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Nathaniel Louwrens's discussion posts

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 21 Mar 2016 9:02am () in Partnering with the community - Enabling e-Learning slow chat #eelslow

    Our first Enabling e-Learning slow chat took place last week on Twitter and was focused on Partnering with the Community.

    Thanks to those who were able to contribute. If you missed out on it, you can read the tweets in the Storify below. You can also respond to any or all of the questions in the discussion.

    If you want to know what a slow chat is, check out Twitter slow chats.

    The questions for the chat are in the Storify, but also listed here:

    1. Why should schools partner with the community? What benefit is it to the learning of our students?
    2. What is the difference between informing, consulting, engaging, participation, partnership and collaboration?
    3. What goals do you and your community have for students?
    4. What does engaging look like and with whom? How do YOU engage with wider community? Any examples to share?
    5. How are you supporting/growing 2-way dialogue with your community using digital technologies?
  • Nathaniel Louwrens 16 Mar 2016 9:24am () in FORUM: What does innovation look like in your school? | An Enabling e-Learning event

    Innovation in schools of any type needs to start with the idea that the goal is not to force kids to abandon their passions and interests for our curriculum.

    - Will Richardson, Stop innovating in schools. Please.

    blue orange Dictionary.com defines innovation as:

    1. Something new or different introduced

    2. The act of innovating; introduction of new things or methods.

    There is so much innovation going on in our schools. Leaders and teachers are coming up with new ideas, and new ways of doing things all the time. But what innovation looks like to one school could be completely different for another as each school has different goals and philosophies.

    George Couros states in Innovation and best practice, that his “belief is that innovation in teaching and learning starts with empathy; truly trying to understand those that you serve.” He expands on this to say that it’s “not only a starting point, but a continuous part of the process”.

    As with all things in schools, we need to ensure that student learning is foremost on our mind. This includes in how we innovate. Will Richardson made this very clear when he says,

    To put it simply, innovation in schools today is far too focused on improving teaching, not amplifying learning.


    Join the discussion

    • What does innovation look like to you?

    • What does innovation in your school look like?

    • Are the innovations in your school amplifying learning? If so - how?

    • How is digital technology supporting innovation in your school?

    • Where do the tensions/challenges lie if any?


    Image source: Thom Lunasea - Flickr CC BY-2.0

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 14 Mar 2016 1:56pm () in Posting photos of children online

    NetSafe have some excellent resources on managing your digital footprint and on privacy and security.

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 14 Mar 2016 1:53pm () in Posting photos of children online

    Thanks for sharing your stories, Anne.

    It's interesting that the students you have spoken to about this are fine as long as they are posting the photos of themselves. They're making the initial decision to put themselves out there.

    So when do/should schools be seeking student permission for posting photos/videos etc or students and not only parent permission?

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 14 Mar 2016 1:51pm () in Posting photos of children online

    Hi Andrew

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    You've raised some really good questions.

    At what age do you think children are able to make a properly informed decision? 

    Should parents not be posting photos of children online before their children are old enough to make those decisions? 

    It certainly not a simple issue!

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 11 Mar 2016 8:48am () in Posting photos of children online

    According to a recent study, many children do not want their parents to post about them on social media. This New York Times article explains further, Don't post about me on social media, children say.

    it’s increasingly clear that our children will grow into teenagers and adults who want to control their digital identities.

    Our children and teenagers seem to understand the internet and its long-reaching and lasting effects, far better than some adults.

    And what can seem positive at the time can have some very negative effects down the track as is seen in this comment,

    “I definitely know people who have parents who post things they wish weren’t out there. There was a girl in my eighth grade class whose mom opened a YouTube account for her in the fourth grade to show off her singing,” she wrote to me in an email. “Finally, on one of the last months of middle school, a peer played the song in class and almost the entire class laughed hysterically over it.”

    • What are your thoughts?
    • How do you manage this in your home?
    • How is this managed in your school or classroom?

    As a society, says [legal skills professor] Ms. Steinberg, “we’re going to have to find ways to balance a parent’s right to share their story and a parent’s right to control the upbringing of their child with a child’s right to privacy.

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 10 Mar 2016 8:52am () in Power to the students

    Many times, the work we do as educators is actually taking away some of the most powerful learning from our students.

    The statement above is by George Couros, at the end of his blog post, Adding or Subtracting Learning?

    In it, he tells a typical story of a teachers spending hours looking for the right resources (in this case a video) to help teach a class a specific concept. But then he challenges this.

    Why not give this to the students? Why not give them the challenge of finding a good resource that explains the concept and comment on why they believe it's a good resource for others to learn from. (Read the post for the specific example)

    His reasoning (paraphrased): Students will

    1. learn about the concept
    2. use criteria to discuss why the resource was powerful
    3. learn curation skills.

    By doing all the research as teachers, we might come away with a good understanding of a concept, but have we taken away an opportunity from our students?

    This opportunity may also give students the power to interact with a range of resources that support them best, in the ways they prefer to learn.

    With the digital technologies we have available to us now, we can give power to the students.


    • What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of teaching and learning occurring in this way?
    • Are there things that you do, have done, or have seen others do that may be "taking away some of the most powerful learning from our students"? What could be done differently?
    • What Key Competencies and e-Competencies can be developed through a process such as this?


  • Nathaniel Louwrens 07 Mar 2016 4:32pm () in Page not displaying properly

    Hi Hannah

    Sorry that you have been having this trouble.

    If this is still happening, or you have not had anyone contact you about it, can I recommend that you email help@vln.school.nz


  • Nathaniel Louwrens 07 Mar 2016 8:23am () in Punctuation Grammar Check for Docs

    Thanks, Claire.

    I tried Grammarly but, unfortunately, it does not work in Google docs.

  • Nathaniel Louwrens 04 Mar 2016 8:03am () in Posting photos of children online

    NetSafe shared this article on their Facebook page this morning:

    French parents 'could be jailed' for posting children's photos online

    It states, 

    French parents are being warned to stop posting pictures of children on social networks in case their offspring later sue them for breaching their right to privacy or jeopardising their security.

    This is something that I have discussed a few times with my wife and a former colleague of mine. Not about the possibility of being sued, but thinking about what choices the children have about what gets shared online by their parents. What control do the children have over their own privacy and their own digital footprint when others are posting the photos?

    Should we be giving our children more say in what gets posted online?

    Mr Delcroix said: “We often criticise teenagers for their online behaviour, but parents are no better.”

    He argued that people should think about how their children will feel later in life about images of them as infants or adolescents being posted on Facebook or other social networks. “Children at certain stages do not wish to be photographed or still less for those photos to be made public,” he told Le Figaro newspaper.

    It might be interesting to ask your students what they think? Do they feel they have control over what gets posted about them? Do they see it as an issue?

    What about in regards to what is shared from school? Often parents sign the forms saying that it's okay to share photos or work of their children. Should the children be signing these too? And what if they change their minds?

    Check out the Digital Citizenship resources on Enabling e-Learning.

Nathaniel Louwrens

Connected Learning Advisory Facilitator, Enabling E-learning Online Facilitator; Learning with Digital Technologies Facilitator