Digital Communication

-Megan && Moza =)

Investigation

My group chose the element digital communication for our project. We chose this because we believe it is one of the easiest of the elements to find information on, and is also one of the most important! If it wasn’t for digital communication, many people wouldn't be able to communicate easily, especially internationally. For example, most people living in Qatar are not nationals. If it wasn't for modern digital tools (such as computers, cell phones, etc) it would be very difficult for them to communicate with their family and friends in their home countries.

Definition (According to the "Digital Citizenship" website [http://coe.k-state.edu/digitalcitizenship/index.htm%5D%29%7C
Digital communication: electronic exchange of information. One of the significant changes with the digital revolution is a person’s ability to communicate with other people. In the 19th century, forms of communication were limited. In the 21st century, forms of communication have exploded to offer a wide variety of choices (e.g., e-mail, cellular phones, instant messaging) The expanding digital communication options has changed everything because people are able to keep in constant communication with anyone else. Anyone is afforded the opportunity to access information anywhere and anytime. Unfortunately, many administrators, teachers, students, and the general public have not been taught how to make appropriate decisions when faced so many different digital communication options.

Research & Background Material

According to the above definition, digital communication includes anything involving e-mail, cellular phones, instant messaging, and more! Here are some listed resources, and a basic definition of what can be found on these pages, showing examples of these types of digital communication.

1.
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2003/06/59093
On this page you will find an article based upon a type of digital translator program that scientists are hoping to develop within a month. (Article was published the 6th of July 2003). It will be used to aid communications between different countries when there is a
"…national security threat, like a terrorist attack, war or humanitarian."

2.
http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2003/05/58861

This article applies more to people my age. It describes the use of cell phones between teenagers, and how it affects their social standing. It implies different realities, such as how when a group of teenagers get together they are more likely to be talking on their cell phones then with each other!

3. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9907E6D9143EF932A05754C0A9659C8B63

This is yet another article, however this one is probably more appropriate for the age group that we are going to be presenting to (to be further discussed later). It is talking about how digital communication technologies (such as e-mail and cellular phones) are now interfering with summer camps, as well as homesickness! It is describing how homemade packages and letters can now easily be replaced by phone calls and e-mails.

4.
http://hyper.vcsun.org/HyperNews/battias/get/cs454/topic00/26.html?nogifs
This article is based around digital communication as a whole; specifically the internet. It discusses on the homepage, as well on sub-pages, the importance of internet in modern day communication, as well what is appropriate on the internet and what should be censored. There are many forums included where topics such as this one can be discussed between users!

Our "learning community"!
The targeted audience for our presentation is going to be Mrs. Bray's grade 5 class in the primary for five specific reasons://

  1. They are about to enter the QA senior school, and need to have more experience with digital communication.
  2. They are at an age where they will understand anything slightly complex, as well as enjoying little games and colorful handouts.
  3. We have easy access to meetings with the teacher, and our schedules tend to fit well for these meetings as well as presentations.
  4. They need to know how to approach digital communication, how to use it responsibly, and how to have fun with it (so that it is not as confusing in the future!)
  5. They can be introduced to some pieces of technology that can be shared with others, which will help them within and outside school.

Conclusion
In conclusion, my group and I have a pretty clear understanding as to what we are going to do during this project. We have come up together with a clear understanding as to what digital communication is, a targeted audience, and at least one specific example that can be used in our presentation. However, things we need to work on in the design cycle include exactly what we are going to present to the class, and which means of technology we are going to use in order to present it! This will come further in the design stage, and so far I think that we have a pretty clear understanding on how this project is going to turn out!

Design



For our design, we have come with several possible activities that can be used in our presentation that are appropriate for the age-group, and based upon the directions that Mrs. Bray gave us. The children are between the ages 10-12, and we’ve been told that they are very energetic. We were advised not to come up with anything that involved too much moving around the classroom. We’ve also been told that if we can keep their attention, they are very good at paying attention in return and answering any questions that we might ask.

Our introduction:
  • In order for the class to familiarize themselves with us, and also as an ice-breaker, we think that we are going to use the "Smart Board" to present ourselves in a color, attention-keeping way. The smart board allows us to doodle and write using big colourful letters.
  • First of all we are thinking of writing our names a vaguely introducing ourselves so that we are not complete strangers to the members of the classroom. This will hopefully allow them to be more open with us.
  • We will then explain with them why we are here, and what we are going to be showing them today. We want them to be excited about it!

Power Point Presentation:
If we use the Power Point Presentation, this is what we will include:
· Definition of digital communication using non complex words that are easy to understand by people of this age.
· Examples of digital communication that they are most likely going to run into in the Senior School and real life.
· The basic safety rules of digital communication, and how not to harm yourself or others when using these tools.
· Say how power point presentations (such as this one) are another source of digital communication.
· Bright pictures that are funny (such as comics) that can keep the kids’ attention and aren’t boring.

