COETAIL Course 2 Project and Reflection

ASIJ Cross-Divisional Acceptable Use Agreement Poster

 For my final project of COETAIL Course 2, I was honored to be a part of a collaborative team of educators from ASIJ.  Working together, we were able to put together the poster that you see here.  It is our intention to use this poster in each division, elementary, middle, and high school.  We spent a great deal of time wordsmithing and discussing which headings we would ultimately choose and the defining statement for each.  Refererencing Common Sense Media, Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship, and the understandings that each of us gleaned from COETAIL Course 2, we had several rich conversations and work sessions to finalize our graphic end product.  We wanted to make the information conveyed inclusive, covering all of the areas of acceptable use that we found to be most important, yet concise, and in common language that would be appropriate for all students in our school.  Thanks to Carl, who manned Photoshop during the process to transform the photo that we located using a Creative Commons search, and for testing out each of our suggestions as we stood watching over his shoulder. 
 
An important benefit of our work together as a collaborative team, are the conversations that we are having around digital citizenship and AUA’s in each of the divisions.  As a middle school teacher, I met with our technology facilitator before I began discussions with my collaborative team, and, as a team, we communicated with teachers from elementary, middle, and high school to review current ASIJ publications regarding AUA’s from each division.  While we have captured the main ideas of what we want our students to emulate in the poster, we look forward to more discussions focusing on the direct teaching of these ideas in our digital citizenship curriculum at each division.  As a school we are continually improving our existing program.  In addition to a technology “boot camp” at the beginning of each year, the middle school has begun to weave digital citizenship topics  into our existing advisory program.  Grade 5 is looking at refining their existing curriculum as well.  Our work on this final project is a great step in moving forward together as a school regarding the articulation of digital citizenship lessons and AUA’s. 
 
 
The second part of my final project was a review of  the current Acceptable Use Agreement in my division. Our middle school facilitator of technology and I had a productive meeting in which we examined the existing AUA document for grades 6-8.  We made several changes that will be reflected in next year’s document.  These revisions focused on rephrasing the current wording, but we did include additional content. The additions specifically state the importance of building a positive online presence and bring our expectations regarding the use of intellectual property into sharper focus.While this newer version has not yet been approved for publication and there are references to our Middle School Handbook policies which need to be updated, I have embedded the latest draft in this post.    Again, this is only a draft and we still have a bit of work to do to finalize this for next year.
 
 
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Flickr Wesley Fryer

In looking back over this second course, as in the first, the learning curve for me was steep.  I appreciate the expertise and knowledge that the members of this cohort bring to the classes.  I’m learning so much and I am continuing to apply new understandings and ideas in as many ways as possible.  I feel much more confident about digital citizenship and have archived many useful resources.  While my understanding of copyright and fair use, as it applies to the use of intellectual property, is still developing, I have a clearer sense of my responsibility as a teacher and how I can inform and educate my students in this regard.  I’m pleased that all of my students know the basic concept of Creative Commons, have bookmarked CCSearch, and are using it regularly for assignments.

Since the beginning of my participation in COETAIL, I have been thrilled to see my colleagues interested in what I am doing, and in many cases, applying the ideas that I’ve shared with them.  It’s exciting to witness this “shift” as our school culture grows and begins to embrace, more a more, a twenty-first century learning environment.  As always, it’s a challenge to balance school work and COETAIL course work; however, it is definitely worth the effort.  Thank you to Kim and Brian for the insight and direction that they brought to Course 2 as facilitators, and thanks to the members of this amazing cohort for their support and collaboration. 

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About Jamie

I am currently a middle school Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at The American School in Japan.
This entry was posted in COETAIL, Digital Citizenship and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to COETAIL Course 2 Project and Reflection

  1. Kim Cofino says:

    Thank you Jamie! Fabulous work on both the poster and the MS AUA (and of course your reflective blog posts and comments). It is such a pleasure to read that the course is helping both you as an individual teacher and your community at ASIJ. I love the way your group came together to make something that can and will make a difference at school, and the way your ideas have prompted discussions with other members of your school community. Well done team!

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