Monday, September 29, 2014

ELMAC interns help sixth-graders learn how to be “super” digital citizens

Tags: kolb, mitchellscarlett, reischl, teacher education, teaching and learning

The Super Digital Citizen Project

While “superhero” may not end up on the resumes of a group of Elementary Teacher Education (ELMAC) interns, the designation played a big part in their participation in an innovative project at Scarlett Middle School in Ann Arbor.

The Super Digital Citizen Project, led by Clinical Assistant Professor Liz Kolb, helped Scarlett sixth-graders learn how to be safe, responsible and respectful when they are online. ELMAC teaching interns taught the four-part course, which includes modules on digital discourse, safety and identity.

“It’s an unusual and valuable interaction between Teacher Education students and Scarlett students, and a unique aspect of our Mitchell-Scarlett Teaching and Learning Collaborative with Ann Arbor Public Schools,” said Clinical Associate Professor Cathy Reischl, coordinator of the MSTLC.

On a recent afternoon, the topic of the project session was “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.” Outfitted in superhero garb, the ELMAC teaching interns led students in Rosetta Ransome’s sixth-grade class through an exercise using “Marvel Comic Creator” software. Each sixth-grader (many with their own superhero accessories) created a multipanel comic with the superhero of their choice to illustrate themes of responsibility, safety or respect. For example, teaching interns Anna Benson and Kimmy Odtohan worked with student Alex Miteza on his comic, which featured Spiderman crusading against online scams. Nearby, Kimberly Harn and Michelle Kang worked with Vivika Matthews to show Captain America defending password protection.

“When everyone is done creating their comic, we do a ‘gallery walk’ to let students see the other comics and figure out which idea is represented,” said Kolb. After the conclusion of the session, ELMAC teaching interns wrote letters to their students with an evaluation of their work, and thanking them for their efforts.

“I think this was a good way for our teaching interns to get in-depth, hands- on experience with some of the tools they may use in their classrooms,” said Kolb. “Teachers really need to know how to use a wide spectrum of technology resources in today’s classrooms.”

Liz Kolb is Clinical Associate Professor

Cathy Hindman Reischl is Clinical Professor

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