Video
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLlGopyXT_g
  • This is a video that has been shown to us during our tech classes. It shows different examples of digital communication throughout, and could be used in our presentation
  • Say how this video is even another example of digital communication, because someone created it in order to communicate their thoughts on Web 2.0 to other people
  • This video moves really fast and has some language that the students of this age are not going to be able to understand completely.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fnh9q_cQcUE
  • This is another video that could be used in our presentation; however it also deals with some subjects that could be too advanced for students of this age. My partner and I have considered making our own video similar to this one.
  • We would include simple thoughts of how it was for their parents in the classroom when they were their age.
  • We would also include what opportunities are there for them now, considering technology.
  • We can also discuss the basic technology that will be there for them in the future.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQe7GbjQsxk
  • Finally, this is yet another video that I found which will be perfect to show to the class! It really keeps your attention, because it has pictures flying in and but you still have time to see what they are saying!
  • It also describes a very important type of digital communication that they will experience in the real world; advertisement! It will introduce them to the bigger picture of advertisement, and we can continue to explain what kind of scams to look out for.
  • It also refers to different types of digital communication that may not be appropriate at this age, however we can also use it to show them how the internet and other types of technology are developing for their future use!

Game – What did they learn?//
  • At the end of the presentation, we are hoping to sum everything up by creating a simple game to find out how much they learned from our presentation.
  • We will divide the class in two teams (depending on their seating arrangement as we don't want them to move around too much), and will ask them questions based upon what was in our presentation.
  • Whichever group answers first, gets to use the "Smart board" to receive a point (using a tally).
  • This will allow the students to interact with each-other slightly, without it getting out of hand. The smart board is also a communication tool that they are familiar with, which will make them feel as if they are teaching us something too! Finally, it helps us insure that we have done a good job!

Survey
  • Another suggestion that we came up with was a survey before and after our presentation. This does not have to be a survey on paper. We could simply quiz them at the beginning, or even introduce our information in the form of a question, such as; "What do you think digital communication is?" and then "That's sort-of right, digital communication is…"
  • At the end of our presentation we could ask them questions again, such as "Ok, so if you are on Facebook and someone has added you as a friend, but you don't know who they are, what are you going to do?" We'll know by their answers how much they have learned.

Websites
Students my age are very familiar with websites where you connect with people from all over the world! We would like to introduce the students to some of these social based websites; however we would also like to show them some resources that can be used for educational purposes. Here are some examples…
  • www.facebook.com is currently a very popular social based website. We can ask the students "how many of you are familiar with facebook already?" If the majority of the class has already heard of it, we will keep the information very simple. However, we will be sure to imply that there are certain rules to using this website, such as the age limit! (You are required to at least be a high school student)
  • http://del.icio.us/ is an educational-type website that we are currently being introduced to. It is called "social bookmarking" and we can inform them how useful it can be when you are working on a project with other people, and find useful websites. We can refer to a major project that they are entitled to complete at the end of grade 5.
  • www.youtube.com is a resource that we will be referring to constantly throughout the presentation if we decide to use the videos. We can introduce to them the purposes of sharing videos to other people, and how it helps you share opinions with each other.
  • http://www.kidsclick.org/ is a type of Google that is more appropriate for kids of this age. When a student searches something, such as "Africa", they come up with some resources that are more likely to be suitable to what they are looking for, then a grade 10 student using Google to research Africa.
  • http://www.brainpop.com/ is possibly a website that people of this age are already familiar with. We can basically tell them how resourceful it is when studying different science, social studies, math, arts, music, health, or technology matters. We can also show them that the school has an account which allows them to have free access to the information found here. (In case they didn't already know)
  • http://www.explorelearning.com/index.cfm?method=cPreview.ProdElementaryGizmos is another good website, targeted for students from grades 3-5. It has interactive games and "Gizmos" that allow the student to apply to real life situations.

Safety
Finally, we want to be able to introduce to them some basic safety rules that need to be followed. These include://
  • Be as anonymous as possible by protecting anyone from contacting you directly.
  • Protect your personal information by seeing if you can restrict it to certain people.
  • Avoid in-person meetings, and if you HAVE to tell a parent and bring a friend.
  • Think first before sharing and posting photos to see if you can restrict them to prevent strangers from recognizing you.
  • Check your comments regularly and don’t reply/delete nasty ones.
  • Be honest about your age and follow the rules; if you are too young, chances are there's a reason you can't be on there!

Well, these are most of the things that we have come up with to use in our final presentation. These ideas will soon be all discussed within my group, and in the plan we will discuss exactly what we are going to do!

Plan



After creating the design for our project, we are now ready to completely plan out our presentation. We have our chosen audience, a schedule for the next few weeks, and an idea of what we will have included in our production.

Our audience:
We have clearly decided on Mrs. Bray's grade 5 classes for our presentation. We have already arranged several meetings with her to give her some updates on our progress, and we have each-others' emails if anything comes up.

