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Developing Digital Skills in my Classroom

A Learning Diary corresponding to the Course of the European Schoolnet Academy "Developing Digital Skills in Your Classroom"

Christiane Schicke

on 25 October 2015

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Transcript of Developing Digital Skills in my Classroom

Developing Digital Skills in your Classroom
My Learning Diary
about me
I'm a teacher for years 1 to 10.
The subjects I studied are maths, music and something, we call "Sachunterricht", it includes sciences, social studies, history and geography on primary level.
But I have to teach every subject needed, because our school is very small. So I have already taught German, Art and computer sciences.

My school is located on a small island in the world natural heritage "Wadden Sea" and is attended by app. 120 students.
In Germany we are collated to single class and teach as many subjects as possible to them. My class is year 2, a group of 15 children. I emphasize teaching with digital media very much. We got an interactive whiteboard in my classroom (the only one in primary section of my school), two offline computers and five offline tablets. The computer cabinet is next door.
The class drives a twitter account and I keep a wiki for them. They are very fond of computers and aeronautics, but also on birds and plants.
Beside my work as a primary teacher,
I work at PH Freiburg once a year to introduce students to teaching with digital media in primary school. I am responsible for the IT-equipment in my school and train my collegues, how to use it fruitfully during their lessons.
Further Interests:
#OER #EdchatDE
my avatar
my classroom
What are digital skills
and why do we need them?
Modul 1
Basic Digital Skills
Manage Information
find, manage and store digital information and content
communicate, interact, collaborate, share and connect with others
purchase and sell goods and services
organize your finances
register for and use digital government services
Problem Solving
increase independence and confidence by solving problems using digital tools and finding solutions
engage with communities
create basic digital content

[Ollie Bray]
90% of jobs today require some sort of digital skill
In 2020 we will be missing 825000 ICT professionals in Europe
and 215000 eLeaders
Facts to know:
What digital skills are important?

I disagree with most of the skills listed on the mashable website. Some of them are just too specialized and aim at specific commercial products, other very important skills are missing.
Students 2015 should

be able to use at least one kind of Office Software (MS Office, Libre Office, Open Office...)
be able to organize data on own devices in a meaningful way
be able to use different ways to communicate digitally (e-mail, chat, skype...)
be able to make and edit digital pictures, audios and videos
be able to protect own devices (viruses, trojans, spam, scam...) and keep them up to date
be able to find information on the web and judge the trustability of the source
be able to use a learning platform to collaborate and share documents and media
be aware of legal restrictions, licences and copyright issues in the web
behave as a responsible and respectful digital citizen
be aware of use of own personal data and data of others
actively design their digital identity

Most of these skills will be important still in 2030 I suppose, except Office Software, which will be replaced by voice-controlled programs and the copyright issues, which hopefully will be adapted to the digital age.
The future of work

Do you agree with the key ideas presented by Ollie (via the Jeff Brenman presentation)? How do you think that work will evolve between now and 2025? Is this a positive or negative development?

The ideas shown by Jeff Brenman paint a very economic-centered picture of work.
Although I agree, that location, formal degrees, maybe even language will lose impact in future work, the human capital of workers is underestimated. Having a good, established team, which feels responsible for their work and nurtured by the company, can be more productive than an „on-demand-team“ which always needs time to run through group building processes. Competition among the members (only the most „valuable“ worker will be hired in the next project) may even hinder fruitful work and boost antisocial behaviour.
The ideas are based on young, always accessible employees. But to raise a family you need some kind of (financial) certainty, not a row of short-run projects. Although to be boundlessly creative and explore new ideas you need the security to be bolstered up by your company and your team, even if you fail.

The presentation reminds me to assembly-line-work, where the standards were set higher and higher and the workers were seen as exchangeable tools. Same here. The assembly-line of today is our time-line, which is crammed with work more and more, so that real leisure time to recover body and soul (and of course workforce) is getting lost.

Very interesting the article about a Swedish company, which reduces (!) worktime and sustains or even raises productivity: http://www.spiegel.de/karriere/ausland/schweden-goeteborg-will-sechs-stunden-arbeitstag-einfuehren-a-964791.html
The 10 Skills Employers Most Want in 2015 Graduates

ability to work in team structures
ability to make decisions and solve problems
ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization
ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
ability to obtain and process information
ability to analyze quantitative data
technical knowledge related to the job
proficiency with computer software programs
ability to create and/or edit written reports
ability to sell and influence others

