Privacy or Popularity?

Reading different articles about privacy and the safety of our presence online, I found an interesting pool of articles collected and published in the “The Privacy Project”(The Privacy Project (NYTimes).

It is a good question on how to handle the balance between your privacy and safety of your own and family and between being active and visible doing your work, having a good purpose with social media.

This is a very goo matching song about being so “Popular” by Kristin Chenoweth. She sang it in “Wicked” as an original cast member in this musical on Broadway.

Popular (From “Wicked” Original Broadway Cast Recording/2003)


As an artist, I experience often, this struggle on Facebook and other media channels. It was good to have a lot of exhibitions and become more and more visible and connected with the art scene around the world, but sometimes I was lost spending to much time in entertaining the public instead of focusing on creating my own artworks and the time in the studio, or to reasearch and to reflect.

The same question I was handling when I made my Tweeter account as a teacher to become more connected with teachers around the world. It was important to have a look at what is out there and share my experiences, results, and get inspired, but preparing my direct teaching lessons plans and the contact with my students and my community was even more important. I think sometimes we lose track of the time that we are spending and then we loose the balance. So I decided once or twice a week should be enough for keeping in contact with Tweeter.

With Facebook, I have really a big struggle, I think it became an addiction, like a computer game or youtube gaming for my kids. Then, I decided only during the weekend to check a bit.

But I am happy now that I am busy with COETAIL And I can discover interesting material to read. Another interesting article was about the young people in America and their access and development according to the access to the media and technological tools.

Nowadays, being a disadvantage because of your social status of having access to the internet is not fair. Of course, it is hard to develop know-how and technology and media skills if you don’t have resources and tools to work with.

In the book, ” Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation), on page 13 we can read about that.

Castells writes about youth who are excluded from these experiences: “Increasingly, as computer use is ever less a lifestyle option, evermore an everyday necessity, inability to use computers or find information on the web is a matter of stigma, of social exclusion; revealing not only changing social norms but also the growing centrality of computers to work, education and politics” (Castells, 2002, in Livingstone, 2003, p. 6).

In the same article on page 15, we learn about how children used their conceptual and strategic thinking about solving problems, from “game theory” skills.

Answering some of the essential questions of our theme “Creating the balance between privacy and publicity” applied in our school, I came up with those thoughts.

What actions have you taken to maintain your privacy and the privacy of your students?

Don’t mention their names. Pick if possible pictures without their face for public view. Sometimes if the children are in pajama, don’t share at all the pictures with other people.

 What policies does your school/country have in place to protect student privacy? 

1)Ask the parents if they would like to have their pictures and names of the students shared with the public for our advertising materials or not.

2)The parents and students’ emails are not shared without permission within our school with anyone.

How do you contribute authentically while protecting privacy?

Create online exhibitions and present evidence of student’s artworks. Introduce student’s results and artworks for the weekly newsletter or twitter.

Post students’ artworks, erasing the name digitally before posting on social media.

Participating in common sense workshops together with my colleagues. Contributing to evidences and resources together with our curriculum planner manager for these theme.

How about you, which are your genuine ways to contribute to protect the privacy of your students from your school?

#COETAIL#Course 2 Unit 2# Social network/Communicating

I have to start this post with a great motto “You are what you share” from Are You Literally What You Post? (Video, PBS Idea Channel). I think it has a big truth behind and talking to my children and reflecting on myself, I found a sincere testimony of what we are experiencing right now.

  • How is the way your students communicate with their friends similar to the way you connected with your friends when you were a child/teenager? And as an adult?

When I was young,  l liked to have lots of friends and be popular. Being cool was very important. Even though I like to study a lot I always tried to keep a step with the music trend, fashion trend, etc. Nowadays, the way how students communicate is in a way similar. They want to connect with their peers and be popular. I love dancing and to know the moves for each music style. In a way TIK TOK nowadays is similar. It’s a way of communicating through dancing with each other. As an adult, I think dancing is an essential social skill as well. They are many social gatherings and parties where you can join with friends and peers and suddenly the smile, the steps, and the moves are the new language between people. And like this, suddenly I make easy friends with people from Venezuela, Colombia, Italy, Africa, Taiwan, S. Korea, and other people around the world.

Free download on Clip Art Library for Dance section.

I like very much this theme of communication in between generation as well as generally between people. It is also a very good time to reflect on our social network. For this report, I was talking to my children who are also my students and with some of their peers, who are my students as well(4th and 5th Graders). It was more a chat with them than a formal survey.

My daughter uses Google Hangouts, to chat with her peers at school, during the break time, or after-school. She often connects with her peers at Birthdays’ Party, Christmas Class Party, or playdates. The children like to play outside at the school playground. They love playing “Tag”, or to create a home for an animal in the bushes outside, “Hide and Seak”(is less popular). Whenever they go on a School Field Trip it’s always fun to know better their peers and connect with some classmates who were not so close before.

