanding wasn't being reflected when it came to assessment activities. Most of the time, the parents were quite aware of their child's behaviour and the discussion shifted from their child's assessment to what can be done to assist the student in getting on track. For a lot of students, we used the pre-printed reports to highlight missing work and make lists of what the students can complete, or re-do, in order to boost their mark. We also discussed options like coming in during study periods, lunch hours, and after school to work on assignments and receive additional support to get caught up.

     While I realize that these type of interviews could be challenging, I found that most parents were very aware of their child's personality and weren't surprised that their child needed to apply themselves more often. I think that, for a lot of students, this type of behaviour is just a part of growing up and learning responsibility and accountability.

STUDENT WHO IS STRUGGLING (UNDERLYING CONCERN)


     These students are the ones who are continually struggling in multiple core-area subjects and the parents and teachers have begin to consider adaptations to help the student succeed. Some situations I experienced were:
- Students encountering new medical concerns that were presenting
  challenges for the student
- Students who may be undergoing assessments for a possible learning
  disability
- Students who comprehend but are unable to produce any tangible
  products for assessment.
These interviews focused on the fact that there was some sort of underlying concern that was preventing the student from succeeding and having a positive learning experience. For almost all of the students who were in this group we discussed the resources and supports that may be available to them in the school. We also set up meetings with the school's resource teacher when it was appropriate. This allowed the teacher to have some type of documentation about the student's challenges and would allow them to implement certain adaptations once the resource team had addressed the student's specific situation. Until assessment with the resource team could take place, we discussed adaptations that could be implemented  right away once spring break was finished. These included bringing in laptops to type assignments, using voice-to-text software, having verbal assessment options so students can verbally explain their understanding and recording in-class explanations.

     In the summers I work one-on-one with students through Children's disABILITY Services and often sit in on I.E.P meetings so I found it really interesting to see the steps that go into working with students before an I.E.P has been set up. I found that these meetings gave me good insight into the challenges that can occur and the frustrations of parents when their children are having consistent difficulty while in school.


STUDENT WHOSE PARENT IS UNHAPPY


     These students had their parent(s) come into the meeting very unhappy with various aspects of the class or school in general. Some concerns that were addressed with us included:
- Dislike for the new provincial report cards
- Frustration over scheduling of the time table
These interviews were more about school operations and classroom routine as opposed to the student and their progress. I think the teacher did a very good job about speaking to the information that she could and directing the parent to administration for the concerns that were not in her jurisdiction. We provided parents with support documents on the new provincial report cards and directed them to the appropriate online supports as well that would help them understand how they are set up and the rational behind them. We also got some parents set up with the online "parent portal" that allows parents to log-in online to check their student's progress and attendance daily. Most of the concerns, however, did need to be addressed with administration rather than individual classroom teachers.

     These interviews were very mentally and emotionally exhausting for myself even though I was only an observer! I am thankful that I was able to experience a wide range of interview scenarios before I become a first year teacher and have to be organizing parent-teacher interviews by myself. I feel more knowledgeable about understanding situations that can be addressed by a classroom teacher and what situations are more appropriately addressed by administration. It definitely provided insight, however, about the various frustrations that are felt by parents.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

A Snapshot of Information

Do you let students take pictures of notes, students taking pictures of notes
Edvolution. (2013). "So True...".
Available online at: 
http://edvolution.info/so-true/
Today in Grade 8 Social Studies we did a Jigsaw activity where students, in small groups, researched about different social classes found in Ancient Greece. Once completed, students wrote their findings on the board and verbally presented about their specific social class (wealthy citizen, middle class woman, slave, etc). What resulted was six different sets of information on various social classes that students were responsible for having in order to utilize, in more depth, in the next class. Once all of the information was on the board and students were writing down their own copies one student raised his hand and asked, "Can I just take a picture of this instead of having to write it all out?"

I paused for a minute because I hadn't had anyone ask me that before but I replied, "Sure, I would be okay with that." The student, and those around him were taken aback and I heard comments like, "That's awesome!" and "You're the first teacher who would let us do that!". This lead to a quick chat about how they were still responsible for organizing their information and keeping it with them, whether it was in a hard paper copy or in a digital format through their device but I did allow them to take a photograph of the notes if they wanted to. Overall, I had about half the class decide to take a photograph while the other half opted to write out a hard copy, despite also having access to devices they could use.

     I left the class feeling apprehensive at first. If none of their other teachers allow this, why did I? The purpose of the lesson, however, was for students to become familiar with the different social structures in Ancient Greece, NOT practice taking notes. Did students become familiar with the different social structures in Ancient Greece? Yes, my students spent the better part of the class researching on a specific class structure, summarizing their findings, and presenting their information to their peers. The remaining class time was spent listening to the other groups presentations about their findings and learning about class structures that differed from the one they focused on. Is this learning lost by taking a photo of the notes rather than writing them out by hand? I don't think so.

