Tuesday, April 18, 2017

When Fifth Graders Make Websites For Fun

Today our lower school principal sent me a text that said "Some fifth graders have something they want to show you." I was intrigued but also a little nervous. After I made it to the office I was given a slip of paper with a web address on it: https://sites.google.com/view/lava-studios-comics/la-va. There are times in your life you are just so proud and blown away by students and in this case I had absolutely NOTHING to do with this. Five of our students created a website to host comic strips they have created in their free time. I was so impressed that I interviewed two of the students (Aiden and Brody) this afternoon on what they had done:

Being a preK-12th grade school, we are currently working to create a profile for the technology skills we want a graduate to have. This endeavor that these students took on that wasn't even part of their curriculum is a prime example that we are no longer teaching the same type of students we have in the past! These students used classical art skills and creative writing skills and turned them into a contemporary format. 

When I look at the major headings of technology skills we are wanting a graduate to have I look at the why, how, and what these 5 fifth graders have created and I can't help but want to put a check mark by everything. And lets not loose sight of the fact that this was all because they wanted to! If you listen to their video you see we not only have innovators but also potential entrepreneurs on our hands. To see today's young students using technology creatively as positive digital stewards in a globally reachable world makes my heart happy. I helped them think about some digital safety measures they might want to take and they have already made those changes. Why? Because it's what they WANT to do with their free time. 

Read the following goals we are currently working on for technology integration student standards (that have been adapted from the ISTE Student Standards) and see what you think these students have accomplished:

CCS Technology Integration Standards for Students
1. Empowered Learner
As truth seekers students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning modalities.

2. Digital Stewards
Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and God honoring.

3. Knowledge Constructor
Students critically curate with responsibility and discernment a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.

4. Innovative Designer
Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.

5. Computational Thinker
Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions with integrity.

6. Creative Communicator
Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.

7. Global Collaborator
Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively as Christ-centered critical thinkers.