SUMMARY OF LEARNING- ECI832

Hello Everyone!

I just can’t believe that how fast this semester went and now, I am actually summarizing it and sharing my journey in ECI832 on Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy. It was a great learning experience and collaborating with everyone made it more interesting and I gained an enormous amount of information.  I was very excited to learn alongside with my classmates, reading your views every week gave me a different perspective on each topic.  I look forward to working with everyone again. Thank ’s to Dr. Alec couros and my fellow classmates for this extraordinary semester of insight encouragement and growth.

Thank you.

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REVIEWING HANDWRITING CALCULATOR

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Hello ECI832!

The feeling of reviewing a math app for a mathematics teacher is just like a kid opening a present. I was excited about every step and to be honest I was very happy the whole time in the due process. An app which actually recognizes complex mathematical equation was all that needed to make my day. The application permits the user to literally write calculations with their finger and the results are calculated instantly and how cool is that. I don’t think to describe what this application does using words, does it justice. My video review below might give you a clear idea of what this application has to offer.

Given its multiple abilities to calculate a range of mathematical equations, from simple to complex problems, the application can be used in math classes. Obviously, the idea is not to teach children how to solve equations, but to integrate technology in the classroom. It could be a great addition into a math class to transform a perception of a boring math session into an interesting discovery of an application which allows them to do mathematical operations with a freehand script of expressions on the touch screen of their smart devices. Children can learn to use technology and simultaneously solve mathematical equations, they write equations by hand, the application processes those equations and converts them into digital format and calculate the answer. Children can use scribble out motions to eliminate parts of the equations if necessary.

My Script calculator is a great educational application that helps integrate technology into the math classroom and make it fun and interesting experience. For now, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments about My Script calculator in education and would you think about using it in your classroom or school?

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SCRIBBLE OUT A MATH EQUATION TO GET ANSWER

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Hello ECI832!

As a mathematics lecturer and a math lover, I am having a great time reviewing the features of MyScript Calculator and to be honest I am also having a lot of fun using the app itself. From my 7 years of teaching experience, I have sensed a great deal of anxiety in my students whenever they listen to the course name or just the name math makes them uncomfortable. Even outside the classrooms the more I talk to people about math, the more I hear this word: “I don’t like math because math problems have only one answer. I’m really bad at math how can I get better. Thanks to technology and few wonderful math educational apps the whole perception of mathematics has changed. Many believe that a mathematics class can be a traumatic experience, and for whatsoever reason, individuals link math closely to intelligence. Many think that if you are genius and smart, you can do the math and, if you are not smart, you can’t, but I totally disagree with this statement. Math can be fun and few interesting apps make math even easier, fun experience and one of such app is My script calculator.

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MyScript Calculator is a charismatic application which is compatible for both iOS and Android devices and allows the user to do mathematical operations with the freehand script of expressions on a touch screen of smart devices such as tablets, smartphones. This is a free application which won the Mobile App Showdown award at CES 2013. Our smartphone’s these days contains a rudimentary calculator, but entering complex math isn’t always easy and is not always user-friendly but MyScript Calculator permits the user to write out math operations as one would write on paper and then solve them. The simple looking main screen of the application resembles a graph sheet where the user can script or scribble a mathematical operation and in the top right corner of the screen we have the options to redo or undo the work or you can just scribble on the calculations and it is gone. In the top left corner, the user can open a menu where they can access the configuration with options to configure the number of decimals displayed by the application, go to the left-handed entry and other operations. The application also has an interesting environment called palm rejection, when turned on, the application will overlook the part of the hand that touches the screen, it is useful for those who obviously put their hand on the writing surface of the device when drawing the numbers with a stylus.

The application is ideal for students or any individuals who want to make a swift calculation, MyScript Calculator converts numbers and symbols written by hand in a clear notation instantly and then shows the user answer of a mathematical expression.  The user can perform various operations such as addition, subtract, multiply and division, and the application does not limit to that extent. The user can also solve complex trigonometric and calculus functions by writing the problems on the screen. The application supports surprisingly complex expressions, which allow the user to add exponents, draw the root symbol for square roots, draw a line to divide by another number etc.

