The New Human

One hundred years ago, youth learned, often haphazardly, how to drive their first car. Today, youth learn, quite indiscriminantly, how to use technology.

But technology is nothing to be feared, as much as the automobiles of the early 20th Century were to be feared.

We shouldn’t be unreasonably afraid if we educate and train youth about technology, just as we would educate and train a novice driver. In my previous blog post, we can see how ugly technology abuse can get. This abuse is less likely to occur to youth who have been informed about the possibilities and facets of their electronic devices.

If I had a class of students that were using smart phones daily for simple things like Candy Crush or Snapchat it would be the same as having a class full of novice drivers that basically sit in their parked cars and listen to the radio for hours on end.


How boring. Cars deserve way more exploration and mastery.

I expect that my future employability and professionalism will depend on how well I can help students explore and master this giant, rising digital realm. Below are some Outcomes and Indicators of the Saskatchewan Curriculum that will tie in with digital citizenship activities.

Outcome CC A10.2 – Explain and present to a familiar audience the key ideas and events (actual or based on a text studied) through an appropriate combination of charts, diagrams, sound, models, drama, and print.

Indicator a. Prepare and deliver visual and multimedia presentations that: Exhibit logical structures; have strong messages; organize ideas in logical sequences; use a variety of forms and technologies.

A lesson that our class could do is read a play (Shakespeare or Drew Taylor) and produce a multimedia presentation that focuses on something central to the play (diagram of relationships between characters, models of a scene in the play, charts showing progression of hero/villain, etc.). This can be done in a digital format. A great peer-shared software site is Google Docs. Another good site to manage the classroom digitally is Google Classroom.

Outcome CC A10.3 Use oral language to express a range of information and ideas in formal (including a prepared talk on a familiar topic, an oral presentation of a passage of prose or poetry, and a retelling of a narrative or a recounting of an experience or event) and informal (discussion and group work) situations. 

Indicator d. Prepare, rehearse, and deliver a talk on a familiar topic that includes: An effective introduction; an attention grabber; a body coherently organized; a conclusion that helps audience understand what they listened to and why it was important.

While studying poetry, a play, a novel, or any text, students can synopsize what they have read from home! Using FlipGrid and even WordPress to post a permanent, retrievable statement of what they have learned. The first is a video-blog community hub, the other a commonly used text-blog hub. This helps give options for those students who like to present orally and for those who like to use text. The guiding principle of intro, hook, body, and conclusion in the Indicator will help structure their response.

Outcome AR A10.1 Establish and apply criteria to evaluate own and others’ work.

Indicators a. and b. Use feedback to evaluate own effectiveness and set goals in language learning and use. AND Evaluate own and others’ contributions to group process and provide support where needed.

Today’s Meet, a website that hosts private online chat rooms, can establish a safe zone for students to offer comments or feedback while the class simultaneously looks at student projects, critically views movies, analyzes online news articles, etc. By simply using a projector to display the chat room to the whole class, everyone can see what comments are rolling through. You can have each student sign in using their personal smartphone or laptop.

These three curriculum indicators have been met using seemless technological integration. That is the hope: that students will receive digital education without it interrupting their daily class. Hopefully, this integration will help students become more aware of how technology can be useful, not just entertaining. If technology were a car, they would be finding the accelerator and brake pedals, testing out the steering, and eventually starting the car and giving it a shot themselves.

Goodbye, lonely days of listening to music in the parking lot.



Saskatchewan Curriculum

Featured Image: Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich


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