Be literate or be fooled!

As a kid, I was taught by my mother to be critical of everything and everyone. My mom was super strict with my sisters and I. She had to meet all our friends, we had strict curfews and we were never to talk to strangers ever. Needless to say that she was ver protective of my sisters and I.


If I grew up in the times like today, I could see my mother refusing all cell phones and technology. She would teach us to be critical like she did when we were kids. And now that I am a mother of two, I’m teaching my kids about being critical online and to be prudent.


Have any of you seen the article about astronaut Scott Kelly this week? NASA found itself at the center of digital misinformation in regards to a fake story. Last week online headlines stated that the astronaut no longer had the same DNA as his twin and that his DNA had not returned back to normal since his return from space. Here is the article from The Atlantic that discusses the situation and the fake news.

Fake news is everywhere that it becomes imperative that we teach our students and children about being critical learners and thinkers. We have to teach about questioning where the source comes from. After having read the article Fake news fools millions, I appreciated the lesson plan attached. The only way we can teach are students to become critical is to practice being critical, to look for questionable material that can be found online. We need to be able to teach our students about investigating what is fiction or factual.

I also enjoyed the article Media Literacy: A National Priority for a Changing World. The term screen-agers. is crazy but true as we raising learners who are constantly online and using screen time as their daily routine. My students are constantly teaching me new things daily may it be terms, programs and apps. They will always know more than me when it comes technology. Though at the same time, most of my students are not fully aware of what is fake and what is real online. I feel as though it starts at home and at the schools. Teachers need to be able to also teach our students about being aware of what is truly real and to be informed not misinformed. Teaching students to really question who is sharing the information? Who is the author of this information? What techniques is the author using to gain my attention? How will others understand this information differently from my point of view? Why is the information being shared?


As long as this information is being discussed and taught at the home and in the classroom, our learners will become more literate and hopefully not fooled by fake news.




More research on my journey with media

HI EC&I 832,

I have been learning a lot about social media and education apps! The journey has been an interesting process especially when I have been surprised about privacy policies within all three apps……nothing is really private and all owners of these apps can give and sell what you post to other companies! CRAZY!


I have been having many great discussions with my students on the positives and the negatives of these apps. Next week I plan on interviewing students individually on their thoughts. I have come up with a variety of questions, tough I am wondering what questions you may have fellow EC & I 832?

Please post a comment after you read my interview questions.

Thanks so much! I’m looking forward to hear what questions you may have.


Snapchat (Social Media App)

  1. Why do you like Snapchat? (Social media App)
  2. What don’t you like about Snapchat?
  3. What do you post on Snapchat?
  4. How many times a day do you use Snapchat?
  5. What do you post on Snapchat (in stories or messages) and why?
  6. What are your privacy concerns  about Snapchat? (Privacy / cyberbullying)
  7. Do you trust your friends on snapchat?
  8. Are you aware about Snapchat’s privacy policy and user services?
  9. Do you build and maintain friendships on Snapchat?
  10. When looking to see who has viewed your Snapchat Story, which do you value more, the number or views, or the specific people who view it?
  11. Do you think you over use Snapchat? Explain?
  12. Do you ever get annoyed with Snapchat? Explain.
  13. What’s the best Social media app between Snapchat & Instagram? Explain

Instagram (Social media App)

  1. What do you like about Instagram?
  2. What don’t you like about Instagram?
  3. What do you post on Instagram?
  4. How many times a day do you use instagram?
  5. What kind of photos do your friends usually post on Instagram?
  6. Do you trust your friends on Instagram?
  7. Are you aware of Instagram’s privacy policy and user services?
  8. What are your privacy concerns  about Instagram? (Privacy / cyberbullying)
  9. Do you trust your friends on Instagram?
  10. Do you build and maintain friendships on Instagram?
  11. When looking to see how many followers , or who has viewed your Instagram Story, which do you value more, the number or views, or the specific people who view it?
  12. Do you think you over use Instagram? Explain?
  13. Do you ever get annoyed with Instagram? Explain.
  14. What’s the best Social media app between Snapchat & Instagram? Explain

Google Classroom (Educational App)

  1. What do you like about GOOGLE CLASSROOM?
  2. How many of your teachers use GC?
  3. What don’t you like about GC?
  4. Would you prefer receiving assignments via GC or via paper from the teacher?
  5. Do you prefer receiving feedback via GC or from your paper assignment?
  6. How many times a day do you use GC?

7) Are you aware of GC’S  privacy policy and user services?

8) What are your privacy concerns  about GC? (Privacy / cyberbullying)

9) Do you think GC makes classroom more engaging? Less engaging? Explain?

10) Do you think your teacher over uses GC? Explain?

11) Do you ever get annoyed with GC? Explain.

There’s a Snapchat etiquette?!?!

Hi all!

Working on my major project!

snap 6

So I have a confession! I just turned the BIG 40 this year and I guess you could say I qualify as “old” to my students. For my major project I have been researching Snapchat (social media) and Google Classroom (Ed tech) with my students.

I added Snapchat ….I think 2-3 years ago. The main reason for creating an account was to:

  1. Check what the hype was all about.
  2. To have the domain name: kristabgates


When I first downloaded the app, I was confused on how to use it. I kept asking myself… the heck is this such a popular app? Why is it cool to take a picture and then it disappear into the digital world? It never made sense.

For the past 2 years, I have close friends on Snapchat. Mainly to take funny pictures and send to educator friends funny faces. Sometimes I delete the app because I never use it. Though for this major project I have begun to look deeper into this famous Snapchat app.

I found a funny article from Buzzfeed of all places entitled: You’re Old If You Don’t Know This Basic Snapchat Etiquette.

I didn’t know there was an etiquette to it?!?!?!?

Rule # 1: If someone /friends snap you and you don’t snap back it is considered rude.  I have for sure failed at this. If teacher friends or  friends snap me it takes me hours / days to open their snap or even respond.

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Rule # 2: The uglier snaps you send, the better and closer the relationship you have. I think I passed this rule. I send only the ugliest snaps to my closest of friends.


Rule # 3: Streaks matter a lot.

First of all, what are streaks???? Must ask my students for my research purposes for my major project.

Rule # 4: If you’re dating a person, you must have a yellow heart to their name.

That’s cute! But I am married. Must I have a different coloured heart if I am married?

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Rule # 5: Do not screenshot other people’s stories and snaps and then post them on other social media platforms.

This rule makes sense. It sounds like If you break this rule, you are breaching someone’s’ privacy without their consent. Though if you use Snapchat and are sharing openly, you are risking sharing too much information to others. (Must ask my students about this.)

Rule # 6: Don’t make your Snapchat story too long.

What? There’s a Snapchat story? What is the difference between a Snapchat and Snapchat story? Must ask my students about this one… do I even create a Snapchat story?

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Rule # 7: Do not post a story every 5 seconds of doing literally nothing.

Who has time to do that?

Though I wonder how much of my students do this on a daily basis? How and when do they find the time to do this? And what are they snapping all the time of?

Rule # 8: If you post something to your story, you should not send it separately to someone.

This Snapchat story is intriguing. Again, what the heck is it?

Rule # 9: Filters are for when you’re trying to look cute for a friend. This is mainly the dog filter.

How the heck is this a cute filter? (LOL).


Rule # 10: Don’t post landscape pictures.

Why the heck not? We are from Saskatchewan and we have the best landscape pictures on the planet?!?!

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Rule # 11: Use a geotag once while you’re somewhere, not in every single snap.

I just discovered geotags. Very cool. I would probably over use them!


Rule # 12: Do not respond to someone’s snap and then not respond to their text.

Really? But I already messaged you via snap! I have to respond again via text? That’s multitasking galore!

Rule # 13: If you respond to a person’s snap after many hours, remind them of what they said in a previous snap.

I guess Snapchat doesn’t save conversations and people won’t remember what they said or sent!? ! Crazy!

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Rule # 14: If you’re going to a concert, don’t snap the whole concert.

Again…..I would be guilty of this! I love concerts.