Deep Sea Algae Farmer
Sea Garbage Collector
Specialists in Toxic Waste Removal
Jobs of the future:
Tipps for Video Interviews
prepare your surrounding - what will your videopartner see?
check camera, sound, light in advance
chose a respectable contact-name (skype-name)
dress appropriately - style of clothes transfers to inner attitude
check your appearance (hair, tooth, make up...)
look at the camera, not the screen
make sure, not to be disturbed (family, mobile phone, ambient noises)
5 Principles to Follow in the Classroom
Embrace change
Remain positive
[Ollie Bray]
I am very surprised, to see the situation of my own country exactly reflected in the contribution of Christoffer Aas from Norway! I always thought, Scandinavian schools would be much more innovative and better equipped with IT and stuff than ours, but - same situation here and there.
Although the content is sad but true, it gives me some hope, we still can catch up in digital development of schools

Christoffer Aas, Norway

I agree with Ollie in his analysis.
In my opinion there are several challenges as a teacher in order to approach some of them. First of all, this will in many ways demand that each school will have to have a technical advisor or IT-staff to help teachers and students with their own gadgets so that they are able to participate with classes - something I feel is quite odd here in Norway is that the changes in use of technology in the classroom comes from the schools that have a leadership that embraces technology and are futuristic in their ways of seeing future education - and not from the schools educating new teachers. Also all tests are old fashion and students that are using technology in new ways of learning, meet old fashion tests and test forms not adjusted to todays ways of learning. Otherwise I think that one of the greatest challenges will be to get the majority of the teachers to use new technology in new ways, not only on one school here and there, but most schools in a nation.

For me the most important point to be taught to students are values.
Problem: Whose values?
In my opinion students should leave school with the ability to think critically and decide value based about the use of new technologies and changes of society. Not everything that is possible, has to be done, especially in technology.
We should think of the great physicists who refused to work on the atomic bomb (Max Born, Piotr Kapitza) or at least, hindered the German government to continue research on this (Heisenberg, Weizsäcker u.a.).
The values we teach should be based on humanity, empathy and common welfare, not economics, individual welfare and maximization of profit.
Modul 2
How to use digital resources/content?
interesting search engines
google scholar
Most times I use Google, except when I am researching special topics, especially pedagogic papers. The I use search engines on specialized portals. We teach our students to use moderated children search engines during primary school as blindekuh.de and fragfinn.de .
We played a "Google search game" in class to introduce advanced searching. Then we taught tips and search tricks. At the end of the lesson, students had to create a leaflet about how to search effectively for other students (two years beneath).
advanced search
search tips
In the German Parliament we have a representative named Jakob Maria Mierscheid: http://www.bundestag.de/bundestag/abgeordnete18/mierscheid . He also got an article in wikipedia, which reveals, he is a complete fake.

Another topic is the gummy bear research, done by several scientists and published on reliable sites as http://www.psychologie.uni-heidelberg.de/ae/allg/forschun/gb/
(seit Jahren im Pschyrembel vertreten)
by spamshock, imgur
How to prove reliability of historical pictures:
https://geschichtsunterricht.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/pruefung-historischer-bildquellen-beispiel-foto-aus-kabul-von-1972/#comment-4911 [Daniel Bernsen]
wikimedia commons

Stop Plagiarism!
reverse image search
I teach copyright and creative commons in 8th grade as a topic, but usually start in 3rd grade, when we start researching using the internet.
Plagiarism is a big problem, because students haven't learnt to excerpt texts an it is much easier for them just to copy, than to reformulate the content with their own words. To avoid plagiarism, it is useful to give tasks, where information has to be reorganized in an other representation - informational text to drama, music, infographics, objects....
Modul 3
How to create digital
All is about Audience
"publishing" doesn't necessarily mean digital!
We use glass cabinets in the entrance hall and the corridors to display students works as well as walls. Digitally my class presents its works mainly in a wiki, which links to other tools as storify, youtube etc.
My favourite online collaboration tool is prezi.
Together students create a "landscape of knowledge", present their own part to others and at the end we have a collection of everything we learnt during this unit.
I also used collaboration tools offered by learningapps.org and etherpads.
Students have to get used to collaborate online, stay on task and not be destructive. So guidelines are very important!
Think of
adaptive design!
create newsletters and e-mail to parents
create magazine-like brochures
Need a school homepage or digital portfolio?
often used by primary schools in UK

Programming games with Scratch is part of our intern curriculum in year 8. Students learn Scratch very easily. First I introduce them to the potential of Scratch.

1) move the cat by keyboard

2) move two objects independently

3) let objects interact with each other (introducing loops and if-then)

4) be variable (introducing variables)

5) silent communication (working with states ("send") )

6) choose your own project (differentiated task)

Projects done during the last year were car race (2 cars), asteroid-like shooting game, animated fairytale, interactive map, labyrinth games.

Students like programming games very much. They love to rule the PC instead of being ruled by tech.

A good game, used at school, should

- teach something / extend compentecies

- be ethically and morally correct

- includes adequate graphics - either child drawn or made by great illustrators (look at storybird.com!)

