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Major Project – Primary Students

Action Steps

Lesson 2: Safety in My Online Neighborhood from Common Sense Education

  • Sharing in student discussions has opened up my eyes and brought me to a better understanding of what is needed in schools.
  • As I was listening to the students talk it is evident that in some situations students have too much freedom on the internet, many don’t check in with an adult and applying the digital elements may not always transfer.
  • I asked the grade 3 students to brainstorm what an online neighborhood would look like.
  • Their responses varied but the vocabulary needs to be build on. Therefore a common language should be intentionally taught.
  • Supporting Resouces: Slides – Common Sense Education
  • Student Response Sheet: Online Safety Please Note: The concept is adopted from Common Sense Education and template design created by myself.
Se Link

Next Step…

  1. Willie Ermine will be sharing a presentation for our school this week. This is amazing!
  2. Staff and Students will participate in a mentimeter activity following the presentation (first time using mentimeter).
  3. Middle years students will learn how to use WeVideo and reflect on Willie Ermines presentation.
  4. WeVideo offers a differentiated approach for students to share their thought process. It offers students a comfortable approach to sharing in a creative way. Stay tuned….

Trying and Teaching Technology

This past week I began teaching grades 1 and 2 about digital citizenship. This is a very broad and contextualized term for grade 1 and 2 students, so I began creating lessons and supports for both the students and teachers, in hopes that it will initiate and guide some conversations for teachers to be able to continue. In short, my opinion has now shifted to an absolute yes; educators do play a role in teaching digital citizenship. I try not to think about the last decade of my teaching and how I rarely gave this topic thought and instead I am focusing on sharing in a growth mindset along with my students, engaging in this learning process together. As I continue to refine my own teaching practice, I realize that teaching the outcomes through an inquiry approach is the way to connect information and outcomes to enrich students’ learning. Now isn’t the time to question teachers’ workloads, now is the time to shift our mindsets about what we are teaching and our approach. My vision will continue to build and connect digital literacy in an authentic interwoven way throughout all subjects.

Be Authentic…

Be Honest…

Be intentional…

My knowledge is growing in this area and, to be truthful, in some ways I am still unsure about the digital knowledge system. In saying this, my pedagogy is to just try and begin. So, this is what I did this week and I am blown away by the conversations I shared with the students and some of the amazing learning that took place. The lesson was linked to Grade 1 Health. The students were very engaged in the lessons and they were able to connect as they are familiar with the technology. The lesson that Common Sense Education shared on Pause for People, exemplifies the importance of human interaction and how we need to learn healthy balance and boundaries online. As an educator, I believe we need to intentionally teach safety and balance while using technology. I loved listening to the vocabulary that the students used as we discussed what online and offline meant. I’ve realized the importance of explicitly teaching digital literacy concepts and not assuming students all have this knowledge. I observed many students knowing terms such as; online, Wi-Fi, data, offline, iPad, technology, computer, phone, and the internet; however, they were not always familiar with the meaning behind them. As I (we) continue to build on these concepts we will begin normalizing conversations surrounding digital literacy.

Supporting Resources and Links:

In the article, What is media literacy and why does it matter? Media Literacy is defined as, “the ability to understand information that is presented to us and respond appropriately.” This should be the driving force of educators and a foundation for teachers to create their lessons around. We as educators need to shift our mindset to a place of integrated learning that integrates digital citizenship in an intentional way. If educators are not comfortable teaching it then it is up to them as professionals to begin to unwrap their own vision of what technology in the classroom looks like.

The Digital Citizenship Handbook for School Leaders by Mike Ribble and Marty Park offers easy-to-follow information, lessons, and simple action points that can be implemented in schools and classrooms. Jason Ohler states, “Digital Citizenship is the new character education, not replacing but rather adding to our approach to character that began long before computers arrived.” This reiterates the fact that education is ever-evolving and as professionals, we have a responsibility to begin our learning journey. Regina Public Schools has dedicated time and intentionality to growing and developing digital citizenship. Definitely, we are headed in the right direction as a school division. As we begin to come out of COVID, we have clearly seen how technology is essential in our world today. There is a lot of autonomy in teaching, which is amazing to create and design our lessons and engage our students in our own way. I believe that as an educator we need to continue to engage in PD opportunities and develop our responses to technology in a manner that educates our students. School leaders need to prioritize digital citizenship and equip teachers with resources to teach these skills to kids.