Rule # 15: Don’t lie and say you’re sick and then post a snap of you hanging with friends.

You’re busted for sure!!!!!

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Rule # 16: Don’t watch your ex’s story unless you’re trying to get them back.

What? You can see who has watched a story?!? Need to find out more about Snapchat story.

Rule # 17: If you’re flirting with someone via Snapchat wait a few minutes before opening their snap and responding.

It’s been over 15 years since I have been in the dating game. This sounds like torture!

Rule # 18: If you’re crush doesn’t respond to your snap with 2 hours they are not interested.

Reminds me of a book I read years and years ago….He’s Just Not That Into You! ….But that was via a phone call over the phone. ….I am old!

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Rule # 19: Don’t post snaps at the gym

I agree with this 110%. It is never a pretty site to see me on the treadmill.

Rule # 20: If someone is bothering you or creeping on you block them.

Are their stalkers on snaps? How do kids know when someone is creeping on them?!?! (Must ask my students!)

Rule # 21 Nobody will get tired of pet snaps.

This makes total sense.

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After reading this, I am for sure old because I had no idea about the Snapchat etiquette. I have a lot to ask my students about this.

Until next time.


P.S: Does anyone know the number next to my Snapchat profile name mean? Have I taken too many silly pictures that I’ve sent to friends?


It takes a village to raise proper digital citizens!

Schools and teachers play a huge role in teaching our students about Digital Citizenship. The community and family can help support this process, though it truly is the teacher who is the main role model when it comes to DC.

As educators we need to be more aware of potential issues that students are facing on a daily basis with regards to social media and digital educational programs. Teachers cant shy away from technology. Furthermore it is important to teach students about the potential dangers within social media though at the same time, encourage the use of technology in a positive manner.

Schools hold a huge responsibility to support the development of DC in education because its learners have constant access to technology. To support this process, school boards and schools need to educate its learners about the true meaning of digital citizenship. This will in end teach our students about being aware of the digital footprints that they are leaving behind, whether those footprints are negative or positive. 

Lately in schools we now have access to varied technologies though we are not always teaching our students on how to properly use them. How are these tools making learning easier? Or more accessible? Are students even wanting to use them? Are we “over using” technology? This why digital citizenship should be taught in the schools. As this will support the need to educate students about their own digital identities and how to properly support their digital footprint.

The policy planning guide from the Ministry of Saskatchewan, supports the idea that today’s schools, do play an important role in teaching digital citizenship and the development of appropriate online behavior.  Schools should be supporting students in their digital citizenship development in all grade levels from grades 1-12 They should create a division wide policy / unit on digital citizenship that would need to be taught and interwoven in Saskatchewan’s curriculum in all subject areas. This means that digital citizenship would need to be taught in a context that links together being responsible and respectable digital citizens with digital teaching moments. Digital teaching moments can be planned or they can come about in a teachers daily teachings in order to create a well-rounded digital citizen.

 Our school division supports and believes in preparing our students to be more aware of their own Digital citizenship. They are also committed to achievement and equitable opportunities with the effective use of technology. Students in our division have a variety of access to technology resources to enhance their learning. Though it is made aware to parents, teachers, and students that the division cannot monitor student technology use on a daily basis.

 A few years ago, I worked a long side some staff members who supported Ed tech and DC. We even had a DC week to encourage students about being positive digital citizens. The initiatives were positive though I found the momentum had slowed down a year later. How we do we encourage the DC momentum in our division, classrooms and schools? How do we encourage our students and fellow staff members to support this important issue?

DC Week Poster 2015DC 1

 As Patrick Maze discussed during our online class, teachers need to be responsible digital citizens. What you post online personally /and professionally adds to your digital footprint.

 To support responsible Digital Citizenship in education school divisions, educators, parents need to understand and educate themselves on what it means to be a true digital citizen that supports Dr. Mike Ribble’s 9 elements of Digital citizenship.  


Krista Gates

Reflecting on digital identity

Digital identity is an important topic to discuss within the community, the schools and at home. What we post online (intentionally or unintentionally) can either have positive or long term negative effects on one’s identity.