Terms of services :
My script calculator specifies in their privacy policy that neither the sites nor any MyScript Products are intended for children under the age of 13. By agreeing to the terms of services, the user agrees to comply with all the terms and conditions of the Privacy Policy. MyScript states that it is committed to continuously developing innovative services to better serve users of their technology and recognize that privacy as an important aspect, therefore they have designed and manage their services keeping in mind the protection of privacy of their users. This Policy describes the types of personal information that they collect when using MyScript application or their sites and are intended to provide services and develop the application. The personal identifying information which is collected is deleted within three months after a user deletes their account. My script claims that they do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13 and will delete such personal information as early as possible. A commendable aspect of the privacy policy is that the service provider assures that they do not rent or sell any personal identifying information to other establishments or individuals, without the user’s consent. Overall, I believe that their privacy policy is straightforward and pretty safe for young users.

Finally, I believe that MyScript Calculator is a fun, extremely helpful educational application which can help students and teachers in making math class or a math assignment a fun and joyful experience. In my next post, I will be digging deep into the application by performing some simple to complex mathematical operation. For now, I would love to hear your thoughts and concerns on MyScript Calculator and its educational value and usage?

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REACHING BEYOND THE SCHOOL WALLS

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Hello ECI832!

Technology is already sweeping through classrooms and as educators, we are well aware of it. Education today is drastically evolving and so are our students. Today’s children are budding up in a digital world and Social media is integrated as a dominant part of our youngsters. Teaching in this digital era for the students who consider themselves as digitally a step ahead of their teachers poses many challenges for educators. We are sometimes worried that what we produce does not extend beyond the walls of our classroom and thanks to social media and technology we can take teaching and education beyond the walls of classroom and Instagram can be an ideal tool for it.

As I have stated before in few of my blog posts, one of the hardest task for a teacher is to make students pay attention in the class when most of them these days are busy sneak peeking at their phones, So, if we can’t beat them lets join them. Educators can make use of Instagram to post short videos and photos to give a highlight of the day’s content and also summarize the content covered in the days. It is a great way to showcase live examples to students from its story feature, we can connect with children, parents, and colleagues. Right from artistically broadcasting class assignments to sharing teaching moments and ideas through photos, as educators we can find numerous unique ways to use Instagram in educational setup.

Social media in the classroom is a great way to attract students towards interactive education. In this digital age, our classroom must not necessarily be, how it used to be when we were students. For educators, there are many exciting tools to help our students and Instagram is one among them, incorporating Instagram in the classrooms is one of the easy and effective ways to make education fun in the classroom and to take it way beyond the classroom walls. Instagram encourages collaboration, today’s children are already collaborated outside school but in a different context, but if we

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incorporate Instagram in school activities we can collaborate students about the school activities in the school and also beyond the school walls. It helps to build a community within the classroom, students engage in knowledge building together around a new topic or an idea, like have student browse historical photos and create a bulletin board or poster display. It helps to build creativity in students while they are given a task to create an image or a poster in the educational context, it also aids to showcase their work and get instant feedback from teachers, friends, and family. This helps students to refine and develop their artistic abilities and provide them confidence.

There are many educational benefits of Instagram in the educational context. The article 10 Surprising Ways to Use Instagram in the Classroom narrates 10 awesome ways we can use Instagram in the classroom. Another article in Emerging Ed Tech goes a step ahead in explaining Instagram and how can the application deliver educational benefits and finally if you still have a question on why schools should be using Instagram this article might change your perspective on this amazing multimedia application. To wrap this post, I would like to know, as an educator what do you think about Instagram? have you used it in your classroom, if yes How?

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A DAY IN MY LIFE AROUND MEDIA.

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Hello ECI832,

This week’s assigned blog post task kept me really thinking. Do I have to catalog my whole day I spend on media? Looks like I should, I got a bit worried because I was not sure what this will divulge about me but guess what, in a way, I was excited. So, here I go. My alarm goes off on my phone at 6:30 AM and I stumble around to search my phone and hit snooze so that I get another 10 minutes of sleep, after the alarm goes off for another couple of times and I repeat the process of snoozing it, that’s when I decide it’s time to start my day. What is the first thing I do?  Obviously, I grab my phone and check my emails and once I am done with that, I check my WhatsApp application to see what was going around back home(India) In my social groups when I was asleep.

