Sunday, May 26, 2013

Do You Check Facebook While Working? So Do Your Students! How do We Teach Kids to Manage their Internet Time Well?


Over the last 2 months, I have been “re-delivering” to you my experience from the ECIS Conference.  I have written about Marc Prensky’s presentation on Teaching Digital Natives, Julie Lindsay’s Flat Classroom programHeather Martin’s presentation on Flipped Classrooms,   Chadman Nair’s presentation on Creating Truly Global Citizens, and Calien Hargrave’s presentation on the Importance of Collaboration Skills for our Students’ Future Employability.  In each redelivery post, I have shared a video of the actual speech, all of the keynotes at the conference were recorded and shared on YouTube.  If you haven’t watched any of the other videos, take the next 20 minutes to watch today’s video.  I’ve saved the best for last!

This is Jeff Utecht, and he was my favorite speaker of entire event.  He is a presenter, a consultant, and the author of the book Reach: Building Communities and Networks for Professional Development.  His keynote speech is about the importance of using the internet to create communities.  He also talked about allowing and encouraging students to use the internet to connThe line between work life and social life has blurred. Are we teaching our students to manage their time appropriately?  If you check Facebook and Pinterest when working, why can't your students?ect and create in their own way.  After his keynote, he also did an hour long presentation on using Google with your students, and how to use it better yourself. 

One of the key points he made for me was how important  it is to teach time management skills.  For adults now, there is almost no line between our work life and our social life.  Be honest, how many times do you check personal e-mail or facebook at school?  How often do you flip between facebook and lesson planning?  If we’re doing it, we know that our kids are doing it.  Many schools are using this excuse to BAN facebook, e-mail etc.  Jeff Utecht says that’s the wrong approach.  He says instead of making it taboo, we need to teach our kids how to manage their time correctly online and to encourage positive connections.  When a school he was working with allowed Facebook to be available at school, the first thing the kids did was use it to create a movement asking the store across the street to ban plastic bags – and they succeeded!

I use checklists, and priority lists to help my students manage time in the class during independent work time.  After listening to Jeff’s speech, I have started to incorporate the same strategies into their computer and iPad time.  By knowing what they have to do and checking it off, they are more focused on their task at hand.  I have also added a “Fun Things I Found” section to most of my internet research sheets, because we all know that sometimes we find cool stuff out there that is on our topic, but may not answer the questions we are looking for.

So, my question for today is – are you teaching your students to manage work and play time on the computer successfully?

Here is Jeff Utecht’s speech – it is worth the watch!

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources