Maureen Skelly

 

Last year, I attended a workshop on Technology and Innovation with other Ancillae faculty. During one session, we were given a set of topics to facilitate the discovery and problem-solving process.

 

What you know you know

What you don’t know you know

What you know you don’t know

What you don’t know you don’t know

 

Needless to say, it was an interesting exercise, and the ideas have stuck with me ever since applying to me as both a parent of five grown children and an educator of 15 years.  As I reflect through the lens of these questions, I realize the power of this line of thinking.   

What you know you know - I know I want my children and students to be productive, kind, and creative people.

What you know you don’t know – I don’t know what role technology and globalization will have on the types of jobs we are preparing our students for in the future and the rapid pace of change that will accompany it.

What you don’t know you know - I can surprise myself with how resourceful I can be by tapping into my lifetime of experience.  My background in finance and marketing often helps while working with students in the areas of design thinking, media, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

What you don’t know you don’t know - For me and most parents, this would be many of the technology and social media tools our kids use every day. These same tools that we use to help save time, to connect with loved ones, to be a force for good and promote learning, are the same tools that can sometimes wreak havoc in our homes and family relationships.  It can be overwhelming when we pause to realize how much we don’t even know technology is impacting our children’s lives.

 

At Ancillae, we are blessed with an abundance of technology to enhance our student learning. We have successfully implemented a school-wide strategic technology plan, moved to a 1:1 iPad program, been recognized twice as an Apple Distinguished School and are currently building a new Innovation Center. Some people might question why all of this technology is needed? Is the technology making learning better? These are some of the questions we continue to reflect on as we choose the tools for learning in the classroom.  

 

As parents, it is likely you may also have a 1:1 technology situation in your home. After all, according to Common Sense Media’s research, 98% of 0 – 8-year-olds live in a family with a mobile device. As the age at which students have access to a device becomes younger and younger, the questions of Digital Citizenship and Digital Responsibility arise, and we look to reputable sources and each other to help us uncover what we don’t know we don’t know in this world of digital learning and social media.

 

 

This year we have embarked on a journey to become aware of the large role our school plays in supporting this important topic with a series of three parent tech events. Our first session was held in November. Attendees discussed areas such as privacy, cell phone use, social media, cyberbullying, and positive solutions for addressing these concerns. We introduced the Common Sense Media site and demonstrated how to navigate the abundance of resources available to parents and caregivers.  

 

Our second session, to be held at 8:30 AM on January 24th, will address how students are using these powerful tools in the classroom. This will be a hands-on session that will expose parents and caregivers to some of the tools students are using in their classes every day and why they make learning better. We invite you to get your inner Kindergartener on and come learn, explore, and play with tools like FlipGrid, Minecraft, and NearPod.  Our final session in the spring, will be an open discussion for parents to ask/answer questions with one another sharing advice and tips they have found and utilize.

 

As educators, we recognize the important job we have in helping our students, their families, and ourselves evaluate the role and relationship we have with technology. We are all responsible to have our students think about who they want to be at school, at home, and in our world - both in person and online. Digital Citizenship must be at the forefront of our shared education efforts. Let us help you develop a greater understanding of how you can play an active part in the digital and social media your children are exposed to every day. 

 

 

So here is the challenge: Attend a session. Get involved. Ask questions.  And when it comes to our children and their digital lives, let’s not be satisfied with not knowing what we don’t know.  

 

About the Author

Maureen Skelly
Technology and Innovation Integration
mskelly@ancillae.org

Educator 15 years
 

 

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