Change comes as we continue to engage in conversations and push ourselves to learn new skill sets. We want to evolve with technology and create safe learning spaces for educators to continue to be able to develop skills. An overwhelming feeling seems to linger among educators asking “where do I start when implementing new information around technology?” As a new learner in the digital world, I’ve realized that by beginning to engage in conversations around digital citizenship. we can normalize and formulate a common language. As I began teaching the Grade 1 and 2 lessons from Common Sense Education I am learning to be confident and taking risks keeps me accountable in the classrooms as well as as a professional. Moving forward, as a school community we hope to continue these pertinent conversations through weekly tech tips and design a working group to facilitate action plans for our school community, teachers, and students. Check out the poster to help us engage in these powerful conversations. Thomson Tech Tips

To conclude, here are some wise words from Amanda Brace, a coordinator with Regina Public Schools “We all have different passions and strengths in education and in our classrooms, therefore, we need digital citizenship to be built off our strengths. We don’t all have to teach it the same, however, we do all need to implement it in a way that is best for us and our students.” As we embark on a new week, I look forward to learning and teaching digital citizenship.

Thank you for checking out my blog posts. Take care!

kinanaskomitin = grateful/ thank you

Major Project Update….Try and Teach

This week I will be focussing on specific Digital Citizenship lessons within the building support. I am introducing Digital Citizenship and Literacy to the primary grades and expect to enjoy many conversations and learning with the students. As an educator, actively teaching the knowledge I have learned will authentically engage the students and help my own practice. I will share the slides I have been creating and pictures of my journey. My goal is to establish classroom conversations and allow the students to guide some of the lessons. I anticipate creating classroom pledges with the groups I am working with. Common Sense Media offers such amazing tools and lessons that will support my lessons.

I will be creating lessons and teaching them for the following grades:

  • Grade 1-3
  • Grade 5/6
  • Grade 7/ 8

Growing and Learning!

Until this class, I rarely thought about what digital identity encapsulates. Sounds perhaps naive, but now more than ever, I am exploring the digital presence I have placed out into the world. I have been learning how to authentically teach students about being healthy digital citizens.

My decolonization process this past decade has really initiated my unlearning process within my own space and my place here on Earth. To a point, I feel like, in ways, I set aside my digital responsibility as an educator to feel grounded in my process as an educator and my own personal identity. This grounding sensation within my own identity reconnects me to my place within a worldview I began to connect with. This propelled my mission as an educator to continue to learn and unlearn my thinking and advocate for Indigenous education. Teaching Indigenous content should come from a respectful place and a worldview that reflects Indigenous people authentically. This journey has allowed me to develop a breadth of knowledge; while decolonizing my spirit, mind, and space. 

As a mother, educator, and community member living on Treaty Four territory, discovering my identity and unveiling my roots is something I must keep as a central component in my research. Absolon (2011) expresses, “to remember who we are and where we come….,” (p.16). This has become a central grounding for me as I delve into this new learning realm.

My Digital Presence in my past…
  • My digital footprint began when I first logged into MSN a very long time ago. Since then, I have grown a little bit; however, my knowledge is still evolving. I did not ever think back when I played around with MSN that my digital footprint would be on it forever. I knew there were dangers to being online, however, I didn’t understand the tools or how to critically navigate the online world. I just remember there being a ‘fear factor to going online but no education or guidance on how to safely use it.
  • As I deepen my relationship with Twitter, Instagram, and blogs, I remain cautious about entering and logging onto any digital platform. Deepening my understanding of these platforms has allowed me to post more confidently and participate in media literacy in an educated way. I am more aware and critical when thinking of what to post and join in.

Moving Forward…

  • As I mentioned I was fearful back in the day about the digital world; however, I don’t want to instill this fear into my daughter or my students. By learning specifically about digital media and citizenship, I will be skilled and able to engage critically in media literacy education.
  • My digital presence has grown as I learned about Twitter, and I would like to continue this growth. This class has pushed me to read, learn, and post more on this platform.

