Slice of Life Possibilities


It’s March Slice of Life Challenge by the Two Writing Teachers:

Write a slice of your life every day —  a moment of an any day or every day experience. Write it so others can live through it.

How It Began

Slice Challenge 2017

When I was a middle school teacher for thirty-one years, I discovered this wonderful motivational challenge. My students loved writing every Tuesday for Slice of Life Tuesday, and twice many of the students accepted the March: Write a Slice a Day challenge.

Some students had occasional mental blocks, so I created a Google Slides menu of suggestions, along with some writing expectations for digital safety and for writing class. We adapted these as needed, but below are the possibilities and the Slice Menu options for 2017.

If any of my former students or others would like to participate, just add a link to your Slice blog post or document in the comments for this post so others can find and read your Slice stories. Please also comment [using your positive netiquette — see slides] and encourage each other.

I look forward to the stories for this year. Write and enjoy your memories.

Digital Literacy: Ownership #etmooc

Who owns our data?

Our School

Our school encourages in our daily work and curricula a continuous emphasis on digital citizenship and digital safety; we practice citizenship in our classrooms, virtual and in reality. This discussion and practice we hope will carry over into our students’ personal choices, online and and off. In addition, our school board believes and is adopting a school policy that explains that students own the copyright to all their work. Our Google Apps for Education allows for transfer of their data to them should they choose to continue their work with their personal accounts after their graduation. Student accounts in online networks do not refer to students’ real names; students choose pseudonyms. We balance digital literacy, privacy, and transparency.

We are still dealing with the ownership of educator’s work, since many of our staff work well beyond the time to which our contract employs us. For innovation and creativity to develop to implement the many requirements related to teaching and learning (learning and teaching standards), the intellectual work of the staff must be acknowledged and respected. We must balance the work asked of the district during district time, and the work created by staff on their own time for the benefit of student learning and professional development.

Apps for Networking and Sharing

After the amazing presentation by Audrey Watters (Hack Education and  @audreywatters ), I now will add these ideas to our curricula:

  • Terms of Service Understanding: Read your TOS — who owns your data — you or the application?
  • Ownership and Portability: Who owns your data — Can you delete it? Can you transfer it? Can you download it into a human readable format?
  • Curation: How do you track your own footprints? How do you manage your digital data — your footprints back to you? How do you create value in what you create?

I have always skimmed the Terms of Service in the online applications I use, looking for who owns the data. We need to share this with our students. Audrey provides links to various sites that clarify and support ideas on ownership, transparency, anonymity, and privacy. How do we guide students to curate and own the information generated by them? How do we do this for ourselves as teachers? And how do we encourage the concept that we should control our own data? What data are we talking about?

We need to think about JackieGerstein‘s  statement in this tweet: “Education decision makers use data to do things to students rather than empowering students with the data to do for themselves.” What data do the students want? What data will help them? What conversation will we have in our classrooms about this?

Data Collection

Why do we collect data? Why do we share? We are social beings and we communicate and create together. We “collect to recollect,” as Audrey puts it. We collect to revalue what we value. And that is key: adding, sharing, creating value for the communities, the neighborhoods of our real or virtual relationships and associations. Our challenge is to curate what we create and share, and maintain the value we create without giving it to those agencies that exploit what we have chosen to create and share.

Data Ownership

Whether a student or teacher, you create data — your work, your tests, your words, your numbers, your ideas. It’s yours. Or is it? What do you think?

In my mind, I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s words: I believe each individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruit of his labor, so far as it in no wise interferes with any other mans rights.   The inference of that quote is that who we are and what we do belongs to us. Now we have a responsibility to maintain that right, as we have always had the responsibility to manage who we are and what we do in ways that promote the common good.

How do we do so? How do I do so?

  1. Document that which is ours (mine).
  2. Create more value than we (I) take.
  3. Curate, declare, and manage our (my) data.
  4. Model for others.
  5. Accept and encourage Terms of Service that acknowledge our (my) ownership of our (my) data,  its use, and its portability.
  6. Expect that the products we (I) use also creates value rather than simply takes value from us (me).
  7. If an adult, be transparent in who we are (I am). [Students may maintain anonymity with pseudonyms]
  8. Educate others on their own (my) rights.
  9. Educate politicians.

Audrey gave us some places to help us help:

Quantified Self Movement:
Locker Project:
Electronic Frontier:

Flickr CC by giulia.forsythe

 What do you think? How will you monitor and keep ownership of your data?

Internet Safety: Four Tips if Cyberbullied

What happens if you are cyberbullied? What should you do?

Cyberbullying is when someone contacts you online or includes online content about you that is mean, threatening, or hurtful.  Always tell a trusted adult.
1. Ignore it. Don’t respond.

2. Save the evidence (text message, IM, Facebook page, etc.). Take a screenshot, if possible.
3. Tell a trusted adult: your parent, a teacher, etc.
4. If necessary, contact the administrators of the site or contact the authorities.

Our students have been learning from Netsmartz on how to be safe online. We’ve watched and discussed many videos and scenarios. Last Friday, we reviewed the main points. Then we left the classroom with partners, pads, and pens for a “Walk ‘n Talk.”  Partners walked, talked, and wrote about the issues of cyberbullying, creating scripts to share tips with other kids.

Back in the classroom, each partner pairs prepared and videoed their skits, sometimes calling their teacher (Code name Shee) in an improptu part in their skits. In one class period we reviewed tips, wrote scripts, and videoed the skits.

Enjoy our work and learn what to do if you are cyberbullied:

Link to full screen here.

Listen to the engagement. Think about the verbs, “the DOing” by students to learn and understand what to do if one is cyberbullied:

Understand the content.
List the content.
Explain the content.
Organize the content.
Share and edit the content.
Collaborate to share and edit content.
Plan, design, and produce the content.

These are essential skills of the 21st Century. The tool engaged students and allowed application and practice of the skills.

What did you learn?  What was the most important tip?
 How did we do?

Be sure to check out  Netsmartz for more information on Internet Safety.

cross posted at  Ms Edwards and Eagles Write

This is a school related site so please respect others and comment appropriately. Please contact Ms Edwards if you have any questions or need to report any inappropriate activity. Thank you. Reflect Curiosity and Wonder… Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness…