photo credit:  www.freedigitalphotos.net

photo credit: www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

Keeping up with technology is important to me and I want my children to keep up (to some degree) with the every changing technology scene.  So over the last study block we have done a unit which I called “Communicating with Technology” but it would have been more appropriately titled: Communicating Visually with Technology.  So much of our communication these days is done with online media, and it is visual.  Our family has focused on reading/writing/speaking as our primary communication tools, so it was a challenge, both exciting and daunting, to look at how we can communicate visually.

When I say ‘communicating’ I’m not talking about texting or social media but rather when we learn something and record it, we are communicating.  When we have an idea and we share it with others – maybe even on a blog – we are communicating.  When our kids write in their reading journal or create a notebook page, they are communicating what they have learnt.

I have been researching how schools are integrating technology into their classrooms and have been amazed at what apps, tools and online programmes are out there. Teaching technology used to be programming or at least using office software like emails, word documents, blogging and maybe digital cameras.  Not so any more….

Technically technology is any tool that helps us achieve a task – from a car, to phone, to a table and chairs!  But these days we tend to use the word ‘technology’ to mean ‘digital technology’ especially in the field of communications.  We have the smart phone, tablets, computers, internet and all the little programmes that make those devices work.  Using these technologies to communicate about ourselves and what we learn was what this unit was all about.

I have found these two websites particularly helpful and inspiring:

 

There have been four main aspects to our studies

  1. Character – we need to have the internal guidance to respond to the internet wisely
  2. Online citizenship – we need the skills to use the internet wisely
  3. Digital tools – a variety of tools to help us communicate
  4. Everyday technology – being aware of the everyday uses, and ensuring my children are able to use these technologies appropriately

 

Character studies

During this unit our main character study was on Discernment thought we touched on other issues as well:

  • Discernment is the ability to distinguish between good and evil, order to make wise decisions.   Using the Internet gives a very good application for talking about this quality – especially for teens.
  • Self-control – to walk away when we need to;  not just because of inappropriate material we may find, but because our time should be spend doing other things.
  • Thriftiness – knowing that using the Internet costs money and to curb our desires to fit our budget!
  • Creativity – approaching communication from a different perspective, doing something in a new way
  • Patience – there are always glitches in technology and we need to have patience – patience means we keep working on it till it is fixed, that we don’t get frustrated.

 

Online Citizenship

I used several lessons from Commonsense Media to teach my kids

  • To assess how much technology they use in their everyday life
  • That they leave a digital footprint whenever they are online
  • To carry out effective and efficient searches online
  • To test a website, verify it as a valid and appropriate website
  • To understand copyright issues

These lesson plans (free) were full of discussion guides, object lessons, video footage and a few exercises for the kids to work on independently.  I disregarded the age/year levels and just chose lessons that I thought would address the issues my kids needed to think about.  There were many more lessons than I used.

 

Digital Tools

The purpose of this study was to introduce my children to these tools so that they will be able to use them in their learning in days to come.

  • Bible study:  Online Strong’s Concordance, Parallel Bible and Commentaries
  • Voki – a cartoon type avatar that speaks.  see our samples: Belinda’sNaomi’sDaniel’s
  • Good Reads – the idea is to convert our reading lot to a digital form.
  • Pinterest – This blog post from Teachbytes on Pinterest has inspired me as I’ve tried to see using Pinterest for more than craft.
  •  Blogging – I used lesson plans from blogging2learn.wordpress.com to increase their understanding and skills on blogging.  The kids are (still) working through these independently.
  • Use digital scrapbooking programme
  • Comics – though comics have generally been used to communicate humour, the image rich graphic novels shows us that any story can be told this way.  There are many comic generators – we used Strip Generator  (You can see my attempt at the end of this post)
  • Word Cloud – this is about playing around with key words
word cloud captured from my blog

word cloud captured from my blog

  • Timeline – create any number of timelines and include your graphics – a great solution for moving our history timeline digital
  • Maps – creating maps and interacting with markers, images and text.
  • Thinglink – connecting images with information
  • Glogster – a digital poster for multi-media

 

Everyday Technology

  • Online Shopping:  creating user accounts, purchasing with either credit card or paypal
  • Recharge  and sync various devices
  • Create using traditional office software:  word processing, emails, creating charts, slideshows
  • Manage computer files – naming documents, moving/copying files or folders, backups
  • Downloading digital content – music, audio, e-books, scrapbooking supplies
  • Send emails, text messages and phone calls
  • Use photocopier, laminator, DVD player, MP4 players etc (not digital technology – but technology none the less)
  • Editing photos and preparing them for emailing

This list covers different technology driven tasks that different people did in a day at our house – my goal is to teach each of my kids to be comfortable with each of these skills though they aren’t there yet.

 

So what now?

We are about to embark on our next study block which will have a different focus, but I expect my children to use these tools (and others) in their studies from now on.   My hope is that we will convert most of Naomi’s and Daniel’s recording of their learning to a digital format (aka notebooking but digital).  Their first project will be connected to their Bible studies.  We are using 7 C’s of History and after each chapter I’m asking them how could they best communicate the key idea to others.  They will collate their 7 key ideas on a Glog – which is simply a digital poster for multi media.  Stay tuned – when they are done I’ll share it with you.

 

Be Intentional

 Every week I'll email an encouragement to stay intentional and relational in all your family life.  But for now, download your set of reminder posters - posters which I've used over the years to remind me to keep my eyes and heart on what is important.

Thank you for joining me. You have successfully subscribed and will receive an email from me shortly. (You never know which folder emails will land in so keep an eye out for my "Thank you" email.) Stay in touch... Belinda - Live life with your Kids!

Download your worksheet and start working on your family vision statement.

Get the Family Vision Worksheet

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

Get a copy of the Jelly Bean Story

I will email you a download link.  You can print and share this story with your kids and their friends.

The download link is on it's way.

This parent guide helps parents plan family bible study and use discussion techniques to teach the important lessons.

Bible study Guide for Parents

Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts. I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Obedience looks a bit different as our kids grow older. Download this parent/teen discussion guide to understand this issue of obedience in teen years.

Download your Free Discussion Guide

Don't assume your kids are rebelling - instead talk to them about what Obedience looks like now they are older.  I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Over 20 different verbal expressions divided into heart or self control to help parents discern these behaviours.

Download your Cheat Sheet

I will send you the link to download this cheat sheet that will help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Free email course -

6 days straight to your inbox!

 

 

Plan a Christmas that touches the heart of your family.

Thank you for being here - you will receive an email shortly.

Pin It on Pinterest