Lesson #20 I Want To Be A Good Digital Citizen

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Week 2 of #DCMOOC and I find myself thinking about digital citizenship in everything I do. Isn’t that what we want students to do? Isn’t that what I want to do … think before I post, learn to be a good digital citizen. I want to become the best citizen I can. I strive to do that daily and as I reflect, I think about the many times I have made mistakes in life and try to remember that I am still learning even today.

I recognize that it took me a lifetime to become the person I am today and I will continue to make mistakes online and off. Trying to merge my two identities online and off , being authentic and true to who I really am isn’t always easy.

Reflecting brings to light what I want students to do which is to focus on their strengths. I attempt to do that online and off, but at times I fall short. Reflecting makes me aware of what I need to do to change and taking this course helps me bring to light what it is that I want to do differently.

Each year I think about new ways to share my learning on line  so that it will benefit students. I want to model and teach citizenship to our students . By reflecting on others posts, sharing in blackboard collaborate , following the hashtag #DCMOOC and reading in the G + community I am often enlightened as to resources that I can use with our students.

I really like what Deborah had to say about #W2Q2 “I find the best analogy to share with my students is that everything they post online should be something they are willing to share on the morning announcements at school.“Thanks Deb, I think I will start sharing that with students. One thing I will do differently is start my day with something I can share with students on digital citizenship twice a week on the school twitter account. I will commit to this next year.

I want to thank Deborah McCallum for this flipboard. It made me think about fixing up one I had already started . I will share it later.

Taking this MOOC has made me revisit some of the resources I use and try to improve them so that I can then use them with students and share with those in #DCMOOC. As a result I have made a few more flipboards to share with School Counsellors and thanks to @suewaters I can now fix my flipboards to make them better. Thanks to @courosa for always sharing such great resources and here are some more resources.

Lesson #19 I Want To Be A Good Digital Citizen: #DCMOOC

I want to teach our students at BCHS to be good Digital Citizens
I want to teach our students at BCHS to be good Digital Citizens

Digital Citizenship Lessons

DCMOOC should I shouldn’t I ? This time of year can be so hectic with so many things going on , but I really could not pass up the opportunity to learn along with so many great educators who care about Digital Citizenship. Of course knowing that Alec Couros was going to lead the MOOC made my decision much easier as he is a phenomenal leader. School Counsellors need to model good digital citizenship and I want to continue to learn when it comes to this area.

This is my third MOOC, my second cMOOC and I am glad I decided to keep growing and learning along with you all. My first MOOC was ETMOOC and I was so scared to dive into that MOOC that I joined in on the last day. I believe it changed my life personally and professionally. I no longer have as many fears. I continued painting and feeling free to do so because of all the supportive ETMOOC’ ers. I feel I was released from my fears of I can’t to I can.

  • I am a better school counsellor because of ETMOOC, I now integrate Digital Citizenship and technology in all I do.
  • I am connected to so many fabulous people that I have met on line. I never realized you could make such great friends through  #ETMOOC, #SCCrowd and #scchat.
  • I have learned so many skills that I know I would not have had, had it not been for my involvement in ETMOOC. I blog , vlog tweet , make videos,

google hangout, use google doc’s , use technology to collaborate with people and school counsellors from across the world and so much more.

  • I believe I am a better person more willing to be open and share.

My second MOOC was an edxMOOC called Justice by Michael Sandel. A great orator and an interesting course (and I did like it a lot), but I must admit I learned way more from my cMOOC about life and learning. My bias is all MOOC’s should be run like a cMOOC.

I am very passionate about Digital Citizenship as a school counsellor, parent and person who is living in a digital world. I believe if I am to assist students in a digital world I need to know what they are doing and how they do it, thus my interest in everything digital.

If I want students to be good digital citizens I need role model being a good Digital Citizen, one who does not have fears of making mistakes.

I look forward to this journey with you , knowing that the process will be easier this time around, but the learning will continue and be as exhilarating and exciting! Thanks to every person who has been willing to share and help me on this journey.

I want to make a difference . What about you?

