Lesson Plans. Interactive Games.
Professional Development. Family Education.
Navigating cyberbullying, privacy, safety, and other digital dilemmas are a real challenge for schools. But technology also provides incredible opportunities for students to learn, connect, create, and collaborate in ways never before imagined.
Your school can build a positive school culture that supports the safe and responsible use of technology with Common Sense Education’s K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum. Students can build skills around critical thinking, ethical discussion, and decision making. And you and your school can join thousands of others across the globe by getting recognized for your efforts.
Our turnkey curriculum includes comprehensive resources for students, like lesson plans, student digital interactives, and assessments, as well as professional development for teachers and materials for family education.
App Review: Pokemon Go, the very basics, safety issues, and Pokemon Go and libraries
This weekend my timeline flooded with posts about Pokemon Go. Then on Sunday afternoon, The Teen came home from a friend’s house declaring they had walked 3 miles trying to catch Pokemons. So I decided I needed to figure out what this Pokemon Go is because my teens are definitely in to it.
Pokemon Go is an app that you download to your mobile device. You then use it to go and “catch” Pokemons. You can use the Pokemons that you have caught to battle other players in places that are called “Gyms”.
Here’s how it works:
After you create your character, you follow a map on your phone to try and find Pokemons.
Once you are close enough to a Pokemon, you then try and catch them, hence the “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” slogan. When you are close, it then gives you a prompt and turns on your camera. You can take a picture with your Pokemon.
You then use your finger and kind of fling the Pokeball to catch your Pokemon.
Once you catch it, it is added to your Pokedex. It’s like a Rolodex of all your Pokemon. Yesterday I met a man my age walking around the neighborhood, he had 42 Pokemon in his Pokedex. I have 6.
You can also apparently go to Poke Gyms and battle other players, though I have not done this. This man’s house is apparently a gym and people keep showing up at the middle of the night to do their gym battles and he kind of wishes that maybe they wouldn’t:This Guy’s House Was Turned Into A Gym On Pokémon.
Pokemon Go and Safety Issues
It’s also important to know that there are some inherent safety issues to consider in Pokemon Go, because you have to go places to catch Pokemon. For example, I had no problem with my kids walking around a certain defined radius of our local neighborhood to catch Pokemon, but not all kids will have this luxury because they live in unsafe neighborhoods. And there is also the issue that we live in a time where POC probably feel less safe walking around playing. The Mary Sue had this important post on the subject of race that you will want to read: Black Geek Writes About How His Experience of Pokémon GO Is Affected By Race. To highlight this point, on my neighborhood FB group this morning someone posted that there was a “dark skinned man” parked outside her house taking a picture and she thought he was casing the neighborhood, but many other people responded that he was just probably playing Pokemon Go. However, apparently, some robbers are in fact using Pokemon Go to target people:Robbers use Pokémon Go to target victims. So while Pokemon Go may be a lot of fun, not all players will have the same experience and it is important of us all to be mindful of that.
You’ll also want to remember not to catch Pokemon and drive, there have already been a couple of accidents related to Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go and Libraries
Some libraries have discovered that they are Poke Stops (they help you level up and give you special stuff) or Gyms and are capitalizing on that. In addition, some libraries are hosting Pokemon Clubs for players to meet and share their tips and tricks.
Bethany (@bookrarian) on Twitter is doing some cool things with Pokemon Go at their library, including setting “lures”. See also:
You’ll definitely want to be aware of this game so that you can be ready to talk to the people who come into your library about it. And honestly, it’s fun. I think I will keep playing.
In this day and age, where anyone with access to the internet can create a website, it is critical that we as educators teach our students how to evaluate web content. There are some great resources available for educating students on this matter, such as Kathy Schrock’s Five W’s of Website Evaluation or the University of Southern Maine’s Checklist for Evaluating Websites.
Along with checklists and articles, you will also find wonderfully funny hoax websites, aimed at testing readers on their ability to evaluate websites. These hoax sites are a great way to bring humor and hands-on evaluation into your classroom, and test your students’ web resource evaluation IQ!
Check out these 11 example hoax sites for use in your own classrooms:
- All About Explorers
- Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division
- California’s Velcro Crop Under Challenge
- Feline Reactions to Bearded Men
- Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
- Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie
- British Stick Insect Foundation
- The Jackalope Conspiracy
- Buy Dehydrated Water
- Republic of Molossia
- Dog Island
Of all of these, my favorite is always the Dihydrogen Monoxide website, which aims to ban dihydrogen monoxide and talks in detail about its dangers. Only after a few minutes did I catch that dihydrogen monoxide, is after all, H2O!
Posted By Laura Devaney On July 21, 2014 @ 6:00 am In Curriculum,Featured on eSchool News,Resource,Technologies,Top News
Technology is a necessary part of formal and informal learning today. After all, students will need tech skills as they move into college and the workforce.
Using tech in the classroom today will help students develop and build those essential tech skills so that they can compete on a global scale.
And often, today’s educators and administrators learn much of their tech skills from students, who are tech experts in their own right. Tech-savvy teachers take the tech skills gleaned from students and use them for academic and instructional purposes.
(Next page: The top signs you’re a tech-savvy educator)
What does it mean to be a tech-savvy educator? Research and studies point to 10 distinguishing characteristics .
Want to explore this topic further? Check out our Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards program  to learn about the hallmarks of a tech-savvy school leader.
10. You embrace new technologies, new tech tools, and aren’t afraid to try new things and be “stumped” for a while.
9. Digital citizenship means something to you. You know its basic definition, but beyond that, you encourage and urge others to learn about digital citizenship, its implications, and what it means in their lives.
8. You have an international help desk. Sure, your colleagues in the next classroom or down the hall might be able to help you with a tech problem, but then again, they might not. So what do you do? You take your problem to your professional learning network or other learning community, and ask colleagues across the country or across the world.
7. You speak tech, you speak it well, and you speak it consistently. Buzzwords mean more to you–you take time to learn about each new trend and phrase and what they mean.
6. Summer vacation isn’t really a vacation–it’s a chance for you to expand your knowledge. Conferences, professional development camps, online hangouts…you relish the chance to learn more.
5. Did someone say Twitter chat? And you don’t just participate in or follow one Twitter chat–you’re connected to #edchat, your state’s ed-tech Twitter chat, subject-specific Twitter chats, and the list goes on. Oh–and you have a smartphone, of course, so that you can tweet on the go.
4. You’ve never actually met most of your friends. Well, not in person, anyway. Through social networking, you’ve formed professional relationships with huge numbers of people. You may even be fortunate enough to meet some at various ed-tech conferences.
3. You have a professional, or personal, learning network–PLN, for short. This means you’ve gone beyond the basics to cultivate a group of go-to colleagues and experts who challenge you, help you when you have tech problems, and who help you think outside the box.
2. Online PD is a normal occurrence for you. Sure, day-long workshops might have one or two bits of great information. But lots of your professional learning is found online, through social media and other virtual workshops.
1. Your students follow your blog (this gives you more street cred than you realize). Your students know that they can find homework help, tips and tricks, and more resources through your posts.
What do you want your students to do? There’s an edtech app for that! Created by @Poeteacher