- is easy to learn and can be used intuitively

- is challenging and fun

- can be played several times, setting new aims each time and never becomes boring (new tasks, new adventures, greater challenges, less time...)

- leads directly to the core of the game - we may not senselessly waste time
Peer review is a very valuable tool, because you not only think about someone elses work, but at the same time recheck your own work, get new ideas and perspectives.

We start a kind of peer review already in primary school, where we have "writing conferences" in small groups and maths conferences in a whole class environment. Important for these conferences are guidelines and a reflection of the conference as a whole at the end to improve the process.
Modul 6
final project
I'll try 123Dapp, Edgars mentioned in his webinar and try to connect this with some augmented reality apps to create a lesson for my 3rd graders.
Most valuable for me are the lots of new digital tools. First I'll try mailchimp to communicate with the parents of my class.
Modul 4
How to programme machines?
Not "coding" ist the new literay, but "digital literacy" - being a responsible, respectful and engaged member of the digital community and using digital tools for digital citizenship.
Nevertheless coding should be taught beginning in primary because it develops and strengthens a special kind of thinking and problem solving skills. It doesn't matter which programming language is taught but to focus on higher concepts and algorithms.
A general knowledge of coding and understanding how computers and robots work is essential for the life in the future, but not everyone has to be able to code in an elaborated way. This may remain a task for specialists.
My students love working in pairs, but I never thought of giving them rules, because they usually work on the same task. The definiton of roles and the "dos and don'ts" are great ideas. I will include this in my teaching in primary well as in secondary classes.
In my computer classes we have to work in pairs often, because of lack of computers. When we are doing hardware computing or robotics in secondary classes, the tasks during pair working usually are divided into one, who codes, and the other one, who is constructing or assembling the circuit on the breadboard. They don't change roles, because they have specialized into one of the roles (programming vs. electronics/mechanics). They have to communicate a lot to get their machines done.
Another idea for primary classes is being "programmer" and "tester". I used when introducing "Kara" to my 2nd graders. The programmer codes (laid the code with arrow-cards), the tester "played" the program on the board, moving a wooden ladybird around. Together they thought about how to improve the code to reach their goal.
Using computer technology in other subjects is not difficult. There are lots of apps and learning games and tools. But how to link computer related skills?

Our most advanced project linking to computer technology has been building a website about african tribes. In my project group of 10 kids the youngest students were in grade 4, the eldest in grade 8. We made some research by different search engines, learnt about copyright and how to license pictures, we found on the web, properly. Then the children wrote a script (manually), made some films (using bluescreen) and edited them with Camtasia. They filled our project-wiki with their content and linked the films to the pictures, using Aurasma. During the same time they draw a big map of Africa for the hall and added the pictures and some qr-codes in the traditional tribal areas. The qr-codes linked to the wiki-sites. So they created a kind of augmented reality map. All this was accompanied by a very strict structure of planning and distributing tasks, as we documented in our project diary.
You may have a look at our wiki here: http://projektwoche-afrika.wikispaces.com

In my 2nd grade math class, we use ICT as a tool for differentiated education and visualization. My students love to train their math skills with our 5 new tablets, using educational software. They use them as digital cameras to hunt geometric shapes in the school house or find multiplication tasks and show and discuss their results on the interactive whiteboard.
During special events they use twitter to report some insights to their parents and interested public.
Further ideas I realized, was making reading comprehension quizzes for classmates with learningapps.org, controlling abundance of active written vocabulary via Wordle and controlling spelling via Voki. We use „Antolin-quizzes“ for reading comprehension and reading lists, paint and write at the Computer (OO4kids) and will take part in the „worldmathsday“, organized by 3Plearning, where we will compete in mental maths with children from all over the world in livetime.

The maths activity most strongly connected to computer skills for me is Sona-Geometry.
Sona Geometry is practised by the tribal of Chokwe and was brought to Europe by Paulus Gerdes. Next to a lot of important ethnomathematical scientific research he developed some children drawing games from the original art of Sona, monolinear figures, which use specific algorithms to be completed.
App Developing Process
problem definition
market research
solution design
product design
build and test
We are living in an area of a world natural heritage. Unwittingly tourists again and again pass over the borders of the national park and destroy nests or flush flocks of birds. So an app which warns tourists to be too narrow to the border and show them their position in relation to the protected areas could be a good idea.
At Nixdorf-Museum in Paderborn, I met a robot in the exhibition, which offered help to find special exhibits and locations in the building. Elder students could program a robot for their local museum to be guides and not only show the path to, but also explain the exhibits. Students would have to make research (history, sciences...), write texts (language art), read and take audio as well as program the robot to find its way safely and communicate with the visitors. This might be done especially for a young audience.
Moving a robot about a parcours teaches a lot about physics – speed, equilibrity, forces...
Moving a robot over a grid teaches knowledge about coordinates and length of distances, aka maths.
The robots Sphero and Hackaball aim at outdoor games – first program the robot, then play ball games outside with it (Sphero even seems to be waterproof!). So this allows a combination of programming and physical education.
watch youtu.be/IlzJL2yzxpE to see this robot work
Educational Robotics Activities