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When reflecting on the history of my own digital identity past, I am thankful that I never had the constant and instant access to social media like my children will soon have in their teens.  Growing up in the 70’s-90’s, I lived in a carefree time where I never had to worry about what social media posts to check,  nor did I have to worry about email or even a cell phone.  I communicated with my friends directly face to face, or chatted directly via rotary phone at night.

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Does anyone remember cruising down Albert Street and visiting with friends on Friday nights? The way to communicate then, was to head to the 7 Eleven on Albert Street to find out who was having people over to watch a movie.

In high school  for my English class (we did research) via the encyclopedia or books. It wasn’t until University  where I began using the internet.  Who remembers ICQ? Or MSN messenger? That was always fun to instant message friends and check on their responses.  Or instead of heading to HMV I was able to access “free” music via friends who used Naspter….which was technically not legal.

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Who remembers renting a movie? Roaming around Blockbuster on a Friday night to find a CD / VCR tape of movies. Those were the days! Now I can access any movie via Netflix or record my favorite shows via our digital recorder.

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To this present day, I am an avid user of social media apps like Facebook and Instagram. Instead of calling people,  I find myself sending text messages to friends and family.  For the past few years, I have been playing with technology in education by using Skype Classroom with my students where they are able to connect with other countries who speak Spanish / French. Recently, I have been using Google Classroom where my students can access assignments & I can give direct feedback on their work.

Presently and for the future, I am hesitant to share everything online. I now regret that I may have shared too much on social media such as my own personal family pictures and memories. Have I shared too much about my family? Have I posted too many pictures?  Is it fair to my own children that I posted so many pictures of their childhood? I personally regret that I may have shared too much of my family and of my own identity online……something that is hard to take back and delete now.

As an educator & mother, it’s important that we help our students / my own children to develop a positive footprint. We also have to remember that we have social media personas that we display. 

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I worry about my children’s digital identities and how things may change for them in the future. I do not want them getting lost in social media. I do not want them to share too much online. But at the same time, I want them to understand that the digital age can be beneficial but with prudence and guidance. 

kids best

This is all truly a reminder that what we do online, cannot be forgotten.



Instagram : the social app!

Instagram : the social app!


I have been using Instagram since the birth of my son Connor in 2010. It was mainly just to take keep sake memories of my children and family.

Nowadays I see my students using it on a daily basis hence why I am curious to research why they are currently using the app. .

Have any of you had students voluntarily tell you they have Google’ed you? Or instgtam’ed you?  I guess my students have. And even though I am on strict privacy settings on my Social media app Instagram, students are able to see my profile picture and the amount of Instagram posts that I have made…I guess over 4,000 posts is quite a bit from what I am told!

I read a blog post from blogger and Instagram user @annamcnaughty who wrote the unwritten rules of Instagram.

THE DO’S on Instagram :

Be consistent in your posting – which means in the styles, subject matter and themes.

Always edit your photos before posting on Instagram – I guess in high school, all postings must be edited.

Be vigilant of posting times. (I succeeded at this one)

It’s important to post 3 times a day in order to grow your Instagram.  Post in the morning and in the evenings.

Quality over quantity – Don’t post If you have nothing really to share. (I have failed at this one)…..I post daily about my family.

Be creative and weird – I guess I post creative pictures…of landscapes….does tis count?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions in your comments – Talk with your followers! Ask questions and feel free to discuss instead of just scrolling on Instagram.

Be funny on Instgram – Use captions with your photos.

Use the story section on Instagram.  (I just discovered this this year. It’s quite neat and I am still trying to figure this one out.) It’s like sharing a quick announcement.

Engage with friends, family and people – always comment back, reach out to your followers admire and always keep in contact you’re your followers.


Think about your audience – use new hashtags, check out what others are doing, and always stay up on the trends.

Add a Location – This will engage your followers. (I do this when I travel.)

Anyone can access your pictures if it is not a private account– Be vigilant with is one.