     If you remember back to the first day I was with my students, almost half of them self-identified as being an auditory learner while the other half self-identified as being a linguistic learner. Coincidentally  this almost perfectly matches how many students chose to take photographs and how many chose to write their notes out. Furthermore, when we completed our que-card "About Me" surveys, more than half identified that the amount of notes is the main thing they DISLIKE about studying Social Studies. If this is the case, why would I force it when they can easily have the information through another platform?

    I asked this question on Twitter and here were some of the responses I received:


     What are your thoughts? Do you / would you let your students take pictures of the notes instead of writing them out? Would your opinion change from class to class or during certain situations? Let me know your thoughts!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Resources To Start Off Your Week 57

     Today I am writing this post from school because there are almost no students here due to a bad snow storm. I only had three students in my class this morning and two of them left to meet with another teacher to complete work that they owed her before report cards come out. As such, it has been a very long lonely day at "S-School" today. The good thing, however, is that there is a lot of prep time to make sure I am more prepared once spring break is over. Some of my prep time was used to find resources for myself and my students so at least I can kill two birds with one stone for this post. As always, I will be adding these to my lists of resources under the Fav Websites page.

1 ) Teacher's Guide To Blooms Taxonomy Infographic
- Bloom's taxonomy plays a vital role in education and all it takes is a
  quick Google search to find several images of the taxonomy with
  several helpful descriptions of each stage. What I like about this one,
  however, is that it provides instruction and assessment examples for
  each stage.
- It can be easy to say that the "Analyze" level involves examining key
  elements, but what does that actually look like in the classroom? This
  diagram has that!
http://eyeoneducation.com/Blog/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/2724/Infographic-Applying-Blooms-Taxonomy-in-Your-Classroom#.UUJX2BxwrSh

blooms taxonomy, how to assess each level of blooms taxonomy, teacher's guide to blooms taxonomy

2 ) Green Power Science YouTube Channel
- This YouTube Channel provides a lot of helpful and engaging film
  clips about "green energy". These can be a perfect addition to classroom
  instruction and/or inspiration for lab ideas.
- This channel features over 300 videos that can easily be searched by
  playlist headings like photovoltaic cells, solar cooking, fresnel lens and
  more. If I was teaching science I would definitely incorporate these videos,
  especially as a visual depiction of how a lab should look.
- http://www.youtube.com/user/GREENPOWERSCIENCE


3 ) 50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story
-This Wiki provides a great starting point if you are interested in
  using digital storytelling with your students. It can be used as a teaching tool
  with your students or can just be a great place to find resources to utilize.
- Users of this wiki can utilize this resource to design a digital story and find
  appropriately licensed resources .
http://50ways.wikispaces.com/

digital storytelling, teaching digital storytelling, using digital stories with students

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

2 Stars & A Wish: Establishing Boundaries

     My first week of student teaching is officially completed and I feel like I can now settle into a regular routine with my students. Two things I think went really well this week were:
1 ) Getting To Know My Students
- As I shared on Wednesday, I used my first teaching day to get to know my
  students. Through the activities that I facilitated, I feel like I was able to get
  a good understanding of my students likes, routines and learning needs.
- I know that this is no replacement for the knowledge that I will gain through
  time, but it allows me to prepare myself as much as possible in these first few
  weeks. 
2 ) Introducing My Units To My Students
- In my past student teaching experiences I feel like I jumped into my new units
  without taking adequate time to Assess For Learning or provide a proper
  baseline.
- This week I took three days with each of my classes to introduce activities
  that allowed me to appropriately Assess For Learning with each student as
  well as provide a solid knowledge base before jumping into content.
- Some of these activities included "Snowball" brainstorming, Post-it evaluations,
  film clip responses, writing prompts, and sharing circles.
* If you'd like more information on any of these activities leave a comment below!

     One thing that I feel like I need to work on, however, is establishing clear boundaries for one of my students in my Grade 8 Social Studies class. In a meeting with the Resource Teacher, before I began teaching, I was told that this student can be a "performer" in class and is often very busy. Under the recommendation of both the Resource Teacher and my Cooperating Teacher, I planned my lessons to include shorter activities that built in time for my students to be out of their desks and interacting with others. 

     In class, I noticed that the student was easily off-track, wandered around the classroom when he decided he was finished his work, and often attempted to display "class-clown" behaviour. From the information that I knew about him, I decided that I would not reinforce his behaviour by giving him the attention of the class so I quietly approached him about staying on track but sometimes I would blatantly ignore his behaviour (like  when he was walking around the classroom). I hadn't felt like his behaviour was disruptive and the work he completed was correct and well thought-out despite his actions. My Cooperating Teacher, however, pulled me aside after class and warned me that he was "testing" me and pushing to see what my boundaries were. She was worried that if I did not address his actions that he would quickly escalate to disrupting the learning of those around him. 

