Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Community Connections (30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 23)

Write about ways that you "meaningfully" involve the community in the learning in your classroom.  If you don't yet do so, discuss one way you could get started.

Last year, while working as a Computer Apps instructor at a local middle school, I focused a lot of my attention on the global community in the context of teaching about digital citizenship.  I introduced students to the Creative Commons community and showed them how they could contribute their own work to that community, as well as borrowing and building upon the works of other contributors.  The impact that this had on students was an increased awareness of the issue of intellectual property rights and of their responsibilities as both creators and users of content.

A way that I involved the community on a more local level was by creating a website about my school's experience with the Week of Code.  Since we also wrote up an article for our local paper, I included a link of the article on the site, as well as photos and samples of student work.  In collaboration with other teachers in the building, we were also able to have a guest speaker come to the school to share ways that coding has impacted his career.  Students participating in this global event, with local community connections, and an authentic audience for their work, were very enthusiastic about the experience, and parents were eager to sign their children up for coding camps as a result.

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