Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just Back From Calgary

Last week I was at the Emerge One-to-One conference in Calgary, AB. The participants were very interested in the topic of Digital Citizenship. I also was able to meet several other speakers from around the world - Ewan McIntosh from Scotland and Bruce Dixon from Australia. They spoke about the great things that can be done with laptops in the classroom. I hope that I brought at least some thoughts on what issues should be addressed with teachers, students and parents. Several of the participants came up and spoke about issues that they were having in their schools and how they were addressing them.

In our breakout session we were a small group but were opened up some discussion on how to begin the process of explaining Digital Citizenship to students. We covered the Digital Compass Activity and the Four-Stage Cycle. One of the participants, Patrick, said that they began the discussion of creating a new Acceptable Use Policy by using the Compass Activity in their school. He said that by involving the students it helped to open the eye's of the staff to what the students were thinking. He also stated that they left the Acceptable Use Policy flex and grow for a year before they set it as policy for everyone.

It was a great trip to Calgary and a wonderful opportunity to see that schools in other countries are struggling with many of the same issues that are happening here in the US. Being able to spend time with Ewan and Bruce also helped to see the bigger picture. There is still much work to be done but it should be an interesting ride.