     During the break I had a meeting with the student and asked him what his opinion on the class was. He responded that he thought maybe he wasn't being respectful and, together, we drew up the following plan for next week. We agreed that in order to make sure he and the other students could learn he would:
- Not walk around the room unless it was part of the activity
- Not distract those around him during work time
- Not speak while I or other students were speaking
To help him out, I would:
- Remind him of our agreement before class on Monday
- Plan activities that had us out of our desks
- Plan activities that allowed him to interact with other students

     I feel like this is a good basis for addressing this concern. Before class tomorrow I will individually remind him of our discussion and I specifically planned an activity that has them doing group work where he can interact with his peers. As of right now, I feel confident about the situation and will consciously work on this for the upcoming week. I will make sure to update and let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Back to Teaching

     Today was my first day actually introducing my lessons and taking over three of my four classes during student teaching. (I will continue to observe Grade 9/10 ICT until after Spring Break to accommodate my cooperating teacher's unit plans). I am so thrilled to be back in the classroom and doing what I love. I find the transition from classroom teacher to student teacher to sometimes be quite choppy and awkward so I always plan my first day as a "get to know each other" day. If you remember back to my student teaching placement in the fall, I like to survey my students and have them share information with me. This allows me to  organize myself and plan out the specifics of the lesson accordingly. 

     I am a strong believer that teachers need to plan learning experiences that are relevant and meaningful to their students. Through our various surveying activities I was able to find out what kind of resources my students can access, how busy they are outside of class, and what their learning style is (self-identified).

Grade 10 Geography
     I start off the day with Grade 10 Geography which has 20 students. Of these, approximately 15 of them are familiar to me as I taught them last semester in the first half of the Grade 9/10 ICT class which is optional to them. The first thing I had my students do is complete questionnaires on que-cards. I asked them to include their:
- Name
- Favourite Subject
- Least Favourite Subject
- One thing I love about geography is...
- One thing I hate about geography is...
(To see an example of what this looks like, you can see a few responses I got last semester.) I also get students to play the game "Over the Line" in which students pick a spot on the wall and if a particular statement that I say applies to them they step "over the line". It is essentially just a kinaesthetic way to complete a survey but students love it and I did this with all of my classes. Here are the results, which allow me to plan my lessons accordingly:




     After this I passed out the unit outline that I created and started introducing our unit on Natural Resources. To get us thinking, I asked students to write down one example of a natural resource (oil, trees, water, etc). Once every student had an example we left the classroom, formed a circle in the cafeteria, crumpled up our papers and had a snowball fight with them! This allowed all the students to mix up their papers and have some fun. After 30seconds I stopped them, had them sit down in the circle, read their paper and write down where they thought that resource was located. For example, if they picked up a paper that said oil, they might write down Alberta. Once every student had a location written down we repeated the snowball activity so that they had a new paper and we returned to the classroom. Students now had a paper that had a resource and a location on it, so I asked them to write a few sentences on what might happen to that location if the resource was misused. This helped get students thinking about what natural resources are, how they are distributed around Canada (and the world), and the implications of improper use. 

Grade 11/12 Agriculture
     Right before lunch I have Grade 11/12 Agriculture which has 8 students (7 in class and 1 participating via teleconference from another school in the "T-Division"). Of the 8, I had 5 of these students twice during last semester so I feel like I know these students the best out of all of my classes. I still completed, however, all of my surveying information because I wasn't sure if information had changed, and there were 3 students who were brand new to me. After the que card activity, we also completed the "Over the Line" survey. Here are the results that I received with this class:




     After this I passed out the outline that I created and started introducing our unit on Soils. I started us off with a brainstorming activity on the composition of soils (organic material, water, gases, etc). Our class time was cut short, however, to accomodate an extracurricular meeting. Tomorrow I hope to continue this brainstorming activity and create mindmaps to show the relationship between the different components.

Grade 8 Social Studies
     My only afternoon class is Grade 8 Social Studies which has 25 students who are all new to me. This was the class that I was most interested in learning more about because I had never had an opportunity to interact with them at all last semester. In similar fashion to my other classes, I also had them complete que-card questionnaires and the "Over the Line" survey. Here are their results:



     After this we actually had the recess break. The class is an hour in total but it is positioned oddly in the timetable and there is a break right in the middle. I have never had a class set up this way but I think it works well for their age level. When they returned I passed out the unit outline that I created and started introducing our unit on Ancient Greece & Rome. To get us thinking, I asked students to write down one social class that they might find in these ancient societies (military, slave, government, merchant, etc). Once every student had an example we left the classroom, and completed the snowball activity that I did with my Grade 10 class in the morning. After 30seconds I stopped them, had them sit down in the circle, read their paper and write down what they thought that social class' role was. For example, if they picked up a paper that said military, they might write down keep other countries from invading. Once every student had a role written down we repeated the snowball activity so that they had a new paper and we returned to the classroom. As this was the end of class, I had students write their name on the paper they picked up and hand it in. I plan to return them at the beginning of our next class and use it as a writing prompt to have them reflect on what life might be like for that specific person.
_____________________________________________________

     In each of my classes I also shared the following Prezi presentation about me. After I collected all of their information from them, I thought that it was only fair that I shared some information about myself! Obviously I had stories about each of the photos I included but I think you can get an idea of what I was trying to share:

     

     Overall I would say that the day went really well. I find "S-School" to be very supportive and encouraging and the students are very respectful and eager to learn. I hope to periodically update and share how each of my classes is coming along!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Back to Student Teaching!

