Creating and Implementing Connect-Type Learning Activities


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What is a Connect-Type Activity?

In my own words it is bringing together something that you already have previous knowledge of and connecting it with an activity to further enhance what you already know. According Horton (2014) ” If the purpose is to link to something already known or prompt application of learning, it is a Connect activity.” The students in this activity will take a situation that  already have knowledge of and apply it to situations in real life. The assignment chosen was internet safety. We live in the 21st century and our children are sometimes more tech savvy than we are however they are not aware of some of the hidden dangers that comes with the usage of the internet. This connect-type assignment will give them a different outlook on how to look out for those hidden dangers.

The Connect-type activity chosen for this assignment was internet safety in and out of the classroom.

The activity is chosen for  students who are home schooled but can be used with any students. Most of the activities thus far have been outside of the four walls of the house. The students have traveled, have been to the museums, the parks, the science centers, libraries and even the zoo. Our activities have been on the computer mainly when they are doing research papers however this semester some of them began to take online courses.  Because we live in the 21st century and one of the students will be leaving of college shortly and the other two will be returning to the public school setting it was necessary that they learn the hidden dangers of the internet.

I have a 17 year old student, one that is 12 years old and the other student just turned 14. The assessment was performed to see what they already knew about the internet and most of their time was spent on YouTube or Spotify  listening to music, or writing emails, chatting with friends or basically  shopping. They had limited knowledge of identity theft, strangers requesting friendships with fake pages (via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and the importance of signing out of their accounts. I found that the Questioning Activity would be the perfect example of a connect-type activity for the students because it required critical thinking skills.

Questioning Activity

“Questioning Activities” is the connect activity that has been chosen for the students. This activity was chosen because it gives the children the opportunity to ask questions as they do their research. “Like all other types of activities, questioning activities provide evidence of learning that can be used to assess learners and to evaluate learning efforts.” (Horton 2014) This was a great activity because we do a lot more open ended type assignments and this was still in the flow of how they learn. One of the great things about this subject is that my brother is a police officer and he deals with topic quite often. He was able to share some of his experiences with them. This topic gave the students the opportunity to get answers about things that happened to kids who fell prey to the wrong people or situations on the internet.

Before the assignment took place the students viewed a video via YouTube speaking about internet safety, they were given pre-test and took part in practice exercises.  They were allowed to asked questions as they explored some of the topics discussed on the video. And as a result of our “Questioning Activities” I have some expectations:

Internet_Saftey

1. Will the students  understand why  internet safety is necessary

2.Will the student understand where the privacy settings are located on the internet (social media sites) and how important they are for their safety

3. Will the student have a better understanding of what should and should not be posted online

4. Will the students be able to detect fake emails and social media accounts

5. What can they do if the wrong picture, post or email goes out?

Assessment Information

The student have now collected all the information from the Questioning Activity and is ready to share with teacher, and fellow classmates.  Before we come together with our open forum of questioning the students will take part in a short post-test to see if their knowledge has been challenged or were they on task with safe searching. The information was gained from Formative Assessment and this helped give the students the answers they were seeking along the way as well as let the teacher know how well they are understanding the subject. “The purpose of formative assessment is to promote the students’ learning through the feedback from both the teacher and the students. In order to achieve this purpose, the teacher must adjust the teaching from time to time to close the gap between the students’ desired goal and their present position.” (Yu, H., & Li, H. (2014)

The students have been keeping a journal of all the questions they have about the information they have learned thus far. The students are now ready to come together with the other students and the teacher and discuss anything they have questions about as well as start brainstorming ways to incorporate what they have learned.  The information is being shared with one another, the teacher and will be documented and shared on the blogs they have created.

This assessment was designed to help student of all ages to help protect themselves while on the internet.  This assignment was created to help  home school students to create a venue of safe searching and they could share with their friends. The assignment was constructed by the teacher, parents, a police officer and the students. They all came together to create a module for safe searching in effort to promote awareness about the dangers of the internet and to spread ways to avoid falling into the dangerous pitfalls. “A better way to approach school Internet safety is for the school to set up a comprehensive Internet safety plan that includes: 1. An Internet safety policy with clear rules, a student contract, and consequences for failure to comply. 2. Filters. 3. A school-wide Internet safety curriculum.” (MELGOSA, A., & SCOTT, R. 2013) With the guidelines in place it leaves no room for guessing when it comes to safety. Since the children are home schooled they have a bit more freedom on the internet so it was important for the topic to be discussed.

References

retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FlU_y9Otns

MELGOSA, A., & SCOTT, R. (2013). School Internet Safety: More Than ‘Block It to Stop It’. Education Digest, 79(3), 46

Yu, H., & Li, H. (2014). Group-based formative assessment: A successful way to make summative assessment effective. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 4(4), 839-844. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1519975990?accountid=32521

Horton, W. (2014) E-Learning by Design 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc

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