My Future as an Educator…

  • I implemented the 9 Elements of becoming a Digital Citizen by Dr. Ribble into my lessons.
  • Connecting Indigenous knowledge to people through multimedia.
  • Implementing WeVideo as a tool in the classroom to teach Digital Citizenship.
  • Encouraging students to create their own digital citizenship pledges.
  • Embedding Digital Citizenship and normalizing it throughout my everyday teaching
  • Using Common Sense Media to help educate my students and other teachers.
  • I keep coming back to the article, Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools, as an excellent document that shares a continuum for educators to follow that is cross-curricular in nature and encompasses Dr. Ribbles’ 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship. The continuum identifies the critical areas explicitly for educators to begin working with.

My Future as a Mother…

  • I will continue to educate myself with tools that will equip me to share healthy strategies with my daughter. Common Sense Media offers parents and educators valuable tips to inform those close to us and how to navigate the digital world wisely. I enjoyed the breakdown of information and options as a parent and educator exploring this tool.
  • One thing I have learned to begin building with my daughter is creating new dialogue around the iPad or online activity. Setting healthy boundaries and limits come with normalizing healthy lifestyle choices. Having discussions around digital identity at a young age will help my daughter healthily understand the digital world.
  • Here is a Common Sense Media Pledge that I will show my daughter and primary students.

Connecting Digital Identity to Digital Citizenship…

  • Interrelated
  • Our online identity is connected to being balanced and kind online.
  • Navigating the digital world in a kind and appropriate way.

Throughout the reading, The Digital Identity: What is it and Why is it valuable? Digital identity is “a collection of features and characteristics associated with a uniquely identifiable individual — stored and authenticated in the digital sphere — and used for transactions, interactions, and representations online.” The author shares the term digital sphere, which helps a new learner understand digital literacy’s unlimited options. Keith Metcalfe identifies 4 categories that encapsulate the digital world:

  • Credentials
  • Character
  • User
  • Reputation

Furthering Metcalfe’s notion, one statement that resonates with me is, “The march is on to establish digital identities that fully mirror the real-life identities of individuals.” This statement identifies the vital link between our online identities and human qualities. All qualities affect us as individuals in our personal world, communities, and social context. I love how this definition encompasses the reality we have in shaping the narrative in our lives. We must continue building a bridge between the two worlds and educate our students together in an open environment about digital media’s opportunities.

The Evolution of my Major Project

Listening to Dr. Ribble share and learning about digital citizenship and a “New Space” continuously prompted me to deepen my understanding of digital citizenship.  The Progression Chart of the 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship, clearly identifies the process that students can be educated in. Drawing on Dr. Ribble’s notion of Digital Citizenship, as a society, we must join in a partnership with technology, not fear it. I am gently reminded of Willie Ermine’s video on “Ethical Space” and remembering our intent of our journey to becoming “good citizens”. Leading with respect will always guide our paths in a healthy way.

The main concepts: (Ribble, 2019)

1.  Digital Access

2.  Digital Commerce

3.  Digital Communication & Collaboration

4.  Digital Rights & Responsibilities

5.  Digital Health & Welfare

6.  Digital Fluency

7.  Digital Security & Privacy

8.  Digital Etiquette

9.  Digital Law

As a family, we are trying to normalize our conversations around the technology tools we use or access.  Rather than fearing and labeling technology as a negative thing, we are relearning proper digital citizenship terms and becoming educated in Ribble’s 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship. As a mother, inviting technology into our home in an educated form gives me hope for our future. 

The following quote resonates with me as I read through The Digital Citizenship Handbook for School Leaders: “No matter what segment of society you belong to, technology is defining you and evaluating what you do and where you go” (Ribble & Park, 2019, p.4).  In some sense, I feel an urgency to identify my shortcomings as an educator and deepen, not only my understanding of digital citizenship but initiate change as a Response Teacher. I learn best by actively participating in activities and then executing them within my classroom setting or collaborating with colleagues.  Dr. Ribble gave me the confidence to not only strengthen my own understanding for my daughter but additionally offer tools to use in my teaching practice.  Currently, the only way I can begin to encourage teachers to teach digital citizenship is by modeling my process and learning experience.

Moving forward into my major project, I have teamed up with the Grade 5/6 teacher at one of my schools and taught the students how to use WeVideo. I have always been a strong believer in student engagement and passionately lead my practice with authentic writing opportunities. I plan to combine the two ideas and engage the students in a reflective journal activity followed by a visit from an elder. Following that, the students will be taught how to instill their writing reflections into a WeVideo.