     Today marked my first day back to student teaching at "S-School"! This is my LAST student teaching placement before graduation and, as of May 4th, I will have officially completed all of my requirements for graduation! Last Tuesday was my last day of on-campus classes and I am so excited that I get to spend the last 8 weeks of my university career in the classroom doing what I love :) Here is a glimpse at my schedule:

student teaching

     I am actually back with two of my previous cooperating teachers as well as a new cooperating teacher who is also the principal of "S-School". Here is an overview of the teachers I will be placed with:

"Mr. L"
 - He has been teaching Industrial Arts for over 20 years and is 
    now teaching an ICT class as well.
- I was placed with him last semester and taught Microsoft Publisher
- I will be with him in Period 3 to teacher Grade 9/10 ICT and will be
  covering Digital Storytelling
"Mr. O" 
- My original cooperating teacher who has been teaching for about 18 years. 
- I was placed with him last semester and taught Grade 11 Canadian History.
- I will be with him in Periods 1-2 to teach Grade 10 Geography and
  Periods 4-5 to teach Grade 11/12 Agriculture
"Mrs. B" 
- Also the principal of "S-School"
- I will be with her in the afternoon to teach Grade 8 Social Studies and will 
  be covering Ancient Greece & Rome

     I am very happy to have the opportunity to return to "S-School" and see the students that I was introduced to last semester. I can't believe that I am finally in my last student teaching placement and that, soon enough, I will interviewing for classroom positions! I'm also sending good thoughts and wishes to all the other student teachers who began their placements today, hope you have an amazing experience :)

Resources To Start Off Your Week 56

     Guess what!? This is my first Resources To Start Off Your Week post since I've been back in the classroom student teaching. As such, I've been finding resources that I can be using in the classroom right now. Luckily, I was able to find two this week that I can't wait to utilize in the upcoming weeks. As always, I will be posting these in my lists of resources under the Fav Websites page.

1 ) Jeremy Norman's From Cave Paintings to the Internet
- This database, "is designed to help you follow the development of
   information and media, and attitudes about them, from the beginning of
   records to the present."
- Users can search chronologically or by theme and search through entries with
   images, maps, text, and links for further inquiry. This is a helpful website to
   showcase a specific time period, type of platform, theme, etc!
- http://www.historyofinformation.com


2 ) How to NOT Steal From the Internet Wiki
- This wiki helps teachers and students learn the ins and outs of utilizing online
   resources while still giving proper attribution to the original creator(s). It
   provides information on the different types of Creative Commons licensing,
   the Manitoba policy on plagiarism, tools to assist in proper attribution, and
   even exemplars to show students.
* This is actually a wiki I helped create with a group of my peers in my
   Internet of Educators class.
http://hownottosteal.wikispaces.com


Happy Monday everyone!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Internet for Ed - Summative Project

     The following is the summative project I created for my Internet for Educators class. This narrative briefly summarizes some of the discussions we had throughout the course, what I believe is the most important aspect of educational technology, and an example of how to use technology with purpose. I can't believe that the semester is already over as it seems like only last week I was sharing my thoughts on the beginning of the semester.

     We almost didn't have an Internet for Educators class as it was not originally slotted in our timetable. After some daily discussions with our Dean, however, we were able to get it put into the timetable and have over twenty students participate! It was Mr. Nantais' first-year ICT course that inspired me to begin exploring the world of ed tech which subsequently lead to this blog, Twitter, and my addiction to my RSS Reader. Of course, I was naturally enthusiastic about having an additional course to build on my preliminary skills and introduce me to new information.

     What I enjoyed most about this course was that we were able to discuss issues that arise with educational technology like cyber-bullying, filtering, ethical and appropriate use, plagiarism, and purposeful incorporation of tech tools. When I eventually enter the educational field and have my own classroom I plan to utilize tools such as Twitter, blogs, file sharing, etc and I definitely feel more prepared after taking this course. One thing that I did not enjoy about this course was that I got distracted by my peers' blog posts and felt that I had to read each of their reviews before I could appropriately formulate my own post on the subject. If one of my peers' posts happened to be missing, I felt like I was unable to write my own until I read their post and saw the topic from every person's perspective. This was, however, a minor detail that resulted from a personal quirk rather than from the course itself, and I still really enjoyed being able to take the course.

     I learned so much throughout this course and I am so glad that I have the network of blogs created by my peers to document our learning and look back on. I want to thank Mr. Nantais' again for his guidance and support and wish all my peers the best in their student teaching placements!


