As I look back at my major project, I am very happy with the learning that has taken place for myself, but more importantly, for my students. As noted in my first post, the aim of my project was to work with a group of grade 3/4 students on understanding their mental health and developing coping strategies.
One of the best parts of this project was exploring the Microsoft Teams Reflect app. Our students began each day checking in on their devices. The Reflect app gives them a visual and written description of a wide variety of emotions. Once students choose their emotions, teachers are able to see their entire class’ feelings on their dashboard. It provides a great snapshot of how everyone is feeling that day. This lets us know first thing in the morning who we need to check in with to see why they are feeling outside of the green zone.
Each September, all staff and students of my division are required to sign an Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement. The agreement is vast in covering what technology is, privacy and tracing, and access to the division network. The agreement is in part to protect the division:
“Inappropriate use of the Technology may expose the school division to legal liability and/or public embarrassment. The objective of this administrative application is to balance employee and student ability to fully benefit from informative technology against the school division’s need to ensure that all use of the Technology meets the school division’s legal obligations and upholds the Division’s reputation and public image.”
It also lays out the consequences of not using technology appropriately, including discipline in the form of loss of access to technology use, legal action, and financial responsibility.
This agreement is very consequence based. This is what we expect you to do, and if you don’t this is what can happen. It is important to note the consequences. Ultimately, the division needs to protect itself, perception wise, legally, and financially. But there is not much mention of what students should be doing. Teachers need to focus on teaching responsibility in the classroom – here is what we want you to do when using technology. Similar to the positive behavior program we use at our school, we want to catch and reward students for doing the right things.
I wonder what our division’s policy would look like if it were rewritten in a responsibility format. Does anyone have examples of what this looks like in your schools/divisions?