Tuesday, November 27, 2012

District Tech Planning - Student Goal 1c - Making Healthy Choices

(This is the third post from a series of developing student goals for our District Technology Plan. The first student goal was Students With Abilities to Solve Real Problems and the second was having students become Independent Thinkers.)

Student Goal 1c - Students That Make Healthy Choices

  • To make healthy choices.
    • Awareness of self
    • Interdependence
    • Physical - less idle
    • Social Etiquette
    • Safety Online
    • Turning Off (putting the digital down)

Wow, how does, “make healthy choices” end up on my short list of student goals for our District Technology Plan?  Actually, there are quite a few areas where technology plays an important role in having students learn to make healthy choices. The Internet is the world’s interests all encapsulated into a device that fits in your pocket and the palm of your hand. Everything that is good about our world, and everything that is not so good about our world is available today in our pockets. Also, unlike a genie out of a bottle, there is no putting the Internet back in the bottle. It is here to stay. If we choose to ignore it we put ourselves and our children in potential harms way. For this reason I am identifying six goals under this this theme.

I’m going to mix the order of them up here a bit, even though to begin with, they are not in any particular order. These six items were thought up a while ago and I seem to be having some questions as to why I originally listed some of them. But my initial ideas may present themselves to me as I work through this writing. I’ll start with the most obvious one, Safety Online. There are a plethora of resources to help children understand the skills and strategies for staying safe online. Once such curriculum available is the CommonSense media resources, http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/scope-and-sequence. CommonSense media provides curriculum to educators starting at the kindergarten level on up through twelfth grade.

Social etiquette is the second targeted goal for students. Social etiquette skills parallel some of the same concepts found in safety online. For example, concepts such as when and where texting is appropriate bring up both fundamental concepts regarding safety and appropriate use. As a result of these parallel concepts, many of the education resources available to teachers covers both areas. For example, Common Sense Media provides resources to help students understand the dangers of risky text messages, and curriculum to help students learn to review their media habits, and the role of digital media plays in their lives.

Awareness of self and Interdependence are the next two goals. These two are the most difficult for me to remember why I originally listed them as goals. However, like I am modeling here, awareness of self and interdependence are related, at least in the area of technology, to self-reflection, or in this case, the act of sharing online. Again many concepts in these two sub-goals are shared in the above goals mentioned above safety online and social etiquette. Concepts such as privacy, copyright, creating personal learning networks or common interest groups for lifelong learning relies heavily on students being able to identify their interests and strengths, share their knowledge with an audience, and identify other “experts” with common interests. A student’s awareness of their strengths and the understanding on their part of the fact that to improve their skills requires an interdependence with others is vital to their ongoing development.

The last two goals for this theme are the importance of being active or physical and turning off (putting down) the technology. Our emphasis on digital media and changes in our culture have led to a devaluation of doing things without technology. Our minds work best when we include activities that get us up off our bottoms (This is your brain on excercise). These activities do not need to be rigid and require great athletic talents but instead can be as simple as taking a 20 minute walk or a short bicycle ride. There is strong evidence that supports the fact that  our minds do best when our bodies are active (http://www.edutopia.org/teaching-physical-activity) whether we’re learning math concepts or mastering the next level of WOW.  

CC image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/calvertcaters/ on flickr

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