Making A Difference click here to see this Haiku Deck

 

BCHS Italy 2014 Connecting with Students and Staff in a Whole Different Way

Haiku Deck of Italy 2014

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Who would of thought that going on a school trip with ninety-four students and ten chaperones to Italy would turn out to be the trip of a lifetime? These pictures pretty much sum up the amazing adventure we were about to go on starting April 11 . Every detail was planned and coordinated by our outstanding music teachers at BCHS. I knew they were amazing before this trip, but I gained a new respect for them after this outstanding experience that would last ten extraordinary days.

Here is just a snippet of the 10 wonderful days of music:

FACTS:

Destination Calgary airport.

Group 1 departing for Amsterdam on route to Venice.

Group 2 departing for Toronto on route to Venice

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Our students performing for unsuspecting audience in Amsterdam airport joined by two unknown travellers much to the delight of  travellers
  • Landing in Venice tired but excited Saturday, APRIL 12TH, 2014AT 6.P.M. arriving at our hotel Hotel Villa Florita

Sunday, April 13th Venice, Italy DAY TWO

Our days would often begin early,so that we could fit in as much as possible for our students.

FACTS:

Day starts at 6 a.m. Arriving at Tronchetto Parking lot to transfer by boat to San Marco Area.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Mass at St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Gondola ride
  • Mask making workshop and painting masks ( a lot of fun had by all even the chaperones made masks )

Monday, April 14th Venice DAY THREE

FACTS:

Day begins at 7 a.m. arrive back at hotel after 11:00 p.m.

Each night we debrief with students and each other ending with a prayer

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • St. Mark’s Basilica tour
  • Visit San Vidal Church
  • Pizza Supper where we met up with a choir from South Africa singing together in a moving moment that brought tears to many eyes  as the two choirs spontaneously joined in to sing for each other and then join in together to sing shosholoza
  • Concert Interpreti Veneziani program Vivaldi/Bach/Hasse

 

Tuesday, April 15th  Cremona DAY FOUR

FACTS:

Day begins at 6 a.m. for a two and a half hour bus ride to the Cremona

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • A visit to Museo Stradivariano
  • Students perform in courtyard of Museo Ala Ponzone  facts ( first official concert of the tour and it was delightful)
  • Modena Balsamic Vinegar factory tour ,very tasty and what a beautiful location (got to bring back many gifts for families and friends)
  • Arrive at our hotel in Bologna ( Grand Hotel Bologna) another beautiful little town

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16th Bologna, Italy DAY FIVE

FACTS:

6:30 a.m. start

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Walking tour through beautiful city . So many beautiful churches and squares in all these spots
  • Lunch where we attend a great cooking school and make pasta Vecchia Scuola Bolognese (the lunch they made for us was amazing,but we had so much fun making linguini together in groups. The students sang to the owners and helpers to thank them for such a delightful afternoon.
  • Arrive at Grand Hotel Bologna E del Congress

Thursday, April 17th Florence and Assisi DAY SIX

FACTS: start 6:30 a.m.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Friday, April 18th Assisi  DAY SEVEN

FACTS: start a little later this morning

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Visit the Basilica in Santa Maria Degli Angeli
  • Held our own liturgy for Good Friday which was also amazing. The organ playing  done by our student . The horn playing by our choir teachers husband and the beautiful readings and prayers done by students and staff made this one of my favourite memories of the trip.
  • Stayed at Hotel Casa Leonori
  • A talent show by students and chaperones ( loads of laughs and fun )

Saturday, April 19th ROME

FACTS: start 6:00 a.m.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Tour of St. Peters Basilica, Vatican museum, Sistine Chapel
  • Walking tour of Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps
  • Dinner at Papa Rex with opera singing and an accordion player and a nice meal
  • This by far was the most hectic day keeping track of all our students in such large crowds

Sunday, April 20th Easter Sunday in the Vatican Pope Francis 

FACTS: Early start so we could arrive in the square by 7:30 a.m.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Just being at the Vatican on Easter Sunday
  • Listening to the message in many languages
  • Having this fantastic experience with so many wonderful students and staff

There is absolutely no way to really tell you how appreciative I am to be able to have spent the ten days together with students and colleagues.  The organization was exemplary. The students were unbelievably well behaved and represented themselves and the school exceptionally well. My most favorite part was being able to connect with students on a different level and be exposed to their wonderful talents. Now when I see them in the hall we can smile and talk with each other. We have a shared experience and memories that will last a lifetime. I absolutely loved all the music as I believe music can heal the body,mind and spirit. I am extremely grateful for this experience as it helped me connect as a school counsellor with students in a way I would never have been able to previously. The trip was a mental health break which I will treasure forever.

