In2edu I.C.T. Resources Enhancing Education & Learning

Teach those things that Machines can't?

What should we teach that machines can't? Is it true that machines can't teach these things?

Video: Jack Ma (Alibaba Group) on Machines and Education. 1:30 min.



Video: Jack Ma (Alibaba Group) on Machines and Education and other issues 58 min.


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Digital Technologies Screen Time Leading to Increased Suicides?

Nothing like a good debate, and emotive headlines! 
I'm a parent now living at home without children (old enough to be grandparent but as an ex youth leader, AKA up to a year ago - still think young?), a teacher, and a digital technologies advocate. And the debate about costs and benefits of digital technologies and the values they encompass and "broadcast" via their use mean we need to keep having these sorst of debate. Our pupils should be having discussions and reflective thinking time among themselves and with their parents on these topics, encouraged as part of our Digital Technologies programmes.
More important than the skills we teach - this is the interesting debate between the differences in the Maori version of the Digital Technologies document and the English version - are the underlying values and attitudes that we are wanting to see developed in pupils. Explicit teaching of these values are difficult in a curriculum with emphasis on assessment of knowledge and skills and in time poor situations, which is why we must as teacher internalise these so well that we use incidental teachable moments constantly to back up any explicit teaching. How we model digital citizenship (including parents) is an important part of this also.
The starting point for this entry was reading an article entitled: "With teen mental health deteriorating over five years, there’s a likely culprit." which is examining the links between social media, screen time and teenage health including impacts on suicide rates. The basic opinion of the article is that the the peak in 2012 of suicide rates can be linked to the length of screen time, backed up by interpretation of data from some studies. My initial comment reaction was:
"I would be interested, living in N.Z. with one the highest rates of suicide if correlation with screen time tracks country rates of suicide?I also wonder if there is a perfect storm for today’s generation, a bit like possible tipping points for climate change: increasing nuclear families, widening gaps inequality, increased social media pressures and intrusion, less church and youth group attendance (other places to learn to socialise), less involved parenting styles, increased academic pressures, increased negative talk (society, bullying) etc as well as the screen time factor. This could mean then that sudden spikes in suicide could come as all of these items gather in the minds or backgrounds of the youth of today. Can combined effects therefore have spiking effects that no-one effect is on its own responsible for. However, this also could mean that addressing one effect at a time can be a way to undo what is happening - so taking action in some way within your family is important?"

Related to pupils and screens is a speaker Nicholas Karadaras. Author, and experienced addictionologist, he is currently touring NZ under the banner of the term, "GlowScreens". His stance is that children under 10 should not be interactive with screens and that digital screens are a 'giant have' by technology companies to sell gear. He points out that Finland got to the top of PISA without a lot of Digital Technology. This was true - but remember PISA focuses on 'paper' tests and that Finland in 2017 is now restructuring their curriculum, including a very solid focus on Digital Technology. However, a good takeaway from Karadaras is that screens are addicting and that we need to watch out for the red flag of how kids react with asked to "leave" their technology for something else. If our lives are not full of other good things and interactions (physical, social, mental, spiritual) then the addictive power of screens can seriously affect the minds and spirits of young people. If a pupil has underlying learning difficulties, Nicholas Karadaras insists that difficulties of addition and problems with mind development and anti learning behaviours are more likely to occur, however other critiques of this point out the benefits of digital technologies.

What do you think? What are the impacts for us in N.Z.? How does this steer the NZ Digital Digital Technologies Curriculum? What are the values and attitudes we are teaching and modelling to our kids?

Here are the Digital Citizenship resources used within our school.

References:
Is it all just moral panic?
Increased Screen Time Equals Suicide?
Appraisal/Critique of Above Article
Decreasing Drug Use Among Teens
Glow Kids - should kids under 10 use screens at all (Nicholas Karadaras) 13 min Youtube?
Glow Kids - should kids under 10 use screens at all (Nicholas Karadaras) 45 min Vimeo?
Glow Kids - Epidemic of our Times - AM Show
The Verge - Glow Screen Critique
Digital Heroin
Finland 2014 - top of PISA without Digital Technology
Finland and Innovation 2017
Finland Country Report on ICT in Education

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Digital Citizenship: Cyber Safety at Home

What is the parent's role in this fast moving world of digital media? Are you a guardian, operator, refugee or avoider? I think it is all wrapped up into taking children from a childhood to adulthood, through the teenage angst, taking your child from a more secure environment as you deliberately seek to teach them how to be a digital-citizen.
As a parent the worst things you can do is avoid getting involved, "I don't understand this stuff." If your children are good users then they should be able to teach you what you do need to know, when you need to know it and you can add other knowledge and skills  (i.e. what they are not telling you) from some of the sites listed below.
What is most important is for your children to realise that using digital devices is a privilege (especially if  adults purchased them) and that as a parent you have the right to monitor their use. For the parent, it is important to realise that you are taking your pupils on a journey from a more innocent and protected place to a point when you say goodbye and you know they have learned behaviours, values and skills that they can independently apply to their digital device use and that will enable them to be great digital citizens.
First Steps
Talk about and setup a family home contract (set of negotiated rules) for use at home. Write out, discuss, spend time with your child on this and then all sign. Include items like reserving the right to check your child's Facebook page, laptop account, Internet history email and chat. Here is a sample contract.
Install filter software if you feel it is required.
Next Steps
Check what is happening. Your children will see/hear inappropriate material from time to time and it is important to have lines of communication open so that you can chat to them and discuss issues. Have learning conversations like, "Show me the most interesting recent site you have visited from your Internet history." I expect history to be always tere, part of our school contract, missing means something has been hidden! So a simple question likes this engages you with your child in their learning but gives you a chance to quietly check.
Keep doors open. Do NOT punish the child who saw something inappropriate and told you, that is exactly what you want to encourage, so thank them and either block the site or change the method of searching.
Attend school Workshops or other meetings. If your school has given you oportunities to learn in this area then grab them with both hands. They will have a lot of experience and information to offer you and remember that what you don't quite get you can always follow up later on with your own children as you will at least know where to start. I.E. "I  know you can have more than one Internet browser on our computer. How many do we have? Do we really need four? Let's choose the best two together?"

Other References
NZ Article on K9
Our Delicious Cyber-Digital Citizenship for Parents Stack.
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Traffic Lights for Online Responsibility

This is our new online responsibility visual. Developed within the school we are promoting this as a quick overview of the responsibilities we all have in using social media and posting online information. It summarises some aspects of the ICT Code of Conduct which outlines further details.
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Being Fair and Respecting others in Your Internet Use




Did you know anything as soon as it is created and placed online has an immediate copyright in many places around the world? It does NOT need to have a copyright sign on it.

Here at Medbury we operate a values programme. The 12 values (our summary poster is here) lead us to placing importance on fair-use of others property on the web. Educationally we value thinking and the typical "copy 'n' paste and change a few words" is destructive to good learning.

We ask that pupils attribute all images, text, video and sound and other media files in the correct manner so they can "Share, Remix, and Reuse — Legally". "Creative Commons" is a way to obtain information and publish it in a way that allows easy sharing with others so they know how it can be used or re-used. Check out the pages you are using for their copyright.

This page helps you publish your work online by making choices on how you want to share it.

This page helps with understanding Creative Commons Licence Categories.




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