All images* are public domain and acquired through the Open Clipart Library available online at: http://openclipart.org 
*Skype imaged used with permission as per section 3(e): School Reports & Projects Guidelines. Information available online at: http://www.skype.com/en/legal/brand-guidelines/ 
Music: The Silly JunX by Big Bang (Dr2Fat). (2006). Available online at: http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/1544/the-sillyjunx

Teaching in a Fishbowl - What Can Happen When Teachers Are Online


            “… Teachers practice their profession in a fishbowl… Once educators decide to use Facebook or any other similar social medial, it is imperative that they understand that they are about to expand their fishbowl exponentially and that they will be held responsible professionally for their personal posts and online activity.”[1] Does a teacher’s online activity on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, and MySpace, have any bearing on their abilities within the classroom walls? Many schools divisions, parents, and community representatives are saying yes.

Social networking has increased exponentially over the past decade and statistics are reporting that, within Canada, 86% of citizens have at least one Facebook account, 19% have a Twitter account, and one in every three people use various social networking platforms on a daily basis.[2] Furthermore, Scholastics Instructor indicates that as many as 106,000 teachers maintain active Facebook accounts, 8% of teachers have a Twitter account, and as much as 65% of teachers are uploading videos onto YouTube.[3] In Manitoba alone, there are at least 400 educators using Twitter accounts for personal use or in the classroom with their students.[4] If the practice of online sharing is as commonplace as the statistics imply, then why are teachers being reprimanded for their online involvement?  I argue that it is our responsibility as classroom teachers to do everything in our power to uphold the professional image that is expected of a teacher and ensure that our actions do not result in a disruption to student learning. To support this study I will focus on specific court cases and newspaper articles as well as publications from the Manitoba Teachers’ Society. Within this review, I will include my personal assessment of the issue and the possible implications for teachers in the field.

Literature Review: Court Cases
            While the issue of online professionalism is occurring more and more within the headlines, there are still relatively few instances of these types of cases going to court, especially within Canada. The following cases are drawn from the United States and occurred within the states of New Jersey, and Ohio, respectively.

            The first of these cases is In The Matter of the Tenure Hearing of Jennifer O’Brien, State Operated School District of the City of Paterson, Passaic County between Jennifer O’Brien and the Appellate Division, submitted in December of 2012 and decided in January of 2013. The teacher in question, Jennifer O’Brien, was dismissed from her position as a first grade teacher in the Appellate Division after a principal from one of O’Brien’s former positions notified her current employer of two “racist” comments on her personal Facebook page. The statements read as follows, “I’m not a teacher - I’m a warden for future criminals!” and “They had a scared straight program in school - why couldn’t [I] bring [first] graders?”[5] O’Brien’s class of twenty-three students, all approximately six years of age, hailed from African-American and Latino backgrounds and the principal who reported the comments was concerned that O’Brien was racially-profiling her students and acting “racist”.

            Upon meeting with O’Brien, the principal noted that she did not intend for her comments to be offensive but was overall unapologetic for her posts. O’Brien was originally suspended with pay while an investigation took place but news of this action quickly lead to angry phone calls by parents, threats to withdrawal students, and a public protest outside of the school. The superintendant ultimately charged O’Brien with “conduct unbecoming a teacher” and suspended her without pay.[6] In court, O’Brien insisted that the comments on her Facebook page were a result of her “speaking out of frustration for her students’ behaviour that day” and that she was genuinely surprised that the posts were being “interpreted as racist”.[7] The court stated that while the comments may be O’Brien’s personal expression, “It becomes impossible for parents to cooperate with or have faith in a teacher who insults their children and trivializes legitimate educational concerns on the internet.”[8] O’Brien was subsequently removed from her tenured position with the division but did not have her certification revoked.

            The second of these cases is Cairns vs. Akron Public Schools Board of Education, submitted January of 2013, ongoing. The teacher in question, Melissa Cairns, is facing dismissal from her position as a middle school math teacher in the Buchtel Community Learning Center after a colleague notified the principal of a photograph of students on her personal Facebook page. The image, publically displayed on Cairns Facebook page, featured eight students with duct tape across their mouths with the caption, “Finally found a way to get them to be quiet!!!!”[9]  The students in the image were from grades seven and eight and the colleague reported that she was concerned not only for the student’s privacy but also for the use of duct tape and Cairns choice of image caption.

            Cairns was immediately suspended with pay and has remained in this situation since the images surfaced in October of 2013 but is currently undergoing an appeal process. Cairns insists that the tape was being used to repair a student’s binder and the students were joking around by placing it over their mouths. At the encouragement of the students, Cairns took a photograph of the “silly” incident and posted it on her Facebook page, which she thought was only viewable by her friends. Cairns stated that, “What I did was stupid and not well thought out”, and is hoping that she will be able to appeal the board’s decision, using her ten years of good behaviour as leverage[10]. The board, however, is concerned with the privacy concerns that arise from posting images of students without permission, especially on a personal account rather than a school account, and is pursuing permanent termination.