 

 

Lesson #18 Things School Counsellors Need To Know About Social Media

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There is always great information on twitter for school counsellors. One of the things I like best is that the information is relevant and usually makes you think about what was posted. I really like this article by Gary G Abud Jr posted on twitter by Alec Couros @courosa who often posts extremely resourceful information that school counsellors can use. Enjoy and share what you think!

Lesson #17 We Can Teach Students To Be Resilient … Bent But Not Broken

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“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

How many of the students you have worked with with would you describe as bent , but not broken? Even under the most horrific of circumstances they remain resilient.Why is that?

Haiku Deck Resilience

According to Steven M Southwick and Denis Charney in Resilience The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges there are 10 resilience factors that people use as coping strategies that make them more resilient.

People who are resilient :

  1. Are active problem solvers who look for meaning and opportunity in adversity
  2. Accept social support and seek it out
  3. Accept the things thay cannot change as well as confront their fears
  4. Attended to their health and well being
  5. Have an optimistic, but realistic outlook
  6. Imitate strong role models
  7. Rely on their own inner moral compass
  8. Use humour even in their darkness
  9. Take personal responsibilty for their own emotional well being
  10. Utilize religious or spiritual practices

People who are resilient will often look to their experiences as ways to find a platform for growth. I have seen this with students who have lived through physical, emotional and sexual abuse as well as other traumas. Students will find a means and a way to ask for help, but do more than that by using their inner strengths to push forward and make a difference in themselves and their world. They show themselves and the world what they are made of.

One of my all time favorite authors Viktor Frankl ,  who wrote Mans Search for Meaning, describes in this rare seen footage how we can help students by promoting them to what they really can be. We need to see students as they should be and help them to see what they are capable of becoming. We can help them in becoming more resilient by being that role model for them.

Over the years, I have seen many examples of students who are amazingly resilient as well as those that need to be taught how to be. I know I want to model resiliency for the students I serve. What about you?

Resources:

Here is a great video on teen stress and how to cope:

Haiku Deck on Coping Skills

Livebinder on resiliency

 

Can Students Make A Difference?

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The students in my school have inspired me and I truly mean it. I am in awe of them. I know I did not have the creativity, determination, passion,  compassion and self -direction that they have to make a difference at such a young age.

I have been working alongside these students since September on an initiative called #whosfrankyyc and what transpired yesterday was absolutely amazing. Last week students brought me their outline and a full detailed moment-by-moment plan of what our day would look like. I added or deleted nothing to the plan. I knew it would be great, but I really had no idea just how it would move others and me. It was one of those experiences that you had to be there. The media coverage just does not tell you how much thought, effort and caring went into what these students are trying to do. I received several notes and calls to let me know just how fabulous the day was and how fabulous our students were. There were several reporters there to interview Barbara Coloroso and students .

One reporter noted that he “could honestly say that in more than 25 years of reporting , and having sat through many student presentations, I’ve never witnessed one that was as inspiring as the one created by your students. It was simply amazing.” Yes, indeed it was and we shared this note with them.

#WHOSFRANKYYC is more than a day … it is a way. Bishop Carroll and Mount Royal University students and staff are working together to raise awareness and empower students to stand up and be brave. They want to make  a difference when it comes to people not hurting other people. Hurt people hurt people, but students can make a difference by having the courage to speak up and act to end the cycle of violence.

Our students have begun to do just that and we hope you join us in the movement. We want all people to post positively to #whosfrankyyc. Thinking about your digital tattoo is one way to make a difference and let others know that bullying is never ok.