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Once I am done with my WhatsApp then I quickly move onto the twitter app on my phone to see if anything interesting has been posted since I last checked night. If there’s something of my interest I spend some time with it, quickly retweet it or else just move on to check what’s the weather looks like for the day. After I grab my cup of tea I prefer to use apps like BBC, CNN etc.  These applications give me a sense of what is going around the world, I also prefer to keep a close watch on the news going around back home so I prefer to have another look on few other reliable news applications such as NDTV, TIMES NOW etc. I love music and online radio streaming stations are my preferences. I stream various radio stations on my phone and few other devices while at home or when I am at the university. I enjoy hearing to my favorite channel on my way to university to get an update on recent events in sports, entertainment, politics, weather.

At lunchtime, I check my emails again for any new messages and of course all my social media application. As I scroll through many applications on my phone I check out what’s happening in the news. I guess I am kind of addicted to those news applications on my phone. As I finish my day and head back home I open my transit app to check my ride back. Once I am back home I involve in group chats on WhatsApp, watch a few more Snapchat/ Instagram stories, read a few tweets and call it a day.

Back in the good old days, when individuals got their news mostly from newspapers, magazines, radio, and television, it was usually very easy to figure out when someone was spreading fake news, but internet and social media has made it complicated. News

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irrespective of true or fake its spread within no time and Some websites intentionally write false, amusing stories and try to pose themselves off as real. My personal strategies for analyzing and validating information on whether the news is fake or real is to validate them with various trusted media networks. Whenever I see a news I always try to look for the same form other sources and confirm its validity. I always consider the source, When I read any news section, I always consider the source before trusting or sharing it and check the article’s sources like looking at the author’s information to validate if they are real, reliable and trustworthy.

Finally, it is very important to be informative about identifying fake news, the article,  Evaluating sources in a “post-truth” world: Ideas for teaching and learning about fake news, is an excellent resource that contains a number of different lesson plans and activities regarding the challenges of fake news. To wrap this post, I would like to know how do you plan to tackle fake news? And if you find one on social media websites how often do you flag or report it?

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LITERACY IN DIGITAL ERA

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Hello ECI832!

As the famous Quote states “Education is not the answer to the question. Education is the means to the answer to all questions.” Therefore, I believe that a well-educated individual has one of the life’s most valuable possessions that too as a result of one’s own hard work. Education is the only companion who will be by our side at all times and will never let us down. That is why; a concrete foundation is indispensable in shaping one’s future. Being educated and getting literate has a whole different meaning and I will not dig deep into that discussion but being literate today means a lot more different than what it used to be. The definition of literacy is not constant, it changes and develops to mirror the varying requirements of society. Earlier, the definition of literacy was the ability to read and write books or any printed materials, but the same definition is no longer adequate for this contemporary and digital era.

To address this week’s question “What does it mean to be literate today?”, I was questioning myself because, as society and technology change, so does literacy, according to the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English), Active, successful participants in this 21st-century global society must be able to:

  • Gain proficiency with tools of technology
  • Develop relationships with others and confront and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
  • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
  • Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
  • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts
  • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments

Technology and digital media are altering the meaning of literacy and creating new challenges for teaching and learning in this digital age. Digital literacy, by its description, incorporates an extensive range of skills, all of which are very essential in this rapidly developing digital world. The traditional printed medium is fading away and the skill to understand information found on the internet and digital media has become more significant. Children who do not possess these appropriate digital literacy skills will find themselves vulnerable and left behind just like an individual who does not possess the ability to read and write.

As educators, one of the important concept that we have to focus on is making our students digitally literate. In this digital age, the digital natives are very well equipped with the knowledge of using digital devices but they do not comprehend the appropriate use of them and that is what makes digital literacy more important. One of the significant components of digital literacy is the skill to not only just find the information, but also to assess it appropriately. It is so true that media can be decoded and today’s children are really good at it, they try to make meaning of most of the

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things they see and read over the internet, digital media and in day to day life but  most of the occasions not in an appropriate way and that is what makes media literacy more important and Andrea Quijada TedEd video Creating critical thinkers through media literacy does a wonderful job in explaining it , I completely agree when she states that once students know how to deconstruct media they have gained superpower and I believe that, as educators it is our responsibility to direct them in that direction.

In this media-saturated culture, our kids spend a great amount of time on the internet and they access an enormous amount of data from many sources. It is very important that they are equipped with right media literacy skills which are very important and essential proficiency in the digital age. Media literacy is the skill to recognize different types of media and understand the messages they’re sending, the article “What is media literacy, and why is it important”?  stunningly describes the meaning of media literacy and how it goes beyond the ability to just read and write in the digital world. It narrates how media literacy empowers our kids and make them critical thinkers so that they can evaluate the media and make an appropriate sense of the information they are getting out of it. It makes them a smart consumer of the information which helps them to differentiate between what is credible and what is not.