THE DON’TS of Instgram

Don’t overuse hashtags –is you hashtag everything anybody has access to your photos.

Don’t post low-quality Photos –Always post quality pictures.

Don’t use borders! It is no longer cool to use borders…I failed at this one.

Don’t overuse filters! – Do not do it! ( I have failed at this one).

Don’t pay for followers or likes – I did not even know that you can do that!!!!!! What a waste of money!

Don’t allow ghosts to follow you – If you see that you have ghost, make sure that you block them! Half of them are fake, dangerous and will steal your images.

Don’t DM everyone – use DM with discretion

Don’t post a bunch of photos in a row – Again I have failed at this one.


This Social media app is way over my head. I have failed all the Do’s and don’ts.

What concerns me the most, is so many students have open accounts and do not privatize their accounts. Which means anyone has access to their accounts.

A worrisome thought.





Remind: the positives and the negatives from me (the teacher)

Remind: the positives and the negatives from me (the teacher)

Final project work and an educational add called Remind.

I have been using Remind on and off for a couple of years. When it first came about it was called Remind 101. Now they have converted to the name Remind.

Due to the many education apps that are out there, I have steered off from Remind until this year to research it for our EC & I 832 course.

I begin with the positives of using Remind in your classroom:

-It’s nice to be able to update your students about upcoming school events that are happening in the school and community.  It’s also nice to send reminders about upcoming tests and projects.


-Students do not need to have access to a smart phone. They can receive these Remind messages via their email or their parents email.

-Students do not need to download the app. They can join by simply a sent message from the teacher.

-Parents and their children can join via email address. They both have the option to receive Remind messages via email or text messages.

-I find that Remind keeps the parents involved in communication between myself the teacher and the student.

-As a teacher, I can send Remind messages from both the phone and my computer. It’s very accessible.

-A nice option for this app is no one has access to each other’s cell phone numbers. Students also do not have access to teacher’s phone numbers. No messaging to the teacher.

-As teachers we can schedule messages in advance. It’s great for planning.

-Teachers can send an unlimited amount of messages to classes / students.

-I found that this app saved time and paper!


Now the negatives:

-If you use Remind from your phone (Teacher’s phone) you need to download the app.

-(A negative / positive) messages are one way only. Students / parents cannot reply to a teacher’s message.

-There is a limit on your message of 140 characters.

-Remind can gather information from all its users to improve their customer service. Which means not all your information (the teachers) is kept confidential and may be given to third party vendors.

-Students are not as keen as they used to be when you request them to use the app.


Again due to the many education apps out there, remind has taken to the way side, though it can still be a quick and valuable tool to send quick messages and reminders to students.

Remind you to check out Remind!


News flash: an update on my major project! My personal journey / critically looking at Snapchat & Google Classroom.

Hi EC&I 832!

When thinking about digital literacy and Mike Ribble’s 9 elements of digital citizenship, my main goal is to understand and to critically look at the following applications that my students are using for social media and educational purposes. I am critically exploring the application of SnapChat and Instagram. My students are constantly using this social media app and I am curious to see if my students are aware of their own digital citizenship while they use it on a daily basis. I am also wanting to critically look at Google Classroom and Remind to see if they are critical and useful tools to use in our classrooms.  As educators it is important that we critically evaluate and understand the educational tools that we are using with our students. It is also important to help our students critically analyse and understand the social media apps that they are using.

As Dr. Alec Couros suggested, how do Mike Ribble’s 9 elements of Digital citizenship relate to my major project?

Digital access: as technology users we need to be aware that not everyone has access to technology. For my Google classroom and Remind, is it truly fair that I ask all my students to join and share their work and my own work on these platforms? Do they all have access to a smart phone or a computer? What if my student does not feel comfortable using technology? How can I teach my students to be comfortable with technology?  It is a reminder as a teacher that not all my students will have access to tech. How can I make sure my students have an equal opportunity with technology?