 Literature Review: Newspaper Articles
            As opposed to the small number of formal court cases, newspaper articles provide much more documentation of the frequency of online unprofessionalism. Ironically, the social media platforms that were used in their indiscretions are also used to share their story around the world. The following articles take place within the United States and address the social media platforms Facebook, Blogger, and Twitter.
            The first of these articles, appearing in the New York Post, discusses a New York City high school English teacher who has been fined and ordered to take additional courses after the school’s PTA president noticed offensive and sarcastic comments about students on her personal Facebook page. The multitude of posts, over a period of a few months, included comments that described her grade eleven class as, “suicide-inducing” and referring to one of her students as, “…unteachable and the weirdest human being EVER!”[11] The teacher in question, Patricia Dawson, admits to the inappropriateness of her remarks but is adamant that that posts were made in a sarcastic manner and that she “used humour as one of her methods of teaching.”[12] The arbitrator assigned to her case, however, states that the comments made by Dawson are, “cruel and demeaning”[13]. Dawson has been fined $15,000 for her actions and is currently taking a course on Appropriate Boundaries and Relationships Between Teachers and Students before she can return to the classroom.

            The second of these articles, appearing in the Huffington Post, discusses a Colorado high school math teacher who has been placed on paid leave after administration was notified of semi-nude photographs and discussion of drug use on a teacher’s Twitter account. The twenty-three year old teacher Carly McKinney, known as CarlyCrunkBear on Twitter, posted sexually explicit photographs of herself as well as images of her smoking what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette. The account also included posts that mentioned drug use, drinking while grading student assignments and referring to her students as “jailbait”.[14] McKinney stated that the account was created by herself and a friend and was not meant to be representational of her actual activities and should be interpreted as a “parody”.[15] Furthermore, since the account was created with a friend she states that she was not aware of some of the posts that were being made on her behalf. The district is currently maintaining McKinney’s leave from the classroom until further disciplinary decisions can be made.

The third of these articles, appearing in Mail Online, discusses a Georgia English teacher who was asked to resign or face suspension after the school received a complaint about images of the teacher drinking beer and wine on her personal Facebook page. The teacher, Ashley Payne, had posted images to her Facebook page that featured herself drinking wine and beer while on a tour of a brewery on a trip to Europe. Miss Payne assures the reporter that her Facebook settings are on “high” and that only her closest friends have access to her images and account information.[16] While the images themselves appear innocent, school administration claim that Payne’s Facebook page, “promotes alcohol use and contains profanity.”[17] While she voluntarily resigned rather than facing suspension, Payne is now seeking to get her job back.

The fourth article, appearing in the Charlotte Observer, actually features five different teachers in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools District that are facing disciplinary actions due to their online behaviour through social media. The teachers, who did not have privacy settings utilized on their accounts displayed comments and images on their personal pages that are described by a representative as, “involving poor judgement and bad taste.”[18] These actions include a statement in an “About Me” section that stated, “I am teaching in the most ghetto school in Charlotte”, a teacher who listed one of their favourite activities as, “Chillin wit my niggas!!!” and a status update that read, “… I hate my students!”[19] The teachers are all facing disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal and other disciplinary consequences. A representative for the district stated, “When you’re in a professional position, especially one where you’re interacting with children and parents, you need to be above reproach.”[20]

Critical Assessment
            With one in every three citizens utilizing social media everyday, is it fair to be so critical of teachers who are participating in this trend? Even I will admit that I maintain a personal Facebook and Pinterest account as well as utilize Twitter, PLN Ning sites, and blogging for professional purposes. I am, however, increasingly critical of what type of information I chose to share through these platforms. The purpose of this assessment is not to judge the morality of the teachers’ actions or the formality of the various procedures leading up to disciplinary action. This assessment, however, focuses on whether the teacher’s actions upheld the professional image that is expected of teachers and if it lead to a disruption in student learning.

In each of the incidents listed within the Literature Review, a teacher was facing disciplinary action, including dismissal, for posts that they shared through social media platforms. How do we address, however, the fact that Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that all citizens have, “Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression”?[21]  The fact is that the profession of a teacher places the individual in a Position of Authority or Position of Trust in which their actions can strongly influence those in which they have authority over or those who have trust in them (i.e. students, parents, and community members). While a teacher is guaranteed the same rights and freedoms as any other citizen in Canada, they are subject to Reasonable Limits; which is the extent in which an individual’s rights and freedoms can be legally limited in specific situations. The Manitoba Teachers’ Society explains this situation as,
… because a teacher and principal occupy positions of trust within society,
arbitrators and judges have ruled that they must be held to a high standard of
personal and professional conduct than other workers.[22]
With this standard in mind, each of the cases should be approached with critical examination of whether the teacher’s actions upheld the professional image that is expected of teachers and if it lead to a disruption in student learning as opposed to whether or not the teacher’s charter rights were violated.

