Teaching Digital Citizenship

John Beilock


MAUGHAN, S. (2017). Teaching digital citizenship. Publishers Weekly, 264(34), 35-44. Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=124743457&site=ehost-live&scope=site

As technology and social media play an increasingly big role in the classroom, educators are faced with challenges of teaching students how to use technologies in appropriate ways, and how to be safe and responsible online—the basic tenets of what is known as digital citizenship

A good primer on how school librarians lead students in the tech age with Mike Ribble’s “Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship.”

What Hath We Wrought?

John Beilock


dana boyd

SXSW EDU. (2018). boyd, d. What Hath We Wrought? SXSW EDU 2018. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I7FVyQCjNg

danah boyd’s SXSW EDU keynote, What Hath We Wrought?, takes a powerful look at media literacy, the widespread consumption of fake news and the cultural implications of media manipulation.

A challenge to educators to look at how they are teaching media literacy.

The Global One Room Schoolhouse: John Seely Brown

Beilock, John


global schoolhouse

DMLResearchHub (Producer). (2012). The Global One Room Schoolhouse: John Seely Brown (Highlights from JSB’s Keynote at DML2012). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiGabUBQEnM 

An animated highlight of John Seely Brown’s Keynote Presentation, “Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Learner in the 21st Century,” at the 2012 Digital Media and Learning Conference.

An inspirational challenge to rethink schooling.

What’s the Best Way to Teach Science?

Murphy, James


Bozeman Science. (n.d.). What’s the best way to teach science? Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzoIz2W-gLQ

This video is the (very good) opinion of a science teacher as to the best way to teach science. His philosophy is that the best way to teach science is to “do science.” His guiding motto is: “Don’t kill the wonder (and… don’t hide the practices).” He describes wonder as the state of true inquisitiveness, when someone is trying to figure something out. He then gives a great demonstration. The best way to start teaching is to ask great questions, and to not just answer the questions for students. The presenter then communicates many of the different practices that scientists use, and encourages teachers to make these practices known to their students.

Although this video is about science, I believe it can have a similar application to many or even all subjects taught in school. It focuses on the natural fascination that we all have with inquiry, and that the suspense and journey of discovery is truly rewarding and satisfying. I still want to figure out the “wonder tube” by myself without looking up the answer!

Teaching and Learning: Lost in a Buzzword Wasteland

Murphy, James


Chew, S. L., & Cerbin, W. J. (2017, December 5). Teaching and learning: Lost in a buzzword wasteland. Retrieved May 12, 2018, from https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2017/12/05/need-theory-learning-opinion

This article takes a critical look at trends in education and relates that innovation successes are largely attributable to teacher excitement. After the teacher is no longer excited, the innovation may turn out to be no better than the previous trend. Despite increased research in pedagogy, concrete, evidence-based improvement in results remains elusive. The authors attribute this to a “Lack of a comprehensive, empirically validated model of how students learn.” The authors then propose how educators could start down the path to developing this model. They also claim that students have individual differences that call for tailored teaching and learning, rather than a one size fits all approach. They also list many cognitive factors that should be addressed in teaching and learning theory. They conclude the article by positing that there is not one best teaching method, but that there are best teaching methods appropriate to different situations.

I thought this was a very interesting article as it proposes major theoretical changes, supported by evidence-based practices, in the field of pedagogy. It is an ambitious proposal, but one that has merit. I think anyone who has explained the same concept very differently to two different students can appreciate what the authors are trying to articulate. The challenge, of course, is that a classroom teacher cannot always do this for 20+ students.

Why Teachers & School Librarians Should Unite!

Murphy, James


Grover, R. (2017, March 6). Students learn more when teachers and librarians collaborate. Retrieved May 12, 2018, from https://www.middleweb.com/34240/why-teachers-school-librarians-should-unite/

This article relates the experiences of a classroom teacher collaborating with a school librarian and then expands on collaborating as the author becomes a school librarian herself. Her first collaboration involved integrating historical fiction into seventh grade English. The project integrated primary sources from a database to inspire students to create home/war front letters from the World War II era. She then goes on to briefly describe several collaborations after she became a librarian. Next, she details how schools with certified librarians are higher achieving and how librarians improve technological effectiveness in their schools. Finally, she encourages teachers to start collaborating with their librarians and suggests inviting them to department meetings.

This article ran a nice gamut of interesting personal projects and demonstrated the value of the school librarian to an educational community. Showing collaboration from both the classroom instructor and school librarian sides was illuminating.

How False News Can Spread

Murphy, James


Tavlin, N. (2015, August 27). How false news can spread. Retrieved May 14, 2018, from https://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-false-news-can-spread-noah-tavlin

This video explains why the modern-day speed of the news cycle and reach of the internet has made verifying facts and news so much more difficult than it used to be. “Circular Reporting” is a phenomenon when a false or incorrect story is published and then picked up by a different legitimate news source. The original publisher then points to the legitimate publisher as a source for their story. This gets even more confusing when several news sources re-report a false news story. This can even happen when a highly controversial, peer-reviewed journal article is later debunked, such as the 1998 article that claimed vaccines cause Autism. This single source of bad science still plagues us today. The video also mentions how satire can be mistaken as legitimate, and “Circular Reporting” can also happen via wikis.

I wanted to share this video because it made me aware of a facet of information literacy of which I was unfamiliar. Although we often bemoan the lack of fact-checking done in much of reporting today, I became more sympathetic to the difficult situation. More importantly, I am now aware that even if several reputable sources report something, it may still not be true, particularly if it is re-reported all from the same source.