Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Humility Shack

So, we're working on our Island on Reactiongrid, but Hesterson Radikal and I got such a kick out of the "humility shack" created by Danny Shanny that we had to share the screenshot!!!

We're going to be sharing a lot coming up about what we're doing, but we had to share the laugh!  Oh well, self expression has a place, I guess.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Word to Dreamers

Message to my dreamers from your teacher:

Digiteen Dream Team
You are a blessing to me,
Not just dreaming but
speaking so eloquently!

Setting goals
being unafraid to try
Not just acting
you have made me fly.

You live your dreams
you see a vision
for what things need to be

Not leaving home
you've traveled the world
and are making history.

As part of a new generation
that learns and speaks
while enmeshed in a new web.

Engaged you are,
quiet you're not
teaching with thought & just a little bit of reb

Take us to a new place
that you envision in your mind
Teach us, share with us
blog on this place

You special special group of kids
so dear and unafraid to try
we shall launch into unknown worlds
never be afraid to fly.

For sometimes we land
and sometimes we fall
and yet, it is still worth trying for tryings sake

for we know that failure only goes for
you never hit the shot you never take!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mason's Reflection on Google Lively

The Digiteen Dream Team has made a good run for it. We have gotten out to people all over the world and have told them about how Lively can be a good use in teaching kids digital citizenship and how to stay safe on the internet. My part on the project was to publish blog posts, so other people can see how great of a product this could really be. Some of the other students have been doing other things to get out to people. Such as posting two things on Lively. One is a crazy rap song that some of our students made up and posted it on youtube. The other one is just them begging for Google to stop shutting down Lively. Another group has sent some stuff to some popular local media's, they can possibly publish it in the newspaper, or on the news. The last group has sent a letter to Google to try to persuade them that Lively can be a great source to teach young kids how to act on the internet.

My favorite place was stairway to Heaven because I love the beach and it reminded me of going there. It is also the last place where we went into lively as a group. My avatar's name was Dean15.

I created blog posts for the protest against Google. One of the posts that Tanner B. and I did was called What we're doing to take things further. It was explaining what the other groups were doing to get the word out about the protest. The other post that I wrote was called 10 Ways Lively Can Make Money. In this post, we gave some ideas about Lively can make money for Google.

There are some effective measures of blogging. One of them is to blog a lot so other people will recognize you and your work. Pictures and videos are effective measures because when people see pictures or videos, it attracts them to your page. I have posted two pictures on this blog about my avatar.
A good way to analyze a blog's ranking is to use a program called Technorati.Technorati is a program so you can see your ranking and other comments on what other people have said about you. You analyze a blog's traffic by using a program called StatCounter. StatCounter allows you to see what kind of visitors you have, where they come from, and how many times they have read your blog post. When a blog post is a great idea then everybody is going to read it. Blogging is a great way to get the word out on what you need to be known.

There are many ways you can build traffic to their blog. One way is contacting various news centers about the cause and giving them a link to your blog. Another way is to comment on popular blogs telling them about the cause. Holding major events helps your blog pick up more traffic.

I do feel that the effort was worth it, because we just did not work on it for nothing. We used Lively to teach younger students on how to act on the internet and how to avoid predators. We were not going to let it die. I learned how to protest and blog on the internet. Both of these can be huge assets in the future. Just take a chance. It is like sending your kid to school and he or she might or might not get hurt.

We are testing a new virtual world called Open Sim. I think that teaching in a virtual world is good. It is a fun teaching experience for us as well as the students. I would like to continue the teaching. If Open Sim is as good as Lively, I cannot wait.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Reflecting on Digiteen

This is Sydnee's Reflection on Digiteen

I have learned many things this year on our Digiteen project. I was assigned a topic that I had never really thought about before, digital literacy. Although I focused primarily on the middle school and high school section, I learned from every part of the wiki. When I started this project I was not sure what digital literacy was, and I know the meaning of the word and how it applies to all people in everyday life. I used the internet to help me locate information on my topic. The main source I used was Wikipedia. I also used Google .Tinsley and I also found a video on Youtube about digital literacy and added that on our wiki page.

-I really enjoyed the people I worked with. The most frustrating part was that we could never actually meet with the members of our group face to face. Tinsley was a huge help to me in many ways. Without her help, I would not have gotten to get so much accomplished in this project. I left some messages on the wiki discussion tab, but it was hard for me to tell if anyone was seeing them because other schools were not working on the wiki at that point in our project. I think everyone in our group tried to contribute to every aspect of the wiki. Tinsley and I started the wiki and posted our information quite a while before anyone else did, but others helped us edit and add information to our areas of the wiki as well as others.

