Digital Citizenship

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Students Bring Phones to School Despite Bans

Students worldwide are finding ways to use their phones in school despite bans, according to a global review by the Australian government. The findings come as a ban on the devices in some schools in New South Wales and around the globe has drawn criticism from some educators and parents. In the US, it was found that 65% of students in schools that banned devices still bring their phones to school.

Google Feature Now Checks for Plagiarism

Google for Education has introduced a feature called Originality Reports that allows teachers and students to scan their work for plagiarism. As the feature scans work for commonalities among billions of webpages and millions of books, it highlights text that may need additional sourcing.

Strategies to Help Kids Identify Fake News

Recently released PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) study results revealed that only 14 percent of U.S. students were able to reliably distinguish between fact and opinion. PISA is an international assessment that measures 15-year-old students' reading, mathematics, and science literacy every three years. These findings are particularly alarming in these times when many rely on social media to get their news – a place where everyone has an opinion. In a commentary reaction to these results, Chris Link of the Global STEM Alliance at the New York Academy of Sciences shares strategies to help teachers and parents improve students' ability to identify information that is false or biased. One of the exercises he suggests is providing students with links to legitimate looking sites containing false information to see if they are deceived. He says, “experiences like these, where students are challenged to consider the validity of information and sort what’s real from what’s fake, would better prepare them not only to be savvier consumers of news, but also to someday digest contradictory information to make complicated decisions about their own health care, finances or civic engagement”.

Twitter Releases a Handbook for Parents and Teachers on Media Literacy

Twitter recently released a handbook to help educators and parents teach media literacy, help adults and teens analyze information they see online, deal with cyberbullying, control one’s digital footprint, and more. The Teaching and Learning With Twitter handbook also includes tips to help teachers use the social media platform in lessons and assignments.

New Study Says Angst Over Teen Social Media Overblown

Anxiety about the effects of social media on young people has risen to such an extreme that giving children smartphones is sometimes equated to handing them hard drugs. The reality is much less alarming, according to research discussed in Scientific American, showing that moderate use is fine. Some recent analyses are even showing that these early studies full of dire warnings were flawed, and researchers are finding new methods for leading research into social media and its effect on teens.

Time to Ditch Algebra?

When was the last time you divided a polynomial? If you were asked to do so today, would you remember how? Stanford University professor Jo Boaler and University of Chicago professor Steven Levitt say that instead of learning algebra, high-school students should be taught how to analyze data to boost critical-thinking skills and provide them with practical tools for grappling with real-world problems. Such a change would enable students to use math to analyze real-world issues such as the environment, social media or space travel, they insist. Boaler and Levitt point out that the closest most people get to Algebra in their daily lives is working with basic analytical software like Microsoft Excel, so why not teach them how to really use it for something that is relevant to their own lives.

What Does It Mean To Be a Digital Citizen?

What does it mean to be a good online citizen? Marialice Curran, founder of the Digital Citizenship Institute, proposes that it is less about a list of do’s and don’ts, and more about treating one another with humanity, compassion and respect. She believes the term “digital citizenship” is not the best way to get people’s attention. For her, digital citizenship is human connections. It is bringing back the humanity into interactions online and not using the online world to harass, bully and intimidate others.

 

Internet Fuels Essay for Hire Industry

People living in developing countries are writing essays and completing other schoolwork for college students in the US, UK and Australia -- a cheating method made easier with the Internet. The essay-for-hire industry has grown with the increases in numbers of English speakers worldwide and the availability of high-speed Internet, The New York Times reports.

Schools in Australia Test Using Emojis as Part of Classroom Communication

High-school students in Australia are sharing how they are feeling with their teachers using a library of emojis. Students have been using an emoji-based software tool as part of a pilot program aimed at curbing anxiety among students. Since implementing the program, teachers and staff feel the software has helped with gauging how students are coping at school and at home.

Google Feature Now Checks for Plagiarism

Google for Education has introduced a feature called Originality Reports that allows teachers and students to scan their work for plagiarism. As the feature scans work for commonalities among billions of webpages and millions of books, it highlights text that may need additional sourcing. Check it out here.

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