Finally, I think that the challenge for us as educators is not only to educate our students to read, write but also to help them to gain critically and essential skills to survive and excel in this digital world.  As technology become a vital part and has integrated so intensely in daily life, it’s more important than ever for us to teach digital and media literacy to our students.

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TEACHING DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP

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Hello ECI832!

Education today is drastically evolving and so are our students. Today’s children are budding up in a digital world and Social media tools is integrated as a prominent part of our youth and it offers ocean of resources for students in learning and interactivity, there is no doubt that student benefit using them but in the same way it poses many concerns too and I think as educators it is our duty to tailor our students in becoming positive and efficient digital citizens. Digital citizenship is a word which had no importance or existence when we grew up but now things have changed. Now, the same topic is frequently educated in schools. Digital citizenship is an idea that helps educators, parents, students and technology user comprehend the proper use of technology. It is high time for us as educators to acknowledge the fact that we are no longer teaching our kids how to use technology (they are often proficient basic users of technology) but we are here to teach how responsibly use it.

 In the globally well-connected world that we are living today where technology plays a vital role and becoming more and more efficient and essential, the question that pops up in my mind is “Are we preparing our children for the future and teaching our kids the importance of digital citizenship”? There are many speculations with respect to the preparation of the children for the future but how do we get there? I believe that the current educational model needs to be rationalized to understand and achieve the skills and characteristics which will be very important for our students in the future. Dr. Alec’s and Katia Hildebrandt guide to “Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools” document provides an excellent guideline for school divisions and school-based administrators who are developing digital citizenship policies, I totally agree when it states that “Our world is changing, and schools need to adapt to new realities of knowledge, society, and education. Technology has fundamentally changed our idea of community and the ways in which we interact with each other, so that building individual networks for learning and support is more important than ever before”

As an educator back in days in my home country, I always felt that we need to do more than what we were doing to educate our children about digital citizenship. The country is booming with technology innovations and offered a lot to the world yet it has not recognized the immediate need of educating children about online behavior and making the digitally literate. I always felt that there is a strong need to integrate digital citizenship and Internet Maturity courses in Schools curriculum. As my fellow classmate, Ms. Moser states in her blog post I also feel that we lack the tools to appropriately introduce digital citizenship in our classrooms in an authentic way that will benefit students. I believe that the fundamentals of digital citizenship are not so different from the basic beliefs of traditional citizenship, one must be kind, respectful and accountable, and contribute in events that make the world a better place and that is what we as educators must teach our students and make them ready to be for the digital world.

The article “What is media literacy, and why is it important”?  beautifully describes the meaning of media literacy and how it goes beyond the ability to just read and write in the digital world. Our kids spend a great deal of time on the internet and they access an enormous amount of data from many sources and as educators, it is very important that we educate our kid’s media literacy skills which are very important and essential proficiency in the digital age. The article sheds light on what is media literacy and why is it so important for youngsters in this digital age. It is so true that media can be decoded and today’s kids are really good at it, they try to make meaning of most of the things they see and read over the internet and day to day life but most of the times not in an appropriate way and that is what makes media literacy more important and Andrea Quijada  in her TedEd video Creating critical thinkers through media literacy does a wonderful job in explaining it , I completely agree when she states that once students know how to deconstruct media they have gained super power and I believe we can lead them in that direction.

To reflect on our own digital life and practices, I believe that we must be right example to our students and showcase appropriate online behavior and importance of digital footprint. Patrick Maze’s discussion this week in our class further justified how important it is for us as educators to be mindful of and carefully monitor our digital footprint. Finally, as educators, we have to educate our students that using technology is a privilege which comes with a great responsibility if we don’t educate them the appropriate use of technology they will eventually end up in trouble. The article 9 resources for teaching digital citizenship explains how can we teach kids to use technology responsibly when the technology is changing faster than we can keep up. The article focuses on teaching Citizenship in the digital age and the challenges of teaching digital citizenship.

To wrap this week’s post, I would love to know how do you think could be the ideal way to introduce the concept of digital citizenship to today’s digital natives who assume that they know it all? and what challenges lie ahead for us as educators in this digital era to introduce the concept of digital citizenship when we lack the appropriate tools in our infrastructure?

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