- I used a PLN everyday when I got on my Igoogle page. This page was very helpful because I could access the digiteen ning, the digiteen wiki, our digiteen calendar,and our digiteen Diigo group.This page also helped me some with my information. I could know what was going on my page of the wiki because I had the discussion forum on my Igoogle page. This was very helpful because it kept me organized throughout the project.My Diigo bookmarks were very helpful. I have looked at them and found some good information from them.

- Our part of the ninth grade class did a really cool action project. We created a virtual world on Google Lively and are using that virtual world to teach others about the nine aspects of digital citizenship. We have nine superheros for the nine aspects of digital citizenship and three villains. The villains are going to try to get everyone else to do behave badly on the internet.Now we are planning lessons so we can teach them all the nine aspects of digital citizenship, and how to behave on the internet correctly. Our lessons are primarily focused on middle school aged students. These students we have selected are at the age right now where behavior for the internet is very useful. For example, some of the students we are teaching right now did not know that using all capital letters meant that you were yelling. Our goal is to help them to understand how to behave on the internet and use it appropriately.

- Our team has not yet completed our project, but I think it will be very affective and it could possibly be used in the future.I think that since these students will be learning hands on that they will learn easier and possibly remember more. At this point in time, I think that our project will accomplish what we want it to. The members on my team will do anything to help the other students in our school learn.

- If we could improve our project in anyway I would do one thing. I think instead of having us all in one room at one time, we could spread out. I think that this makes the it harder to keep all the students to stay focused because it can be overwhelming to be learning something new and have nine to twelve people moving around the room and talking. I think it would have been better if we would have had three people in the room one week at a time or split up the seventh grade and have them each stay with two or three people and go to a room with them.

-There were many people on our team who did a phenomenal job. Tyler R. created many different rooms on Lively and they all looked amazing. Trent and Miller took control and explained Lively to everyone. Hope and Jordan helped everyone stay organized, took notes, and just went and helped where they were needed. Everyone else in the class helped wherever they were needed and when ever.

-I think digital citizenship should be discussed in schools around the world. One of the problems with us today is that we do not know the simple aspects of digital citizenship.I think children that are in middle school should be educated on digital citizenship and what it is.I think that many topics of digital citizenship should be discussed.I definitely think that digital security and safety, etiquette, digital law,and rights and responsibilities should be discussed. As the children mature, I think it would be more fitting to add topics like digital literacy, health and wellness, digital access, digital communication, and digital commerce.

-I have learned many things from this project that I can take with me. I have learned about digital literacy. When I first started this project I did not even know what digital literacy was or how it applied to my everyday life.I have also learned how much easier things go with teamwork. I have learned how lucky I am to have such great classmates who are willing to help me in any way possible or at any time.I am so glad that I have had this opportunity to interact with people from all over the world and learn about digital citizenship and what it is.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Remembering Digiteen

Miller Reflects on Digiteen

Wiki Editing and Authentic Research
For my Digiteen project, I was assigned the topic Digital Etiquette. I never really thought about digital etiquette until I began researching the topic. Digital Etiquette is a very important factor in Digital Citizenship. Digital Etiquette, which is also called netiquette, is the way that people act online. My sub-topic was adults. I researched the way that adults use Digital Etiquette while on the internet in their everyday lives. I discovered that a lot of adults do not really know what digital etiquette is so they tend to not use it. I found a good description of digital etiquette from an Edutopia website.

This website has a great summary of netiquette and how people tend to use it. Learning about digital etiquette has better helped me to understand the internet more. Not only am I more educated in the ways to use the internet, but also I am ready to teach other people the correct ways to act on the internet starting with Digital Etiquette. I am so glad that I got to participate in this project.

The members of digital etiquette did an absolutely amazing job on the wiki. Everyone in the group contributed. One of our greatest strengths was being able to understand the topic. Everyone had a great idea of what digital etiquette really was and used their own opinions to make the wiki great. Everyone also was very good at putting the information into terms that can be easily understood. We also communicated very well. We left a total of thirty-nine discussions on the discussion tab. Everyone shared their ideas which was great, and when someone offered an idea, people listened and they gave it a chance. The only weakness that I believe that we had was the fact that, coming from different countries, we spelled words differently. This is only an ant hill compared to the mountain of strengths that we had. No one person excelled in our group. Everyone excelled! Christina, Tiffany, Maddi, Dhabyah, Fatma, Anjie, Tyler S., and Mason W. were responsible for making the fantastic wiki page. They all made countless edits, and put some great information onto the wiki. I would like to thank everyone in the group. They all did a wonderful job, and I am so glad to have had a chance to work with every single one of them. The digital etiquette wiki would not have been possible without them.

