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Pirongia School's Reflective Summary

Pirongia School’s ICT Journey with Digital Citizenship

Who are we?

We are a decile 9 school twenty minutes south of Hamilton. We have approximately 300 children and a dedicated and hard working staff. We have been involved in the King Country Coast ICT Cluster since 2010 but our journey with ICT began intensively in 2008 with the installation of projectors in every classroom and a digital camera for each class. Since then, the infrastructure for ICT has grown with every classroom now having 6-8 computers and every classroom creating and maintaining class wikis and blogs.  Two classrooms also have Interactive Whiteboards and we have just recently installed a large projector and screen into our school hall which is used for a number of school and team activities such as school singing and for sharing learning at whole school assemblies.

What did we do?

We began our school-wide professional learning development with ICT in 2008. Our first priority was meeting the individual needs of teachers and helping them to become competent users of computers and other ICTs. Our learning included setting up wikis, using Word and other Microsoft programmes, using PowerPoint and Projectors interactively and to enhance learning and teaching. From there, we began developing a school-wide inquiry model and looked at ways that ICT supported this with thinking models and graphic organisers as well as sharing of learning using cameras, EziSpeak microphones and video cameras. Currently, our professional learning development is focusing on digital citizenship and creating a school-wide understanding of what this is and how we can best teach it and the values that it encompasses.

Why did we do it?

We decided to focus our ICT learning on digital citizenship because there was a clear need for this next step as teachers and children were using eLearning tools and the Web increasingly more and we recognised a gap in our own understanding of the importance of teaching digital citizenship. We had a few procedures in place for keeping ourselves safe on the Internet and some teachers had begun to use the Netsafe website and Hectors World so it became a logical next learning step for us as a staff.

What happened?

We began our learning about digital citizenship by thoroughly exploring the Netsafe website. We also fed back from Learing at Schools Conference where a couple of our teachers had attended workshops on digital citizenship. From there, we decided on our staff's next learning steps and used these to scaffold our professional learning development at staff meetings. We began by exploring the concepts of digital citizenship to deepen our understanding of our roles as teachers and to have a common understanding of what it means to be a digital citizen. We did some training on Hector's World lesson plans and every class used these as a springboard for digital citizenship teaching and learning in their classes (see attached files below for teacher brainstorms).

We explored the nine themes of digital citizenship on the Netsafe website and we looked at another school's mindmap of their digital citizenship learning journey as a staff. We also looked at the Learn, Guide, Protect website to further guide our new learning.

Supporting Evidence (see files below)

  • Our digital citizenship page of our staff wiki http://pirongiaschoolstaff.wikispaces.com/Cyber-citizenship
  • See evidence below of meeting minutes, scans of planning for staff meetings and PLD and reflective comments from students at the beginning of the year and their understanding of what digital citizenship is (and as a result, our need for more learning about being digital citizens)

Next Steps?

We are continuing to develop our understanding of digital citizenship at Pirongia School. Our next learning step is to arrive at a common digital citizenship definition as a staff and continue to unpack what digital citizenship is and the themes within it. We need to look at the partnership between home and school and helping the community to understand the necessity of digital citizenship. In Term 4, we will have the opportunity to share our ICT journey with our community in a school learning open day where we can share our learning with parents in Pirongia.  We want to unpack the document 'Passport to Digital Citizenship' (2008-09, Ribble M, 'Learning & Leading with Technology') and come up with a rubric for how digital citizenship looks at each level.

We need to develop a common language and have clear expectations of what to expect from ourselves and children. This will then lead into practical applications and more specific teaching of digital citizenship at Pirongia School.

Our goals for learning outcomes for the students is to monitor closely the link between practice and outcomes for children. At this stage, the learning has been focused on teachers' understanding of Digital Citizenship and our next step is deepen learning and understanding for the children. We need to use data and observations from our classrooms to determine next learning steps in 2012.

Teacher Case Study

"I have a class of 22 year 1/2 children and our focus for digital citizenship has been based around the Hector's World lesson plans. We watched the videos and completed the lessons from Netsafe and had numerous discussions around keeping safe on the Internet. We use the Internet constantly throughout our day to support and enhance learning and it is vital that the children have a good understanding of how to keep safe on the Internet. I found that this focus on digital citizenship this year has not only helped me to gain a deeper understanding of the necessity of keeping safe on the Internet but also the children are more aware and careful, especially when it comes to the use of online learning environments such as Studyladder.co.nz and also keeping safe and using the Hector Safety Button. We followed through with this learning throughout the year and refer to Hector on a regular basis."