Our schedule://
Date
What we plan to do

November 13th
We hope to start our power point presentation today. We need to come up with a definition of digital communication that is easy to understand for people this age. We will also come up with a slide on some basic things that they will come across in the Senior School.

November 19th
We will continue working on our power point presentation today by adding more slides on basic safety rules of the internet, and describing different tools (such as power point) that they can use in school now.

November 20th
Finish up the power point presentation, and test it in Mrs. Bray's classroom to make sure everything is compatible.

November 26th
Start work on making a video that is appropriate for their age group. We will include examples of how technology has improved since their parents were younger.

November 27th
Finish putting together video. May have to continue this for homework.

December 3rd
Come up with a simple game that doesn't involve too much moving around for the kids. Should be able to tell us what they have learned.

December 4th
Finish up the planning for the game. If we have time, run it by some other people to see if they think it's appropriate.

December 10th
Start to come up with the finishing touches for our presentation such as a list of websites that we can introduce them to, our introduction, and a list of safety rules (possibly on a handout for them to keep).

December 11th
Do a run through of the presentation in Mrs. Bray's classroom and see what she thinks. Make any changes for homework.

December 17th
Last day before Christmas break. Present what we have to either the entire class, or some members of the class and get their opinions.

Present to the 5th grade class after we come back from Christmas break.





Create


This is the powerpoint that we used in our presentation. The background was rainbow color, and there are several animations that do not appear in the example below. We introduced ourselves to the class, then showed this.


We also presented using this video, after the power point presentation. It shows the kids how digital communication has changed between the present time, and when their parents were their age.

Evaluate



Megan Elliott
Well, it’s all finished and done with! My partner and I have completed our presentation to Mrs. Bray’s grade 5 class, and next week we will be moving on to Design Technology. I’ve learned so much these past few months, and here I am going to evaluate my work.
First of all, I believe that I worked really hard on the project from the very beginning. I always made sure that I finished the different steps of the design cycle before the deadlines, and posted my work onto the wikipage as soon as I possibly could. I believe that I met the deadlines whenever we were given them, and was usually on task in the classroom. I also worked hard at home to insure that everything was perfect, and the wikispace really helped me create an easy connection between my school work, as well as what I did at home. It was a much easier way to keep track of my progress. The only thing that I found difficult to do, however, was to keep up my process journals. I could have tried harder, but I found it really difficult to keep up with the demands in pace for the work on my project, as well as to keep up my process journals. I found that I did not have enough time to work on them in class, and usually forgot about them by the time I got home. However, once it came to the presentation itself I felt very comfortable with myself. Once I got up in front of the class, I found it easy to keep their attention and to keep them interested. I believe that I was able to come up with an attention-keeping and interactive presentation that was appropriate for our chosen age group, and my part of the presentation went very smoothly.
Throughout the process, I discovered my many strengths and weaknesses when it came to both using the various computer programs, keeping up with my personal wiki, the digital communication wiki, and my process journals at the same time, as well as meeting the deadlines and requirements for each stage of the design cycle. First of all, I used a wide variety of computer programs to design my presentation; power point, windows movie maker, and more. I put my skills to the test and was eventually really pleased with the outcome. I was also very happy that I had managed to impress both my teacher, as well as the class that I presented to with my previous knowledge on making videos and power point presentations. Although, I felt I was very tested when it came to keeping track of all the various websites we were assigned to. I was glad to learn about ‘delicious’, ‘eduspaces’, and ‘wikispaces’ however I found it extremely difficult to keep up with it all. This was definitely one of my weaknesses. However, I was usually quite confident with meeting the deadlines and stuck to my plan as often as I could.
If I was to do this over again, I would definitely plan my work out better. I would make a strict schedule and stick to it, therefore using my time much more wisely. Hopefully this way I would ensure to get my work done on time and keep up with everything at once. Other then that, I was very pleased with the final outcome of our presentation, and felt that I had done a lot of work towards it! In the end, it was all worth it and there’s not much that I would change.
When it comes to Homo Faber and creativity, I thought that this was an excellent project and I learned so much from it, and also contributed so much! The reason I feel this way is because of the kids that we presented to. A week after our presentation, I was speaking to Mrs. Bray again and they said that her kids were already starting to use what we had taught them! I believe that what we taught them will definitely stick with them their entire lives, and hopefully they will be able to use it in the near future. I already know that what we taught them about power points will be useful for their end of year project, and everything that we taught them will be very beneficial to them in the senior school.
So, as I said, I am very pleased with how everything turned out and I believe that our result was very good. I worked very hard throughout the entire project, and it was all worth it in the end. I feel like I have made a lasting contribution that will help these kids both in the near and the distance future. It was a worthwhile project and I would definitely recommend using it with future classes because I enjoyed it so much.



Final Assessment
Megan -
Moza -