Yes, students can make a difference. I see it in my school everyday.

  • students who raise money all the time for those less fortunate and don’t get any recognition
  • students working together to make the world a better place through water initiatives
  • students braiding it forward
  • students opening the door for others
  • students showing random acts of kindness like posting positive messages handwritten on stickies on every locker which happened a couple of weeks ago
  • holding faire trade fairs
  • volunteering with students with special needs in their school and community
  • volunteering with elderly in their communities
  • volunteering at feed the hungry
  • students raising 10,ooo to build a home in another country

No this is not a comprehensive list, but I do see acts of kindness almost daily in my school. Too often students do not get recognized for all the good they do. It does not make the news, but they do it anyway.

Global News Video

A gigantic thank you to Barbara Coloroso who was extremely compassionate and engaging with our students. She took the time to converse with them in a meaningful helpful way , letting them know that what they are doing can have an impact in their school communities and the world. Also a big thanks to Julie @dinnerwithjulie a Bishop Carroll alumna who prepared a beautiful lunch for our guests.

Look out for more to come on students making a difference at Bishop Carroll High School with our Mental Health Symposium and more…

To find out more about #whosfrankyyc click  here . Elephants (WHO”S FRANK?) are intelligent, compassionate beings and #WHOSFRANK is is only the beginning of the process these students want to continue in assisting their fellow human beings  to being the kind, caring, compassionate humans they are capable of being.

We are very grateful to our partner Mount Royal University. Working together on this initiative has been an absolute pleasure and together we are able to invite others to come along on this journey to make #whosfrankyyc make a difference in the world. Eighteen other schools have gathered up their frank banks to join us.

Here is another example of  the great work our students do. This was a project for Religion:

There is so much to celebrate at Bishop Carroll High School. Too often we notice the things that others do wrong instead of all the great things they do . Let’s continue to celebrate all the great things others do especially our students.

Yes, students can and do make a difference and you can too. Join us #whosfrankyyc.

School Counselling Week … Lesson #15 We Need To Take Time to Celebrate What We Do

 

Often times we do not take the time to celebrate what we do , so this can sometimes lead to the public not understanding our role. I would encourage all school counsellors to celebrate what you do all year long , not just during school counselling week.

School Counsellors can collaborate in many ways :

  • Vlogging

(thanks to @counselingeek for a great vlog )

  • Blogging
  • Google docs
  • Using livebinders
  • Haiku Decks

What ways do you collaborate?

Happy National School Counselling week my fellow US counsellors and Happy Canadian School Counsellor week to all my fellow Canadians. I hope School Counsellors from across the world will join us in collaborating Internationally.

Congratulations to School Counselor Online Professional Exchange (SCOPE) on your new space. It is a great place for counsellors to collaborate and share ideas and resources.

Please take a look at some of the great things counsellors are doing to celebrate School Counselling:

  • I like this article by Patrick O’Connor Why You Should Celebrate School Counselling Week. In it he says that ” many principals think we should change schedules instead of lives”. I have been extremely fortunate in my career as a School Counsellor in that my principals have felt the exact opposite. They have definately believed that we should change lives instead of schedules. I know that may not be true for some of you and I am very hopeful that the perception of what School Counsellors actually do is changing and will impact the Future Of School Counselling in a positive way. I also believe many counsellors in our School District are very well trained when it comes to knowing  how to help students apply for college. We also have excellent Career Practitioners in our District as well who assist us in this role.
  • This is a great audio  broadcast celebrating School Counsellors with a supportive principal.
  • A blog celebrating the whole child.
  • Some great tips for the celebration.
  • Celebrating @rawolfson’s new blog.
  • Another great article from a principals perspective on the role of the school counsellor.

Hope you are celebrating what you do every day . I have absolutely loved this career and would not change the choice of what I chose to do, but would love to see changes to the understanding and support of the role for the school counsellor. Please share all you do to support students. One life of a child is worth everything. We are fortunate to be able to make a difference every day. I am grateful to be working alongside my fantastic colleagues Peter Damen and Marc Osenton. Thanks for all you do for students and for making me want to go to work every day. I am honoured  to work with you.