communicating with technology boxI am sharing the outline of our lessons as we do a unit on Communicating with Technology – this is day 2.  We are going to look at how much digital media we use in our days, and start using Goodreads.

Character:  Discernment.  The act or process of exhibiting keen insight and good judgment

We discussed the definition – focusing on the key words of insight and good judgement.

We read a short story from the Character First material that showed us how important observation is.  I mentioned that when people witness a crime often their observations aren’t as keen as they would have thought – maybe because they are scared.
We then connected these thoughts as we reflected on using the Internet    Observation when you go to a website for the first time – you need to scan the page, and look for clues that will help you find the information you need.  But – when we really-really-really want to look at a page our discernment (our good judgment) can get clouded.  This is because we are listening to our emotions, not discernment.  This is when we need to balance self-control with our discernment – do the right thing.

Media studies #3 – Digital Citizenship –  My Media  (all lesson plans included on this website – including video link)

Concepts studied:

  • Define digital media
  • Considered how much digital media/technologies are in our life
  • For language arts component I had the kids write answers in full sentences as they reflected on their own media usage and then they created similes from their notes.
  • Watched the video and handout which involves them recording their digital usage over a 24 hour period and then following it up with creating a graph (math) which they will complete independently over the next week.

Media Studies #4 – Goodreads

Due to family life I have had to switch today’s lesson around with tomorrows which means I haven’t had time to prep for introducing Goodreads to my kids.  So my plan was to let them loose and see what they can discover, then they can come back and teach me – and learn from each other.   This worked very well.  Goodreads was a safe place for them to be especially since we have a clear understanding of who is appropriate to befriend online.

During this time Daniel became frustrated with his computer and decided it was time to download Google Chrome as his browser which meant a mini lesson on discerning good sites for downloading, and the download/install process.

We also had issues with signing in with Facebook and connecting the wrong Facebook account to the wrong Goodreads account.  We learnt that when you share computers (as we do in our house) you should not keep any accounts as logged in.  Once again, this could have been considered as a block to our lesson, or progress, but in reality we learnt a lot.  We also called on Jessica who has dealt with this problem before so it was fixed quickly but it gave an opportunity for the three of them (Jess, Nomi and Daniel) to work to fix a problem and learn together.

Assignment:  To create a Goodreads account, to have family members as friends, and over time I would like to see this year’s reading list (as in books they’ve read) entered with at least 2 reviews but from now on to continue writing a review when finishing a book.

My expectation is that Goodreads will become my children’s reading log – that they will keep it current with books read, books they are reading and books they would like to read.  I would like to see this connected to their blog – but that is their choice!

Educational benefits from Goodreads are (as I see at the moment):

  • To keep a record of books read
  • To share thoughts and recommendations on books read
  • To participate in online community about good books
  • To be inspired to read more because of encouragement from online ‘friends’

Background comment for our Communicating with Technology unit

  1.  We need to make sure our kids understand (and are compliant) to our family standard when it comes to internet usage.
  2. Many of these apps/tools require users to create an account – most sites need children to be above 13years old.  Some offer classroom situations or Teacher accounts.  I haven’t looked into these since my kids are over 13 but they may open up options for families with children under 13.  Alternatively you can use one account and have everyone use it (under your supervision.)
  3. When I find a lesson plan online I disregard the year level it was intended for – it if helps me discuss the content that I believe my kids need to think about we will use it.

I found this blog post very encouraging in light of my hope to encourage Goodreads with my kids.

And if you are looking for my Goodreads – I’m working on it!

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