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568 – Faithfully Connected

Martin Luther College Professor Rachel Feld is back in the guest host chair on WELSTech, bringing her thoughts on education technology to the discussion. We kick off a new book for the school year, Faithfully Connected, and we shake up our Ministry Resource for the week with STEM resources Pinterest-style!

The discussion:

New book discussion – Kicking off a new season of edtech talk, MLC’s Rachel Feld, Director of Academic Computing and Online Learning, is back as one of WELSTech’s semi-regular classroom technology correspondents, and she brought a book along to share. Read along with us as we discuss Faithfully Connected: Integrating Biblical Principles in a Digital World by Ben Boche and Jake Hollatz (available from Concordia Publishing House and Amazon). This week we learn why Rachel is using the book to train future teachers at MLC plus why she recommends it for teachers, pastors, parents and beyond, and we explore the first chapter of the book, Digital Access.

News in tech:

iOS 12 is now available: How to update, its best new iPhone features and more

WELS now:

Announcing our first #EdTechLead19 presenter … Rachel Feld! Rachel will be presenting “Using Technology in Bible Lessons” and “Using Google Apps in WELSSA.”

  • Learn more and plan to attend June 25-27, 2019 at Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells

Picks of the week:

Ministry Pinterest resource:

Check out Pinterest for great STEM activities for elementary, including these boards:

Community feedback:

Thayer Birding Software free offer for students

Featured videos and more:

Learn more about digital access from the PBS Frontline special, Digital Nation. Here’s a sneak peak trailer for the special.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 569 – Martin shares his research on digital security, including encryption and database management, in light of new regulations, both in the U.S. and abroad. Release date: Wednesday, October 3.

Get involved:

Common Sense Education

WELSTech-ers may recall a past Ministry Resource post on Common Sense Media, a site which features reviews and recommendations on all types of media which is directed at children including movies, books, TV, games, apps, and websites. It’s a great resource to share with parents, and can be very useful at this time of year especially as they shop for appropriate media-centric gifts for their children.

Education reviews

Common Sense Education is another site which is produced by the same organization and geared specifically toward educators. Once again, they provide ratings and reviews of children’s media, but this time the focus is on edtech websites and apps that are organized by grade level and subject matter. Search criteria can even be narrowed by price, so the frugal educator can easily identify free resources. For each tool listed, the Common Sense ranking as well as teacher submitted ranking is displayed. Each tool includes a description and overview of what it teaches as well as suggested lessons and activities plus standards supported.

Digital Citizenship Curriculum

Digital citizenship curriculum

Another offering from Common Sense Education is their K-12 digital citizenship curriculum. The curriculum covers the following topics:

  • Internet Safety
  • Privacy & Security
  • Relationships & Communication
  • Cyberbullying & Digital Drama
  • Digital Footprint & Reputation
  • Self-Image & Identity
  • Information Literacy
  • Creative Credit & Copyright

As demonstrated in this sample lesson, each lesson includes a downloadable lesson guide as well as student activities and a family tip sheet. There are also downloadable videos and video discussion guides. And if that isn’t enough, there are student games and interactives, student badges, classroom posters, toolkits, and more!

Professional development

Common Sense Education also offers a variety of professional development to assist teachers.

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502 – Be Internet Awesome

WELSTech 502 is packed with awesomeness in the form of a new digital citizenship effort from Google for middle- and upper-elementary children. Plus, Sallie has graphic organizer templates, and Martin has helpful gesture shortcuts for Windows 10. Community feedback and a mission update round out the show.

The discussion:

Interland Flyby – Martin and Sallie look at a new release from Google, Be Internet Awesome, that boasts a curriculum and kid-friendly video game which can be used to teach all aspects of digital citizenship.

Picks of the week:

Community feedback:

Featured video:

From the WELSTech “Likes” list on Vimeo, watch the Summer update from our Latin American outreach efforts through Academia Cristo.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 503 – Martin shares ideas on using iPads for ministry. Release date: Wednesday, June 28.

Get involved:

Teaching Digital Citizenship

Google recently announced a free online resource geared toward middle- to upper-elementary aged children called Be Internet Awesome. The online game, Interland, as well as supporting curriculum resources, are intended to teach kids to be smart, alert, strong, kind, and brave online.

To make the most of the Internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence.

Application/audience

The resources available on the Be Internet Awesome are suitable for use in both the elementary classroom as well as at home. Teachers may want to spend some of their summer prep time reviewing the Be Internet Awesome Curriculum which has been given the ISTE Seal of Alignment. The materials center around five fundamental topics:

  • Share with Care (Be Internet Smart)
  • Don’t Fall for Fake (Be Internet Alert)
  • Secure Your Secrets (Be Internet Strong)
  • It’s Cool to Be Kind (Be Internet Kind)
  • When in Doubt, Talk It Out (Be Internet Brave)

Additional resources for schools allow easy integration of Interland on school Chromebooks as well as in Google Classroom. There are posters and certificates and badges available as well.

Parents may want to download the Be Internet Awesome Pledge and make a family commitment to practicing safe digital citizenship.

Related resources

Check out these short video introductions to Be Internet Awesome and Interlands.

Overview

Interland Tour

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