My Personal Learning Network(PLN) was very helpful in the making of our wikis. I was able to add a special tab and put specific links on them. I put links to the discussion and blog posts on the Digiteen Ning. I also put links to the discussion page and edits page on the wiki. Another cool thing that I was able to do was add links to Google News on my topic, digital etiquette or netiquette. Being able to use my Igoogle page was so helpful. I was able to go to my Igoogle page and then take a shortcut directly to the site I was trying to get to. It was so convenient. Diigo bookmarks were also very helpful because I was able to bookmark a specific article about my topic and those links would go directly to my topic wiki. These were so helpful because the links will take you directly to the section of the article that you bookmarked. I am so glad that I have a PLN to help organize my lessons.

Action Project
For my Digiteen action project, my team members and I used a program called Google Lively to teach middle school students about Digital Citizenship. Our main objective was to create a new generation of students who are able to navigate through the internet safely and comfortably. We used Google Lively because it was a virtual world that we had experimented in and personally had a lot of fun with. It had a lot of the tools that we needed to be able to teach our lessons safely. It also gave us the option to make it a private space, which was very helpful. Tyler R. created many different rooms that we used in our teaching. They are all very fun and interesting, which made the teaching experience easier for us, and the learning experience easier for the seventh grade as well. We picked the seventh graders to teach because they were a good age to teach. We felt that they would also be able to understand the information that we were teaching better, and not having been taught anything like this before, we were able to mold them into good digital citizens. I am so glad that we chose to teach that class because they were so cooperative, very respectful, and listened to what we taught them. Their cooperation is greatly appreciated. While we were doing our project, we recorded the things that we did onto an action wiki. On this wiki, we put our goals of the project, a brief summary of how each lesson went, and quotes from the seventh graders on how they enjoyed the wiki. This wiki was very helpful in being able to record all of our ideas and help us to prepare for the next lesson.

I believe that our project went great. We accomplished everything we wanted and then some. The seventh graders learned so much, and they had a lot of fun doing it. We wanted our classes to be able to learn and have fun while doing it. I also think that it made a lot of the students interested in programs like Lively and other programs that the internet might offer like Gmail and Igoogle. The one improvement that I would like to have had was be a little more organized in our lessons. Sometimes, we would encounter problems such as the students not having an account with a program, or one something freezing up on the internet. These are just a few improvements compared to the giant success that we had. I believe that all schools should offer digital citizenship classes. With the internet growing more and more every day, kids will one day have to use it for most everything that they do. My personal goal from this project is to influence other schools to offer programs like ours. If every child in the world got as much teaching as our students got, then our next generation will be educated in the ways of digital citizenship.

If I could describe my action project team in one word, I would say extraordinary. Each one of the people on the team worked long and hard to make sure that we had correct lesson plans, Lively was set up on computers, and all kinds of other things that made our project flow smoothly. I think that being able to meet a little bit more and having more time together to prepare and share our ideas would improve this process because it would allow us to be more organized in our lessons. I have to brag on Tyler R. Tyler R. probably did more work on Lively than anybody. He created every single room that we used to teach, and decorated them. He knew more about the rooms and how to create them than anybody in our school. He took the time to design the rooms according to what lesson we were teaching that day. Another person the I want to mention is Trent H. Trent devised all of the lesson plans, and made each and every lesson plan great. He gave us all great ideas that we used to teach. Hope B., Jordan B., and Sydnee S. were all very organized. Because of their skills, everything went smoothly and we were able to keep up with our thought. Pate C. and Mason W. did a great job at editing the wiki. They kept it up to date with our latest lessons. Tanner B., Mason J., and Nolan R. did an outstanding job with the parent permission forms. They met the deadline and made wonderful forms. I thank my team so much for making the project great!

Digital Citizenship
I absolutely believe that digital citizenship should be discussed and taught in schools. The internet is such a vital tool in today's society. Hospitals, small businesses, and some schools are beginning to drift into the new age of technology. We have to face the facts that one day, our children are going to have to use the internet. We need to make it easy for them. We need to teach them about digital citizenship. We have to show them how to behave online and be respectful to people online. We do not need to leave them abandoned online. We need to show them. Schools need to offer educational websites like Woogi World, which teaches kids about digital citizenship. We need to guide children in the right direction. The future is coming. It is full of technology, and it will not wait on everybody to learn. Hopefully, our project will lead the way, and set an example for all schools to educate their students about digital citizenship.

I learned a lot of things from this project, but the most important thing that I learned was respecting other peoples' cultures. I met kids from Qatar, Australia, Bangladesh, and Canada, just to name a few. As I began talking to them, I learned all types of things. I learned what kind of sports they play, what their favorite colors are, what they like to do on the weekends, and so much more. Learning all of those things taught me about their cultures, and about how to be respectful to them. I am so glad that I got to participate in this experience, and I know that the things I learned with Digiteen will help me with the rest of my life. I enjoyed every single minute of it. I would like to thank everyone for making this project such a great experience. Being able to participate in it was truly a blessing. Thank you Mrs. Vicki for allowing us to be involved with such a great group of people. Thank you everyone. You made it truly amazing.