In the end…….Service Learning

How can digital media that enables connection, creation, and collaboration enable us to better fulfill a school/ campus/ organization’s mission/ enact our values?
What are some limitations in the potential of digital media for enacting our mission and values?
The following is the mission statement for my High School.
“Our mission is to create an environment that encourages staff and students to learn and develop academically, emotionally, physically and socially. We strive to instill pride in self and school and to produce independent learners capable of critical thinking and participating in a global community.”
In the end digital media that enables connection, creation and collaboration enables us to better fulfill a school/campus/organization’s mission by empowering teachers and students.
Empowering them because it allows them to learn and connect to the world outside the classroom to participate in the global community. Digital media enhances the interest of students and engages them in educational activities.
For instance, blogs are a great way for the development of creative thinking and writing in students. It provides freedom to students to post whatever they want and comment upon or share each other’s material. Blogging makes students feel responsible for their own learning and they are encouraged to incorporate creativity in their learning through them. Skype and blogs can also be used to reach out to the other side of the world to communicate with other students and teachers and learn from each other. Starting a blog for this class and then introducing my students to blogging has certainly opened up my mind and teaching practices in order to try new things and take risks.
Digital media also promotes creativity and independence, making cartoons, comic strips and using digital story telling are just a few of the ways that students can use technology to be creative. Telling a story is a powerful way to communicate with others. It improves the creative skills of students and helps them explore the meaning of their own work and experience. Students can create their own digital stories or comics with applications like, Story Bird, Powtoons, and Toontastic.
Instructional technologies also provide some students important access to traditional classroom instruction. Students who have physical or learning disabilities can use a variety of assistive technologies in order to be an active member of a mainstreamed class.
In my classroom, I strive to have a cooperative, caring classroom, where children cultivate friendship, sharing, respectfulness, truthfulness, and caring. I think that the use of digital media can help to enact our values in the classroom through the teaching and learning of citizenship and digital citizenship in partnership with how we teach values now. Values are enabled by sharing and collaborating with peers in group activities, just like we did in class with our book circles. Everyone was respectful and communication was enhanced by tweeting and texting each other.
The limitations in the potential of digital media for our missions and values are that of getting teachers up to speed to use the tools that are available so that they can teach students how to use them. The way that teachers and students use the media also presents some limitations as well as the lack of access of digital media for students and families. Student access to computers at home may also cause problems, and varying quality of student electronic devices can create inequity in projects and presentations.

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One thought on “In the end…….Service Learning

  1. I have a sense that you’ll continue to explore ways to use digital tools to support learning and teaching. The field in which you work is changing so quickly — and you’ve done a great job jumping in to explore some of the possibilities. It’s been great working with you again!

    Like

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