This past weekend, I attended a community screening of Screenagers. The documentary is about screen time and digital addiction. It was great to see a community come together to discuss and reflect on our interaction with screens. While much of the documentary was about youth, I especially liked how they highlighted that this is not just a problem for students. Adults need to know how to find balance too and practice what they preach. The nice thing about this screening being a community event was the emphasis that everyone plays a part. The education system cannot do it alone. Parents cannot do it alone. It indeed takes a village, a community. Similar to the Like movie, I left the screening feeling curious and wanting more. Wanting more because I am passionate about the topic and because I think there is a need for society to be in the know of technology wellness. Again, my wish is for this information to become more mainstream and available just like information on fitness and nutrition.
The film brought to light many things but I’d like to quickly share my biggest takeaways. The idea of technology contracts came up. One family wrote a contract of expectations for their child to sign, but it was later suggested that families create a contract together. All family members should participate in creating and signing it. This is very similar to Capturing Kids Hearts social contracts that educators create in their classrooms. Everyone is involved and everyone plays by the same rules.
It is mentioned that the digital divide conversation isn’t necessarily about access anymore, it’s about how the device is being used. This reminds me of how people have different philosophies and views on technology and phones in schools. On one end of the spectrum, some schools completely ban cell phones. The other end of the spectrum is that schools allow cell phones but it is the wild wild west. I’m an advocate for that “somewhere in between” spot. It is important that students are taught responsibility, respect, and mindfulness when interacting with their digital devices.
I jotted down the names of many people featured in the documentary; Larry Rosen, Sherry Turkle, Simon Sinek, and David Levy to name a few. David Levy’s book Mindful Tech is now on my “To Read” list. While exploring his website, I came across his cellphone observation exercise, which I’m curious to do. As I begin to research more and more, I discovered that there is a whole category for books on Amazon called Human- Computer interaction. This made me happy to see this category on something as mainstream as Amazon!
Screenagers was another gateway to many other blog posts soon to be written. My hope is for society to find balance and self control as technology users. I recommend checking out some of my favorite resources from the Screenagers website; Tech Talk Tuesdays, Screen Time Contracts, Internet Addction, Sleep & Screens.
Last night, I had the privilege of attending a community screening of the Like movie. Thank you to University Liggett School for hosting this event. The documentary is about the impact of social media on our lives (Ironically, how I found out about the event was through Facebook). It was great to watch and reflect on what that impact is. The message of this documentary is a necessary reminder to be mindful of the way we choose to interact and engage with our technology. I’m happy to see that this message is being shared, especially in a community setting.
The evening had a powerful start. One of the students opened the night by performing Touchscreen by Marshall Jones.
While technology can be positive in so many ways, it is still important to consider negative consequences. Too much of anything can be bad. A connection I make to this is nutrition and how humans need to find a healthy balance of nutrients. There seems to be copious amounts of information regarding nutrition available for society to learn from. It’d be nice to see that same amount of information on how to find a healthy balance when it comes to technology use. I feel that the information is out there but many people do not have that awareness. I often present on technology wellness and feel that I’m more aware of it simply because of my background in educational technology. My wish is for this information to become more mainstream for the general public. I strongly believe that this will be the case in the near future.
The documentary was very though provoking and I could go on and on about all of the connections I made (Those are topics for several blog posts to come). Watching this film really resonated with me. At the screening, the community had the opportunity debrief the film through a Q & A session with Max Stossel. His message that stuck with me the most was that it is our responsibility as educators, to help children learn focus, patience, and how to be without their devices.
After this experience, I’m looking forward to attending a community screening of Screenagers next week.
The resources I have to share with you this week are Powersearching With Google and A Google A Day. Both of these websites help you become faster and more efficient when conducting online research.
Google Tip: The Omnibox is not just for URLs
In the past, I’ve shared with you that you can use the omnibox to set a timer by typing in “set a timer for 5 minutes”. The omnibox can also perform other tasks such as unit conversions (kg to lbs), calculator (12% of 68) , dictionary (define technology), weather (weather honolulu), tracking flights (ha 124), rolling a dice (roll a die), and flipping a coin (flip a coin).
The tools I have to share with you this week are from Chrome experiments by Google. These are great web experiences to show students. You can even circle back and make connections to coding, too. Chrome Music Song Maker and Autodraw are a few of my favorites.
Kami is an extension you can add to google chrome that helps with digital annotation. This is a student friendly tool that is accessible through chromebooks or any device. It also integrates with Google Classroom.
The tool I have to share with you this week is CoSpaces EDU. This is a tool that engages students with AR and VR experiences. Not only can they consume and immerse themselves in these experiences, but they can be creators of these spaces. They have many adaptable lesson plans available and is equipped with a class management dashboard where you can monitor student work. For more computer science extension, CoSpaces EDU also has a feature to tie in coding. Yesterday they just announced more new features.
Google Tip: Google Science Journal Updates
Google Science Journal is updating their resources and there are many more activities in their bank of experiments. In the past, when I shared this tool with you it had some limitations. However, Science Journal now supports multiple platforms and now integrates with Google Drive accounts. Check out the new content! You may even notice some of the OK Go Sandbox activities I shared at the beginning of the school year.
The tool I have to share with you this week is Google Tour Creator. This is a tool that allows you to create immersive virtual reality 360 experiences for students. The tours you create can be viewed on any device (mobile, desktop, or through VR viewer). There are templates with examples of what is possible. Here is a demo one I made called Where in the world was Miss Galang? This was used for a See, Think, Wonder thinking routine. If you are would like to use this tool in your classroom and would like assistance, please let me know!
Google Tip: Edu in 90
Edu in 90 is an informative video series by Google for Education. Each video is done in 90 seconds and highlights important topics related to G Suite tools. Since it’s Computer Science Education week, check out Edu in 90’s Made With Code video.
The tool I have to share with you this week is Goosechase EDU. This is a tool that allows educators to facilitate educational scavenger hunts. This is great for blended and flipped learning. The affordance of this tool is that you can curate learning and document real-world examples their learning. This tool can transform lessons, field trips, or even homework.
Google Tip: Suggesting feature in Google Docs
When in suggesting mode, none of the original content is changed. Changes show up as suggestions in the comments section that the owner of the file can accept or reject. This is a great feature to utilize for peer editing.