In each of the cases, the teacher’s actions were immediately recognized as unprofessional by administration, colleagues, parents, and/or community members. Whether the action included images, posts, or commentaries, they all resulted in multiple people losing trust in the individual as a teacher. As a result of their online actions, each of the teachers were no longer seen as professional and the Position of Authority or Position of Trust was tarnished. Furthermore, the teacher’s actions also resulted in a disruption to student learning as the student’s awareness of the situation resulted in them seeing their teacher in a different perspective. Depending on the situation, their actions lead students to disrespect their teacher, not see them as someone that could be trusted, and/or doubt their position as a teacher. In the case of elementary teachers, parent action plays a larger role in this disruption as they may pull their child from class, complain to administration, or publicly protest at the school. By assessing each of the situations, I believe that each of the teachers failed to uphold the professional image that is expected of teachers and subsequently lead to a disruption in their students’ learning.

Implications for Education
            There is no doubt that teaching is a profession that places an individual in a fishbowl, so to speak, and online activity only emphasizes this concern. The turnout of the 2013 Manitoba BYTE Conference, with over 400 participants, highlighted just how many educators in the province are recognizing educational technologies, including social media, as an important tool.[23] With so many individuals utilizing social media platforms, teachers are professionally responsible for ensuring that they are modeling ethical and appropriate behaviour. The Manitoba Teachers’ Society has published a brochure clearly outlining the “Dos and Don’ts” of online behaviour for teachers and it is something that all teachers should review periodically. This includes issues like:
            - Do follow school division policy on social networking with students and 
              only use divisional computers during regular working hours.
            - Do separate your personal and professional life online. Use an approved
               Facebook site for your work and use it only during regular work hours.
            - Do use highest level of security controls on social networking sites you
              participate in.
            - Don’t vent online.
            - Don’t post information, comments, or pictures that would be 
              embarrassing if they appeared on the front page of your local paper.[24]
 It is almost a guarantee that teachers will be “Googled” be administration, parents, students and community members at some point in their career and while the use of social media by educators is under scrutiny it can be utilized professionally if these guidelines are maintained.

In addition to the brochure mentioned above, teachers should also be cognizant of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society Code of Professional Practice that clearly states that,
2. A member acts with integrity and diligence in carrying our professional
    responsibilities
            4. A member’s conduct is characterised by consideration and good faith. 
                She or he speaks and acts with respect and dignity, and deals 
                judiciously with others, always mindful of their rights.
            5. A member respects the confidential nature of information concerning 
                students and may give the information only to authorized personnel or
                agencies directly concerned with the individual student’s welfare.
            6. A member first directs any criticism of the professional activity and related
                work of a colleague to that colleague in private.[25]

This code outlines the standards that should guide a teacher’s behaviour on and offline, in the classroom and out of the classroom. I strongly believe that if teachers educate themselves in the guidelines established in both of these documents than they will significantly decrease their risk of participating in unprofessional behaviour online.

            As teachers, these types of cases emphasize the fact that this profession is under constant scrutiny and that we are subject to Reasonable Limits that ensure our professional image and Position of Trust is maintained. While it can be easy to assume that we can take off our “teacher’s hat” at 3:30 each day, the truth is that a teacher’s behaviour and activities are always subject to judgement and it is our professional responsibility to ensure that all our actions are conducted with, “consideration and forethought”.[26]

Bibliography

BYTE Conference Committee. (2013). “2013 Byte Conference Neepawa”. Canada. Available online at: http://byte2013.wikispaces.com

Daily Mail Reporter. (2011). “Teacher Sacked for Posting Picture of Herself Holding Glass or Wine and Mug of Beer on Facebook”. Mail Online. Available online at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1354515/Teacher-sacked-posting-picture-holding-glass-wine-mug-beer-Facebook.html

Edelman, Susan. (2012). “Teacher Can’t Be Fired For Facebook Tirades”. New York Post. Available online at:

Ferner, Matt. (2013). “#FreeCrunkBear: Carly McKinney, High School Teacher Who Tweeted Semi-Nude Pics, Backed By Her Students On Twitter.” Huffington Post: Canada - Denver. Available online at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/freecrunkbear-carly-mckin_n_2586352.html

Government of Canada. (1982). “Section 2: Fundamental Freedoms”. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Canada. Available online at: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html#h-41

Helms, Ann. (2013). “5 Teachers Disciplined for Facebook Postings”. The Charlotte Observer. United States. Available online at:

In The Matter of the Tenure Hearing of Jennifer O’Brien, State Operated School District of the City of Paterson, Passaic County. Docket No. A-2452-11T4. 2013 New Jersey Superior Court. Lexis 28; 163 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P61,317.