Do you have experience of using robots in the classroom? What activities work especially well with robots? Are you using Lego WeDo or the Bee-Bots in your classroom? What works well, what doesn't work well with them? And finally, what other robotic tools are you aware of that you can recommend for the primary classroom?
My 2nd-graders took part in „One hour of code“ and programmed the lightbot. So they got acquainted to the concept programming in a very simple and guided way.
Next step was „playing robots“ with 1st an 2nd grade. Interestingly I took a very similar approach to what is shown to introduce the Beebot. Students had to program a path for a „human robot“ on our checkered floor by laying out direction-arrows and debugging their „program“. This was done first as a whole-class activity on the blackboard, as competitive groupwork later on.
During the next lesson I introduced Kara, the Ladybird. Kara is a Swiss, java-based programming platform to teach finite automatons, using a graphical programming surface.
We solved simple automaton tasks together, laying the arrow-cards and moving wooden ladybirds around manually. Most difficult part was the introduction of the concept of case-by-case-analysis, but most of the students grabbed it. Then selfguided group-activity again to solve similar tasks on their own. Last step was to transfer the programs to the Kara-programming-surface and checking the programs by watching the ladybird moving automatically over the interactive whiteboard.
Two weeks ago I got a Finch robot for my class. I introduced a small group of 2nd graders to the programming language snap!, which offers different levels of complexity. Being familiar with the basic concepts of programming in beneath a visual programming surface, they very quickly got the Finch to move around. Second task was to let him go a slalom track automatically, to return home (his cardboard-box). Next week we tried the distance sensor. Their task was to stop the Finch, when it reaches home. I introduced the loop to them. Soon they figured it out and added light actions to their basic program.
Next Steps will be using the light sensor („Finch is afraid of darkness“) and the acceleration sensor („Flying Finch“ - combine sound and light effects with defined positions).
Modul 5
How to use social media?
Social media is a good chance for students to get insights into the work, life and thoughts of experts. With my class we follow interesting people on twitter (like Astronaut Alexander Gerst) and learn about and from them.
It is important to teach the students how to use social media from the very beginning - how to keep the own private sphere and data secure, how to behave in social networks and - of course - about the consequences of inappropriate behaviour. Most of the elder students are not aware, that in Germany cyberbullying is a crime.
Furthermore it is important to teach them to actively design their own digital footprint and to enhance awareness of economic interests of companies, which offer social medie "for free". As we say: "If you don't pay with your money, you pay with your data."
Most important part of my PLN is the open digital community I found on twitter. I am taking part in #edchatde each week and love the exchange of ideas, tips and perceptions. Interestingly this open digital community created a face-to-face-PLN as well, because now we meet on educamps and digital conferences all around Germany.
Of course there is face-to-face PLN at school. Especially the elementary teachers meet often to discuss with each other, but we are only three teachers - not a big pool of innovative ideas. I am part of closed digital communities as well as our school network of eight schools, edmodo, edutopia etc.
I should intensify the use of edutopia and edmodo during this school year again, because in the last years they gave me the most influential stimulation and challenges.
accurate information
nothing confidential, don't break laws
key guidance
My class uses twitter as a reporting tool during special events. Each time we repeat the rules how to operate this twitter account. Later they even teach the other students "how to twitter safely".
We created some very interesting maths lessons based on a twitter conversation with a shepherd. There we asked a lot about shepherding and sheep and tried to visualize the maths facts given in his answers. This always evolved to hands-on Fermi-tasks. You may like to have a look at our storify:
save and responsible use
Usually I take the 8th graders to the site http://www.takethislollipop.com/ Always someone is willingly to log into his facebook account. After the video we take a deep look into the privacy settings of facebook and make the account more secure and safe.
Always amazing are the reactions to the mind reader video of Duval Guillaume (www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7pYHN9iC9I) . After seeing this students are much more conscious about their own digital footprint.

In my country there are several initiatives to teach students how to use the internet (and social media) safely as klicksafe.de . With elementary students I usually go through the sites of the Internet-ABC (http://www.internet-abc.de/kinder/)
Exploring my learning diary:
the arrows of prezi will guide you
from module to module.
Feel free to scroll around, click and zoom, to explore all of the content.
The arrows always will bring you back to the module.
Developing Digital Skills in your Classroom
My Learning Diary
short link lesson plan:
Thank you for taking a look at my learning diary!
I hope you enjoyed your journey through my learning experience.
full link to my lesson plan:
command cards for teacher
command cards for students
materials needed
Full transcript