Digital commerce: Ribble reminds us that we are part of a market community when we use technology. Google is in fact a huge asset to the internet. Everything is Google and by me using it in the classroom I am endorsing The Google all the time. What are the legal and legitimate exchanges that are occurring when I use Google classroom and Remind with my students?

kg google class

Digital communication: has changed due to the many changes and the ability to communicate with so many other people with so many methods of communication such as cell phones, messaging etc. I and my students are in constant communication with each other via social media apps like Snapchat and educations apps like Google classroom and Remind. Students are not able to control their own communication. They are constantly taking random pictures and Snapchat and Instagram messaging each other every minute of the hour in classrooms or throughout their daily routines. Many students have not been taught how to make appropriate decisions when they have access to so many social media aps. Myself, with the Google Classroom, I can give direct feedback to students on their assignment anytime. Is it healthy for my students and for myself to use digital / direct feedback digitally? Though on the other hand, I can communicate with my students on a daily basis when they do not have access face to face. If a student is away ill, they have direct access to documents via our digital classroom and can contact me anytime should they have questions. Is this healthy digital communication?

Digital literacy: Ribble reminds us about the importance of teaching about technology and the use of technology. As teachers it is important that we integrate Ed tech in the classrooms, not just for the sake of it, but meaningfully infusing it in the classroom in all subject areas. This would be meaningful to teach students about how to literally use Google Classroom, Remind, Instagram and Snapchat meaningfully and carefully. And at the same time teaching about DC.

Digital etiquette: Unfortunately, many of my students are unaware of how to conduct themselves properly while using social media apps like Snapchat and Google classroom. I see students daily sending inappropriate messages and images via Instagram and  Snapchat. I actually had one student who began sending inappropriate comments via Google classroom. (I blocked his comments.) Ribble discusses that many people are uncomfortable talking to others about digital etiquette. The goal for my major project would be how can we make students feel comfortable to talk about their own digital etiquette? We can’t simply take away cell phones from our students (or block their comments), we will need to find ways to teach our students on how to become responsible digital citizens while using Snapchat, Instagram, Remind and Google classroom.

kg snap

Digital law: There are many unethical situations that my students are finding themselves in trouble due to the damage from bullying or from stealing each other’s property such as cell phones. Plagiarism is another huge problem where students are copying from another’s student’s work or from the internet. How do we teach students to abide digital law?

Digital Rights & Responsibilities: We all have the rights to privacy and must also understand that the technology that we use has to be used responsibly. While using Snapchat, Instagram, Remind and Google Classroom how do I ensure my students identity and work is kept private? With Snapchat how do I ensure my students are being responsible that they are not taking pictures without someone’s consent?

Digital health & wellness: How do we teach our students to protect themselves?  How do we teach our students (ourselves) to psychologically and physically take care of our own digital health? Are we obsedded with social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat? Is it healthy that I am / my students are using Remind, Google Classroom on a daily basis?

Digital security / self-protection: Ribble suggests that we take electronic precautions to guarantee our own safety. How do we teach our students to become aware of what and who they share with on social media apps like Instagram and  Snapchat? Who has access to all their photos? How can we properly teach our students on how to protect themselves from others that may try to cause harm to them? How do I ensure my students work and identity is kept secure while using Remind and  Google Classroom?

What does this all mean for my major project / my personal journey into media?

  1. Continue to explore the educational app Google Classroom and Remind with my students.
  2. Explore the social app Snapchat and Instagram with my students and myself.
  3. Document the findings from these 2 educational and social apps) via blog posts, surveys, pictures and videos in regards to effective communication, education, social media, digital citizenship, privacy, concerns and positive effects of all apps in and out of the classroom setting.



The Alpha who?

After our EC&I 832 online class last week, the term “Alpha generation” was a new term for me. As Alec had mentioned during our online discussion, every generation has always had an opinion or has made a judgment on the various past generations and their use of various technologies. I really enjoyed watching the videos this week from Bree  Danielle  Kyla and Brittany on their definition on what it means to be a digital citizen. Thank-you for sharing your finding ladies! 

