Overview: 

Hosted by the New England Literacy Resource Center (NELRC), this online professional development opportunity is for you, as teachers, to learn and practice new ways of integrating Digital Literacy and Civics into your instruction to develop your students’ (and your own) capacity to engage civically in the 21st century. It offers an opportunity to practice skills for varied purposes and to demonstrate how skills transfer across contexts. There will be an overview webinar followed by practice, with additional PD activities and sharing through Facebook, Google Drive, and follow-up webinars. The first webinar, on April 13, 2018, is a prerequisite for attending other activities. 

Audience: 

This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • All adult education teachers who provide civics instruction
Description: 

In this online professional development series, we will use the framework for civic engagement laid out in NELRC’s Civic Participation & Community Action Sourcebook to offer practical tech-enabled activities you can have students participate in both in and outside of class. You will assess your own capacity to use technology for various civic activities and then choose a few digital literacy skills you would like to focus on based on the civic engagement interests of your students. You will practice the tech-enabled activities with your students, reflect on your learning process, and strategize with each other about ways to support your learners as civically engaged technology users and problem solvers.

This online, three-part PD opportunity is for all adult educators who provide civics instruction. An overview webinar, covering introductory content, will be enhanced by additional PD activities delivered through Facebook, Google Drive, and two follow-up webinars.

  • Facebook - We’ll use Facebook as a place to share resources, ideas, and discussion on course topics.
  • Google Drive - As you develop resources to use in your classroom, we will share them in a Google folder.
  • Webinars - You can participate in one, two, or three webinars. However, note that attending the first webinar is a prerequisite for attending Webinars 2 and/or 3.

Facilitator: Jen Vanek is Director of the IDEAL Consortium and trains nationally on incorporating digital literacy into instruction.

Webinars

1. Civics in a Digital World (April 13, 2:00 ET) - Prerequisite

What digital tools do you use in your own civic activity? How do people use technology to connect to their communities and learn about community issues? What are your students’ interests? What are they concerned about and in what ways do they want to engage in:

  • Holding decision-makers accountable?
  • Building community and helping others?
  • Expressing themselves and educating others, or
  • Organizing for change?

What kinds of digital literacy skills are required for each of the above purposes?

Assignment: Carry out a needs assessment to determine students’ digital literacy needs and learn the what areas of civic engagement are most relevant to them. Test out some of the resources introduced in the webinar, and then post about your experiences on the group Facebook page. Participate in webinars 2 and/or 3 based on your new understanding of your students’ needs and interests.

2. Digital Tools and Skills We Use for Holding Decision Makers Accountable, and for Expressing Ourselves and Educating Others (May 18, 2:00 ET)

In this webinar, you will share what you learned from applying ideas gleaned in Webinar 1, and you'll be introduced to tools that support students in engaging civically, such as finding out:

  • Who represents you in Congress the state legislature, and locally, and how they vote
  • How to access community resources online
  • How to register to vote online
  • Ways to express your voice, (e.g. using the Internet to contact decision-makers, social media to communicate about an issue or organize a discussion, etc.)
  • Issues related to digital safety and how to consider safety, privacy, appropriateness, and digital footprint before using digital tools and setting appropriate privacy settings
  • Ways to create videos, photos, or documents for sharing information

We will end with a discussion on how these tools align with learner needs and interests.

Assignment: Practice with a few of the introduced tools in an instructional setting, and consider ways to help your learners gain proficiency using them.  Post about experiences on the group Facebook page.

3. Digital Tools/Skills We Use for Building Community and Helping Others, and for Organizing for Change (May 24, 2:00 ET)

In Webinar 3, you will share what you learned in applying ideas gleaned in Webinar 1. You'll then be shown how to use tools that support students in engaging civically, such as:

  • Funding sites (e.g. GoFundMe.com)
  • ioby.org, a community of donors, volunteers and leaders dedicated to making urban neighborhoods stronger and more sustainable
  • Community sharing sites, such as Next Door or the Freecycle Network, to learn about neighborhood events, offerings, and needs
  • Online survey tools for understanding community needs
  • Excel, Google Sheets, and other tools for sharing community data 
  • Social media for organizing events

We will end with a discussion on how these tools align with learner needs and interests.

Assignment: Practice with a few of the introduced tools in an instructional setting and consider ways to help your learners gain proficiency using them. Post about experiences on the group Facebook page.

Wrap-Up

Assignment: Post any final observations about your experiences. Reflect on what you think would be helpful for other educators to know. Share resources developed in Google folder.

Presenter(s): 
Prerequisites: 

Participants must attend Webinar 1, Civics in a Digital World (April 13, 2:00–3:15 ET), to move on to Webinars 2 and 3.

Date: 
04/13/2018 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
05/18/2018 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
05/24/2018 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Location: 
PD Center: 
Topic Area: 
ABE/Adult Education
Citizenship
Civics Education
Collaboration/Community Planning
Digital Literacy
ESOL/English Language Learner
PDP Eligible: 
No
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