I hope to teach many of the elements of Digital Citizenship by Dr. Ribble throughout my major project. Specifically with a focus on digital equity, digital rights and responsibilities, and digital health and Wellness.  All of the elements are significant to becoming a Digital Citizen. I look forward to observing and reflecting on how the students share their feelings about their own journeys on digital citizenship.

Some options I plan to incorporate in the Grade 5/6 classroom are:  

  1. Script Writing- Using story elements the students will create a written script and then transfer it onto the computer, using WeVideo. 
  2. Reflect and Retell- Using a reflective process, the students will write a reflective response from the Elder visit.  A retelling option will be provided as well. Students will design their retell through WeVideo.
  3. Storyboard- Students will create a storyboard picture on WeVideo and then write from that as a prompt. 

Thinking Things Through…

  • Accessing technology is not always available for students.  Discussion around this and problem solving will be key in establishing a success baseline for the students.  
  • I met with a colleague, Georgina Lee, grade 6/7 teacher, and we chatted about digital citizenship in the classroom.  We discussed how the students often will organically discuss digital citizenship without being explicitly taught. Normalizing the conversations!!! Yay!
  • In the book, “The Digital Citizenship Handbook for School Leaders,” there are designed middle-grade lesson plans circulating around the 9 elements.  I hope to incorporate these ideas, as it is an easy way to dip my toes into this learning process for myself and my students.  I look forward to adding a creative edge using WeVideo, however teaching the content around digital citizenship will add a new dimension to my major project.  Why not learn alongside the students? What better way to deepen my understanding than through actively engaging in the learning process with them? I am excited to continue to grow and learn and apply what I am learning into my practice. Thanks for coming along this journey with me!

Digital Tools In the School….Where Are We At?

Dr. Alec Couros and Dr. Katia Hildebrandt‘s Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools offer instructional support as students and educators navigate the learning curve online and the responsibility it brings. As an educator, I was not confident in this area of education and often collaborated and processed situations with my colleague, Aaron Warner. I would observe and listen to the conversations he would have with his students and watch his students critically navigate the technology tools they used to critically examine their thinking process and digital footprint.

I began asking teachers about this planning guide for school divisions. Some had definitely heard about it, but many new teachers hadn’t familiarized themselves with it. I remember Regina Public Schools had a trained catalyst in the schools to help execute and model digital citizenship.

Digital Citizenship Ecuation in Saskatchewan

The highlighted points reference the significant purpose of this document and the significant responsibility educators have in modeling and guiding students towards implementing the policy. I believe these visuals are excellent guidelines for teachers to follow. It is important for students to learn and understand digital citizenship in today’s world.

I reached out to Amanda Brace, the Student Achievement Coordinator with Regina Public Schools, and asked her where the division is at in terms of this policy. She shared that teachers are embedding digital citizenship into their classroom, and as always, there is room to embed and practice it more. Amanda Brace references The 5 Competencies of being a Digital Citizen, which is clear and concise for adult learners and educators.

Educators must be:

  • Inclusive
  • Informed
  • Engaged
  • Balanced
  • Alert

Amanda has become like a mentor to me, and it is wonderful to engage in new dialogue, learn, and understand new technology platforms. I have been stretching my thinking in this new and relevant learning realm. I am grateful for the EC&I 831 community as well to help troubleshoot as we learn from each other on this journey.

Regina Public Schools recognizes its responsibility with Digital Citizenship and recommends using Couros and Hildebrandt’s Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools guide for students K-12. I believe this is a great place for educators to start accessing lessons and resources to teach digital citizenship. I am excited to explore the unique ideas on how to teach digital citizenship in an engaging way.

Keegan Korf is the Lead Teacher of Digital Citizenship for the Omaha Public Schools and Common Sense Media. She explores how authenticity is important while teaching digital citizenship. Korf (2017) states in her Ted Talk that:

  • “Entering a public school system all eyes are on you and you must model digital citizenship.”
  • “Online narrative should reflect real life.”
  • “Empower online presence in kids for good.”