Though when looking back in our history, every trend and every technology has taught us something new and has made a contribution to our society either in a positive or negative light.  With change comes discomfort and uncertainty, though it also comes with new and exciting possibilities. By being open to change and understanding the new future, it opens up the opportunities to teach our learners / children about how to steer themselves in the right direction. Meaning it is necessary to take positive steps with change and to help prepare our learners / students / children for what is to come for them in their future.


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Digital citizenship will play a huge role in this process for the reason that today’s students have various technologies at their fingertips. It will not come naturally to our learners as they are still unaware of their own digital footprint. DC would need to be integrated / taught in the classroom where it is somewhat of a norm (not just taught in one unit) in any subject area to protect and ensure that students understand the importance of their own digital citizenship.

As discussed in the 2020 Future Work Skills, it is necessary that these ten skills: social intelligence, cross cultural competency, novel and adaptive thinking, design mindset, new media literacy, computational thinking, trans-disciplinary , virtual collaboration and cognitive load management be implemented in the work place and education systems.

These ten skill will support digital citizenship with the Alpha generation and also future generations. Furthermore, our learners will become more critical in their thinking as well as have an open mindset to the new technologies that will develop.

madi tech

Technology reflection

For this week’s blog post we were asked to respond and reflect on an assigned article. I really enjoyed the articles and as I watched a few of them from the past two classes, I pondered on how technology is used in my classrooms and in my daily life.

I found David White’s article on You Tube to be quite interesting though I do not consider myself to be a ‘digital native’ or a ‘digital immigrant’. I think I am actually in between both.  Like Carter Davis shared in his blog,  I too found it interesting that anyone who was born after the 80’s are considered to be a ‘digital native’ for the reason that they have grown up with technology. My mom to this day still needs help on how to maneuver her CD player one of the most basic of tasks.

I  myself am not an expert as I am always wanting to learn more on how to use the varied technology that is out there. I also enjoyed White’s idea on having a continuum of online activity for both professional and personal use.  I agree that is all about balance, when it comes to connectivity in our personal and professional lives. Though to be honest I am guilty of not being great when it comes to this balancing act. On a nightly basis, I can be found checking work email at home when I should be spending quality time with my family.

me and tech

Wherever I go everyone (including myself) are using some sort of technology and social media.  The other day, my family and I were in line at Fuddruckers waiting to order and almost everyone in line was on their cell phones checking their emails, texts and social media.  It’s as though nobody can be bothered to converse with eachother nor does anyone have the patience to wait in a lineup. Instead, we use our technology to fill in the void of waiting in line or to converse with each other. I ask are we bored?

In my classrooms, students are asked to put their phones away during teaching time in a cell phone charger holder. Two minutes before the bell, my students can be seen rushing to their phones in desperate need to check what they missed on their social media. It’s as though I took away “their social media life”  for a small hour of their lives.  I ask why are my students so desperate to be on their cell phones? Why must they always fulfill this need to be on their cell phones even when they are allowed to use them in the classroom?

giphy-downsized cell


I have done my best to put away my cell during the teaching day, though I know I am also guilty of constantly checking my device in between classes and during the lunch hours to read the news or check my own social media. Students in today’s schools are constantly on their phones like zombies. A student will ask to go to the bathroom with cell phone in hand and I will always chuckle and say, “you may want to leave your phone here…you don’t want to lose that in the toilet.”

I am all about connecting with loved ones, friends and fellow educators. I also feel that it’s important that our students are able to connect with each other though at what point do we stop when it becomes obsessive?

The social media that I check on a daily basis is Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I guess you could say I love posting pictures of my family and I also enjoy sharing about what my students are learning. Similar to my students, I am guilty of mindlessly /constantly checking / reading news articles and social media posts. Like Sherry Turkle discussed in her Ted Talk am I constantly checking social media and reading news articles because I have the need to constantly be in the know because (like my students) I don’t want to be alone / left out of what is going on in the social media world.

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I can honestly say that when I have had no internet access (my vacation in Cuba Xmas 2015) I was not feeling the need to check the news or social media. It was like it was out of sight and out of mind literally which can also be a good thing for everyone. Disconnecting and then reconnecting is truly about a balancing act and can be great for the soul.