Although as a community we have been addressing digital citizenship and the importance of tech boundaries with our students for many years, these weeks of Shelter in Place have shown us that we must stay the course.
In this blog, Mrs. Hendricks, Director of Educational Technology, reminds us of tools, resources, and boundaries which will help us develop healthy tech habits for our students and in our homes.
Why must we teach digital citizenship and tech boundaries?
For some great insights, you can read this blog called Teaching Kids to Cross the Street. It was written several years ago, but the words in it still ring true as our culture relies so heavily on technology.
“We need to teach our kids to be good digital citizens. Even more importantly, we need to teach our kids to be great digital leaders."
Creating a Partnership
SAN JOSE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL Will…
- Teach, not Ban - Technology is part of our world. SJCS works to prepare our students to be responsible citizens and effective communicators in their technology use.
- Enforce boundaries at school - Technology is a tool, not a master. When your student is at school, teachers hold loving limits for tech use.
From Love & Logic, “Adults set firm limits in loving ways without anger, lecture, threats or repeated warnings. We set limits using enforceable statements, regard mistakes as learning opportunities, and resist the temptation to nag.”
- Abide by the SJCS Tech Agreement
- Set boundaries for your student at home - Device Contract & Family Media Agreement & Circle with Disney
- Keep devices out of the bedroom at night. Over and over, studies have proven how crucial sleep is to our overall health
- Set a positive example.
- Educate yourself & talk with your student(s) - Common Sense Media Parent Resources & Reviews can help.
- Share with other parents.
- Allow for flexibility - we are not in normal times, so it is okay to be flexible with the amount of screen time. For reference, take a look at this 2 minute video from AAP or their online family media tool.
- Respect the boundaries your parents put in place.
- Choose honesty. Your tech habits matter. Discipline yourself to be honest with yourself and your parents about your tech habits and choices.
- Talk to your parents and teachers about how the pandemic is affecting you. Discuss how you can work together to address what is going on.
- Turn on Night Shift - it is much easier on your eyes!
Hello Tiger Community,
As the Director of Educational Technology, this time of remote learning is in some ways exciting to me. While I would never have chosen to be "thrown" into it the way we were, it has been a joy to watch our students put the things we have taught and discussed into practice during our remote learning time. I am also increasingly thankful for how our parents have responded and supported us through this transition.
Each age level has different struggles and blessings and I pray we can work together to meet your needs as parents. One thing to remember parents - go easy on yourselves. You've (probably) never facilitated remote learning with your kids before, as most of us have never facilitated remote learning before this time. We are all in this together!
When a student enters middle school at SJCS, the student and parents go through a tech training before the student receives their laptop for middle school. Some of the resources we talk about might be helpful to you during this time of remote learning. I am going to list some links for you to browse through and if you have any questions about them, please feel free to reach out to me.
Circle - internet filter and screen time management
(We use this as a family at home)
Screen Time (MacOS)
I don't know about you, but the past three and a half weeks have been a blur of good things, hard things, happy times and stressful times. The one thing that has not changed is that our God is in control and He is faithful.
Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy note. Below you will find several resources of activities and things to think about while we spend more time than usual on our devices.
I am so thankful for our SJCS community!
Mrs. Janelle Hendricks | Director of Educational Technology
Free resources during remote learning:
what is online learning?
Our whole nation has been thrown into this unchartered territory of online learning in a short time and it can take on different looks.
It is likely the sound of teachers' voices playing in the background of your houses. It is the time spent learning how to do math in a completely different way (which may seem absolutely ridiculous to you at times). It looks like teachers trying to learn how to use new apps and technology they said they would never touch. It looks like many tears shed by both children and adults at times. It is the daily argument of, “That isn’t how my teacher does it!”
But, it can also look like quality educational time you've never had before with your child. It can unleash creativity you never thought you had oozing out as you try to keep your children entertained and growing. It can look like taking the work at their own pace giving student and parent the opportunity to learn alongside each other. It will likely look like a big growth step in independence for your child. Here at SJCS we dove in deep and are learning how to support your child’s whole body education from afar even though we would all love them to be in our arms in our classrooms.
A Big Shout Out
I want to give a huge shout out to all you parents who are learning alongside us. Thank you for the encouragement, patience, and funny stories. Thank you for showing appreciation for what we do, day in and day out, and acknowledging the time and effort we are putting into this new way of learning. It may seem small, but it keeps us going and gives us purpose when many of us feel lost, defeated, and exhausted. This distance learning is a community effort. We couldn’t do it without you all. Thank you for the extra patience and energy you are now giving on top of your other responsibilities.
I wanted to share a few of my favorite moments so far. I’ve loved listening to the videos of my students sharing encouraging Bible verses and lyrical raps just because they can. Hearing them sing along with me to a video they can’t even hear as I still learn how to use Zoom still has me laughing out loud. Students are reaching out to each other and sharing kindness in so many ways. The way they enthusiastically share their “show and tell”, or go above and beyond what I ask of them for each of their assignments has warmed this teacher's heart. I crave those 1 on 1 moments when I get to hear how they are really feeling and share our excitement over our science projects where we learn about how mealworms change into beetles.
Another favorite moment is when students created their own "Unthinkable" from Social Thinking. They had to find a monster in their brain who is getting them down or causing them to have a fixed mindset. This is what we call an "Unthinkable". They were then tasked to make a “Thinkable” to fight the "Unthinkable"! Some students have made videos while others have uploaded their sketches (pictured in this blog).
Virtual Classroom Tools
My FAVORITE tools have been the “Explain Everything” app as well as the Google Classroom app. My students actually taught me a few things on how to use Explain Everything (an app that allows you to make slides and record your voice over them) and it has been a lifesaver in sharing lessons. I never thought I would ever use Google Classroom, but here I am now relying on it for structure and organization. The Zoom conference app has also been a game changer, and I am so thankful for the technology. However, I will add I am still working on my attitude towards it because it doesn’t replace the face-to-face interaction I love so much.
It was a shaky start for us all. There has been a lot of frustration and fear that took over, but here we are, getting the hang of this! Parents, keep up the grace, feedback, patience, and encouragement. Know that we are thinking of you by the hour and praying for your families. We are here doing our very best. We love you and promise to take your kids back as soon as we can. We are in this together and that is what I love the most!
Keep sharing your stories!
On Friday, March 13, SJCS announced its plan to move to an asynchronous learning plan. Although facilities are suspended, learning will still be taking place.
As we have updates or new tools become available, we'll update this blog entry so you can keep up-to-date.
COMMUNITY UPDATES | BUDDY HUCKS, HEAD OF SCHOOL
SJCS Distance Learning | Tools & Resource
"Technology for a Time Like This"
by Janelle Hendricks | Director of Educational Technology @ San Jose Christian School
Distance Learning Family Share from SJCS Teacher, Ken Tompkins
Google Classroom | Don't have access? Contact your teacher.
Zoom Web Conferencing | Basic account is free and Zoom has waived 40-minute maximum meeting.
Enrollment for 2020-2021 School Year Is Open
Learning is still taking place and so is enrollment. Whether you are a new family looking to learn more or a current family looking to re-enroll, we are available to help.
All events and activities are canceled, such as athletic practices/games, field trips, events, etc.; until further notice. Please make sure to review all communications from our SJCS team to stay up-to-date with news and distance learning plans for your student(s).