As I embrace the technology world, questions continue to arise within me; all learning and unlearning our own individual processes. As an educator, human connection and relationships drive me to march into a space that is unfamiliar to me. This is where land-based pedagogy grounds me with my own personal narrative. To me, land-based pedagogy is the connection we make with the land.  Walking, talking, being, connecting, and embodying the land through our senses is imperative to access and engage in the relationship we share with the land.  Connecting to identity provides individuals with insight into who they are and their place and confidence in the world. Unlearning the systemic colonial narratives that continue to persist within our education walls continues to be my focus. Furthering this, digital citizenship connects to students and their online identity. Their online presence is important and must be taught, modeled, and made a priority within our school settings. Common Sense Education offers lessons for grades K-12 on educating students in a safe and relatable manner. This is a great place for teachers to guide their teaching practice on digital identity. As educators, we can easily connect digital citizenship to cross-curricular outcomes. We can empower students to navigate the digital world safely and confidently. Connecting culturally responsive education along with digital citizenship will benefit our students and foster an authentic learning journey.

Thanks for reading my second blog post. Take care!

Major Project Ideas- WeVideo Classroom

As Covid hit our world, our education systems and families were disrupted to a whole new level.  As a passionate educator, pivoting into an unfamiliar realm, the technology world, which was out of my comfort zone, was going to be a new learning venture. 

I had a strong colleague, Aaron Warner, that was always willing to help me dive into technology and challenge my thinking and teaching practice.  I began teaching my Grade 3 units through an Inquiry based approach which allowed for critical thinking and an invitation for my students to engage in their own learning journey. 

During supplemental learning, I began creating WeVideos for my classroom and really started to develop this online tool as additional background information for my lessons.  I found it extremely easy to use and the students and families loved the videos. Here are some WeVideos that I created in collaboartion with Jeff Cappo. Additionally, I enjoyed using WeVideo for my grad classes as we participated online.  It allowed me to express my learning in a unique and creative way. Here is the introduction to a project I created using the The Seven Sacred Teachingsas my overall framework. hiy hiy

PLease click on the link if you would like to take a listen to an older project that I created using WeVideo.

WeVideo has recently launched WeVideo Classroom that I would like to learn more about as part of my final project.  We have access to this tool through our division.  I am really interested in learning the new features they have developed and I think this would be fun to delve into.

Check out the new features of WeVideo Classroom

Additionally, I would like to critically analyze the apps that we have access to through our division.  We have access to ipads for our students with a variety of learning apps. I would like to take time to explore the apps in further detail and uncover the benefits each app has. As a learning response teacher, I feel having a deeper understanding of these in school apps would enable me to reach some of the families that perhaps need to be re-engaged into the classroom. Rarely teachers have time to see what apps are on our classroom idpas and the benefits to student learning. When I was a classroom teacher my students frequently used Seesaw, Raz-Kids, Epic Books and Matheletics. I enjoyed these apps, however I would like to look further into the benefits of all the apps we have access to through our division. As a mother and educator, I am grateful to explore these technology tools in order help educate my own daughter as well as my students. I am excited to start this technology journey and dive deeper into the existing tools, as well as deepen my understanding and practice to benefit student learning.  Thank you for reading my blog!

First Post

Welcome to my first blog post. I am excited to venture into the world of technology. I feel very overwhelmed venturing into the tech world. However, I know this will be a valuable learning curve and very beneficial to my professional development.

I have always found that being connected to the land has helped me heal throughout my journey.  This journey has come full circle, connecting me to my identity.  My worldview is shifting and continually changing, evolving into a space that leaves me wondering, earning, and striving for more.  I believe there is power in the connection between knowledge and spirit.

Here is one of my favorite quotes by an inspiring educator, Willie Ermine. I have had the honor of taking a class with him and meeting him this past summer. I am been blessed to have learned from him during my Masters of Indigenous Education.

Drawing on Ermine’s philosophy, I believe we can create these opportunities that connect and give language to the children within our outdoor learning environments (and even perhaps in the classroom), then perhaps we can create an interconnectedness that not only encourages belonging but allows it to flourish. This is re-engagement.

I am excited about how I can grow and develop skills to help connect media literacies with land-based pedagogies. As they continue to ground me, I share these reflections as I deepen my understanding of Digital Citizenship and Media Literacies this semester in EC&I 832 with Dr. Alec Couros.