Kanalley, Craig. (2011). “Teacher Natalie Munroe Defends Blog That Insulted Students”. Huffington Post: Canada - Education. Available online at:

Manitoba Teachers’ Society. (2013). “Facing the Music”. The Manitoba Teacher. Canada. Volume 91, Number 4, Page 22. Available online at:

Manitoba Teachers’ Society. (2013). “MB Educators”. Twitter List. Canada. Available online at: https://twitter.com/mbteachers/manitoba-educators

Manitoba Teachers’ Society. (2011). Online Safety for Teachers Brochure. Canada. Available online at:

Manitoba Teachers’ Society. (2012). “The Society’s Code of Professional Practice”. Constitution, Bylaws and Policies Governing The Manitoba Teachers’ Society. Canada. Page 2. Available online at:

Schilling, Chelsea. (2008). “Public School Teachers Wild on Social Networks”. WND. United States. Available online at: http://www.wnd.com/2008/11/81549/

Scholastic Instructor. (2013). “Social Media for Teachers Infographic”. The Innovative Educator. United States. Available online at: http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.ca/2013/02/social-media-for-teachers.html

Tech Vibes. (2011). “Social Networking in Canada Infographic”. Love Infographics. United States. Available online at: http://www.loveinfographics.com/categories/social-media-infographics/canadas-social-media-usage-statistics-infographic-infographic

The Daily Dot. (2013). “Teacher Who Taped Her Students’ Mouths Shut Might Get Fired”. Lexis Nexis. United States. Available online at: http://www.lexisnexis.com.berlioz.brandonu.ca/lnacui2api/api/version1/getDocCui?lni=57JX-0381-F03R-N2KS&csi=299488&hl=t&hv=t&hnsd=f&hns=t&hgn=t&oc=00240&perma=true

Footnotes


[1] Manitoba Teachers’ Society. (2013). “Facing the Music”. The Manitoba Teacher. Canada. Volume 91, Number 4, Page 22. Available online at:
[2] Tech Vibes. (2011). “Social Networking in Canada Infographic”. Love Infographics. United States. Available online at: http://www.loveinfographics.com/categories/social-media-infographics/canadas-social-media-usage-statistics-infographic-infographic
[3] Scholastic Instructor. (2013). “Social Media for Teachers Infographic”. The Innovative Educator. United States. Available online at: http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.ca/2013/02/social-media-for-teachers.html
[4] Manitoba Teachers’ Society. (2013). “MB Educators”. Twitter List. Canada. Available online at: https://twitter.com/mbteachers/manitoba-educators
[5] In The Matter of the Tenure Hearing of Jennifer O’Brien, State Operated School District of the City of Paterson, Passaic County. Docket No. A-2452-11T4. 2013 New Jersey Superior Court. Lexis 28; 163 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P61,317.
[6] lbid.
[7] lbid.
[8] lbid.
[9] The Daily Dot. (2013). “Teacher Who Taped Her Students’ Mouths Shut Might Get Fired”. Lexis Nexis. United States. Available online at: http://www.lexisnexis.com.berlioz.brandonu.ca/lnacui2api/api/version1/getDocCui?lni=57JX-0381-F03R-N2KS&csi=299488&hl=t&hv=t&hnsd=f&hns=t&hgn=t&oc=00240&perma=true
[10] lbid.
[11] Edelman, Susan. (2012). “Teacher Can’t Be Fired For Facebook Tirades”. New York Post. Available online at:
[12] lbid.
[13] lbid.
[14] Ferner, Matt. (2013). “#FreeCrunkBear: Carly McKinney, High School Teacher Who Tweeted Semi-Nude Pics, Backed By Her Students On Twitter.” Huffington Post: Canada - Denver. Available online at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/freecrunkbear-carly-mckin_n_2586352.html
[15] lbid.
[16] Daily Mail Reporter. (2011). “Teacher Sacked for Posting Picture of Herself Holding Glass or Wine and Mug of Beer on Facebook”. Mail Online. Available online at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1354515/Teacher-sacked-posting-picture-holding-glass-wine-mug-beer-Facebook.html
[17] lbid.
[18] Helms, Ann. (2013). “5 Teachers Disciplined for Facebook Postings”. The Charlotte Observer. United States. Available online at:
[19] lbid.
[20] lbid.
[21] Government of Canada. (1982). “Section 2: Fundamental Freedoms”. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Canada. Available online at: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html#h-41
[22] Manitoba Teachers’ Society. (2013). “Facing the Music”. The Manitoba Teacher. Canada. Volume 91, Number 4, Page 22. Available online at:
[23] BYTE Conference Committee. (2013). “2013 Byte Conference Neepawa”. Canada. Available online at: http://byte2013.wikispaces.com
[24] Manitoba Teachers’ Society. (2011). Online Safety for Teachers Brochure. Canada. Available online at:
[25] Manitoba Teachers’ Society. (2012). “The Society’s Code of Professional Practice”. Constitution, Bylaws and Policies Governing The Manitoba Teachers’ Society. Canada. Page 2. Available online at:
[26] Manitoba Teachers’ Society. (2013). “Facing the Music”. The Manitoba Teacher. Canada. Volume 91, Number 4, Page 22. Available online at: