MCS Digital Leaders: Looking Back on 2013 and Looking Forward to 2014

Happy (LATE) New Years! I know I am just a “tad” late on posting this, but I have decided that it is about time to talk about all that we have done in the year 2013. Let's start by going way back to August where we completed Digital Citizenship bundles on My Big Campus at the very beginning of the school year. In those bundles we learned about cyber bullying, the definition of digital citizenship, online digital tattoos, and safety & security. Around October, we began writing blog entries on topics involving Digital Citizenship and Leadership, participated in an Indiana eLearning Twitter Chat, and went to East Noble High School in Kendallville, Indiana for a mini conference where we were able to learn about their video production program.  Lastly, throughout November and December, we developed digital curriculum on My Big Campus for our district's elementary students. We shared information on video production and video storytelling, created a session on copyright, made a "how-to" guide for taking "selfies," and introduced iMovie for the iPad. 
For the 2014 year, we are hoping to make an even bigger impression on the state of Indiana and maybe even a national impression. On January 30, my Digital Leadership class is traveling to South Montgomery Community Schools in Crawfordsville, IN for another mini student conference to see what their students are doing with Digital Citizenship at their school. Coming up in March, my Digital Leadership class will teach elementary students during on-campus Elementary eLearning Days with the digital curriculum on digital storytelling and video production that we created. However, our biggest event this year is on April 26, 2014. We are going to be hosting a student technology conference at our school in Madison, Indiana. At our conference, "Alter Ego: Discover Your Digital Identity," we are going to have an incredible keynote speaker and a variety of workshops on technology powers (social powers, app. powers, video powers, and and digital powers). Lastly, in June, we are wrapping up the end of our school year by traveling to California to meet with Google, Apple, and My Big Campus (Which is a pretty big deal!). 

Although we don’t know what bumps and bruises we will get in the year of 2014, we will always hope for the best and will try to be prepared for all that 2014 holds! 
Posted by Aleah Cutshall, Freshman, Madison Consolidated High School

Southmont Visits East Noble

The Southmont IMAC group enjoyed the opportunity to travel to East Noble. We were there to attend a conference between the schools participating in design of the curriculum for teaching digital responsibility to our respective schools. East Noble is in the Northeastern corner of Indiana, about 3 hours from Southmont High School. Despite the long trip the conference was worth every minute of travel.

When our group was first told about the trip we were excited to be making more progress with our project. We also realized we needed to have a presentation for the conference. We immediately got down to work on refining our projects. When we got our presentations together all we had to do was wait, but it ended up being a long wait for twelve over-excited members. When the day of the trip came, no one minded to get up at 5:00 in the morning for the bus ride.

The conference was worth every second of the ride for our group. East Noble gave an excellent presentation, showing us what their group had been working on in their digital production class. Our counterparts from Madison gave equally impressive presentations about ways they are incorporating My Big Campus, each of which inspired new ideas in us. It was interesting to get to talk to the other students in the program and swap ideas and fun stories about our experiences. Southmont is using iBooks Author to create individual iBooks for grade levels to use to share digital citizenship lessons.

Overall the conference was a fun, productive day. It was nice to get to meet with our team members from the other schools and exchange ideas. The presentations were great, and gave us several new ideas and strategies to approach the lesson designs. I hope that the next meeting will be equally as insightful, and of course, fun.

Submitted by Seth Dickerson

Favorite Tools of the Trade at Southmont!

The Southmont IMAC group has utilized several modern tools in our efforts to create digital citizenship curriculum. The 1:1 technology initiative in our school corporation has enabled each of us to have our own iPad. We have taken advantage of that by creating a private e-mail group for our iPads, improving the ease and efficiency of our communication. The iPad's email has allowed us all to stay up-to-date on our group's news that often changes due to our lack of consistent time to meet built into our school day. This flexibility in communication has been crucial to our group overcoming various scheduling challenges. 

As important as iPads have been in keeping our group running smoothly, the most important technology used by our IMAC group has been our MacBook Pro laptops. The corporation once again received a grant that was able to cover the expenses to buy each of the group members their own laptop to be used during the school year. These tools are nothing less than the centerpiece of our entire effort. We are using an app only available for MacBooks, iBook Author, to create digital "books" containing the various lessons on digital citizenship that we develop. After completion, the books will be available on the iTunes store for teachers to access. Not only does the app provide an organized template to lay out our lessons, we also can easily import various media created on our MacBooks such as slideshows, iMovies, videos, and other documents to include in the book. Our MacBooks provide us with an organized, intuitive, and centralized way to both create and distribute our digital citizenship lessons. 

Being a group focusing on how to act in our increasingly technology-centeric world, it's no surprise that our group has found ways to integrate modern tools to help us fulfill our plans of our group. The simplicity, speed, and efficiency of iPads for communication and MacBooks for developing organized lessons have been great successes for our group here at Southmont. We hope to continue to use them to complete our goal of providing engaging and impactful digital citizen lessons for Indiana teachers. 

Submitted by Aaron Cox

Where We've Been and Where We're Headed!

Our Southmont IMAC group has faced many challenges and successes. We have covered lots of information and created many resources for students and teachers to use. We usually meet one day a week to check in and cover information that we need to keep out projects moving. Recently, we were dismissed from our classes to work during one whole school day, and we were able to get a lot done and understand  much better what to do in the future. We have another day out of class scheduled this week and we hope to be able to finish up the basics of each lesson. We have been using iBooks Author to create lessons that we can present or allow teachers to use. Each grade level will have one book with each chapter being a different lesson. Our biggest challenge that we have to face is finding time to meet. We all have very busy schedules and also are not offered IMAC as a class like some other schools have, so basically we meet every Wednesday during our lunch periods. This doesn't really allow us much time to actually work on our projects during the school day, so most of the work is done outside of school and on our own time. One huge success is being able to use MacBooks that were provided for our group from the school. These help us keep our projects organized and provide us with lots of resources to use. In the next few months, we plan to finish all of our projects and begin presenting them to classes. We have covered lots of information and are working hard to teach all the aspects of staying safe on the Internet.

Contributed by Kelly Tucker

Where We've Been and Where We Are Going--East Noble

Here at ENVision, the first portion of the school year was mostly about figuring out how to use all of our video equipment, how to incorporate all of our ideas into one project, and learning time management. And after plenty of trial and error, we completed our first short film titled An EN Knight’s Tale about a freshman that experiences an unusual first day of high school. We also contributed footage for East Noble’s Campus Beautification project and completed the first of a series of Digital Citizenship public service announcements that concentrate on issues like identity theft, piracy, and cyber bullying. We are currently working on the next PSA and a video about how technology influences our education at East Noble for a contest at the White House.

Contributed By Lydia Waring
East Noble High School Senior

MCS Digital Leaders: Comparing & Contrasting Digital Leadership in Kendallville, IN

Not long ago, our Madison Digital Leadership group took a trip up to East Noble High School in Kendallville, Indiana. For those who don’t know where that’s located, it’s in the upper right corner of Indiana, not far from Michigan. The drive was long and the road was bumpy but we made it! During our time there, we learned about East Noble, a forward-thinking school who is quickly integrating more technology into their system.
One of the major differences between Madison and East Noble is the video production aspect of the groups. East Noble has an entire class dedicated to the creation of videos. The class features many talented students. The closest thing Madison has to the program is a Mass Media class which produces our school newspaper, online newspaper and a segment called Time Out News that airs every few weeks. East Noble is taking the next step and using advanced technology to improve the quality of their videos. They have a collection of lights, mics, cameras and other film producing accessories. The students in the class are an impressive lot. They are self-taught students who learned how to use the tools needed for their videos via online tutorials and trial-and-error.
Another interesting aspect about the East Noble video production is the involvement of the rest of the student body. Madison’s Mass Media class is primarily run by them and features them aside from when they interview other students and faculty. From what I observed at East Noble, it seems that they have all types of students cast and taking part in their videos. Our digital leadership class focuses on creating a digital curriculum to share with every grade level in our school system.
All in all the conference was a success! The students had fun, collaborated and we all learned a ton. Our teamwork is just the next step on the road to a technologically advanced learning system.
Posted by Jordyn Watson, Junior, Madison Consolidated High School