By: Karl Fisch
Powerful Learning Practice.
I always refer to it as PLP, but sometimes I’m reminded of what those letters actually stand for. One of the great things about PLP is the ability to communicate with other caring educators at schools that are sometimes very similar, and sometimes very different, than our own. Through the conversations that ensue, all of us take away ideas that help us think more deeply about what we’re doing and often help us make our own school better.
I was reminded of how powerful PLP can be in a recent forum post on the ADVIS PLP Ning. In a post about Digital Citizenship, Nica Waters Fleming from The Philadelphia School replied several times throughout the thread and laid out her school’s philosophy:
We recently changed our Appropriate Use Policy to a Responsible Use Policy for our students, and review the entire policy every year with students in grades 4 through 8 through some sort of interactive activity (this year we used an online Jeopardy game) at the beginning of the year. It seemed that asking our students to take on more responsibility in their digital world made more sense than simply telling them what we think is appropriate.
While we have this stand alone “class” on what makes for good digital citizenry at the beginning of the year, I try to embed the ideals whenever I am working with students.
. . . We have decided not to filter content because it limits what students can do. We use this access as opportunities to further stress the concept of digital citizenship. Do things slip through? Certainly. But because this is part of the learning here I like to think we do a good job of using these as teaching opportunities.
. . . Several years ago we debated whether or not to filter. In the end we felt it was our responsibility, not the software, to teach students about what it means to be a good (and safe) digital citizen. And it wasn’t worth keeping students away from a wealth of valuable information. It is constant work, but we feel it should be a part of what we do.
It is constant work, but we feel it should be a part of what we do.