This reminds me of when I was in Elementary School back in Romania and I loved so much traveling and going into summer camps with my schoolmates. It was still during the communism times in Romania and the children were “Pionierii patriei”, ( “Pioneers of the motherland”) starting with 2nd Grade. But because I was too young in my first grade, I lied that I am a pioneer and I borrow the pioneer suit from my neighbor, one year older(but it was still definitely too big) in order to be able to attend the summer camp and suddenly all the parades. I looked a bit ridiculous in that bigger pioneer suit. But hey, I was with so many children from different classes and different cities and it was so cool. I really enjoyed a lot to meet new people and make new friends. But that was a time when we didn’t have any electronic devices.

Nowadays, another way of communicating between the new generation is to send text messaging or emails, a link to a video of a song, or chat about Rubik’s cubes and time world records. Tik Tok(you can follow the artist, dance, follow someone on social media) is a big hit, especially in between teenage girls. You could please have a look at the clip “What is Tik Tok”, from the previous link attached. We used to love to record some of the radio music hits and exchange them with friends as well.

 Anton,(11years) my son, says when it is not school time if he is online on brawl stars he can communicate via chat there. “Meeting for a playdate or sleepover with a friend, to play lego or battle cats- another video game- is great fun. Playing battle cats is a game where you have three options:

1. Invade the Earth-using cats.

2. Invade a different planet that looks like Earth.

3. Invade a third planet with cats and machines or a big machine that has a lot of cats.”

But still another game, Brawl Stars is his favorite. He and his peers even collect the cards with characters that have different powers and they exchange cards. Same with Pokemon cards. That reminds me when we had some chewing gums with some special surprises inside, like different car brands, or other collections and we used to exchange with our peers, the doubles that we had. Another big hobby was to collect postmarks and to trade with our friends.

  • What did you used to think about students and social media? What do you think now?

I think social media became more and more vulnerable, using pictures, videos, and more private information. It became from something private to meet a friend and hang out,(on Facebook, messenger to reconnect with relatives, family from far away, old friends, classmates) to something public to have as many “friends” on Facebook as possible. The people don’t have time to meet privately with friends, instead, they chat shortly, sometimes only on a superficial layer with many friends. I think nowadays social media is an even more dangerous opening to such wide public access. But it is more dangerous for people who would open a brand account, a youtube account, or a blog. It is important to have as many followers as possible and even when someone would like to create a youtube channel or Tik Tok account it is so important how many followers they have and be careful with private information.

Social media is changing the trend so quickly. My son and his peers said, three years ago was the trend to play Minecraft and nowadays is playing other video games. (Plants versus Zombie 2, Brawlstars, Plants versus Zombie Heros, and then back to Brawl Stars- Brawl Talk- Danny,  Ryan, and Frank are the newest community for brawl stars for the latest/ newest updates. Three years ago they used to watch Dan TDM, but now he is not that trendy anymore.

  • How and why are social interactions and communication changing?
  • Nowadays is changing more because of the phone, screenshots, food favorite, instead of meeting and talking directly to the people they just text them.

People would go more often outside in the old days and now they are spending time inside with their phones, hanging out with their friends. Everyone wants to get a phone in order to communicate better or just to take a better picture resolution. People communicate more with photos, emojis than using proper sentences. Probably because we are living the “speed age”, and we don’t have enough time, as my mom always says. 

  • How do you use social media in your classroom? How do students learn to communicate in digital spaces in your class?

One of the units of inquiry that we tough for 4th and 5th Graders was about “How to be an online citizen”. The children learned about media, accounts, how to set passwords, emails,  google hangouts, Seesaw, Google docs, google meet, and recently Zoom. But for lower elementary, they used Seesaw to post their artworks and reflection and to show to their family and in their classroom digital platform, shared with specialist teachers, homeroom teachers, and the school management.

  • How have the recent school closures (because of the global pandemic) changed the way that you and your students are using social media?

Since the recent school closures, we use it way more the social media channels. We always post our tasks online on Seesaw. We are so long time in virtual meetings, zoom, or video that we post and we received even video recordings from our students.

The children use a lot especially google hangouts, to chat and text with each other. The chatting during the school break time in the school courtyard was replaced with messaging on google hangouts or facetime.

I was surprised to see how via face time, even more friends meet after school to chat about their favorite music, or best records at Rubik’s cubes, etc. It is new to me to call more friends at the same time.

They like to talk about their favorite bloggers as collins key and his brother devan key and their challenges. They do a lot of food challenges and sometimes I am watching with my kids together, especially the pancakes challenges. Then my children had even the ideas to create a healthy food channel and they were filming shooting cooking recipes for guacamole and smoothies.

My son and his friends enjoy watching Video Game you tube, Dan TDM, Preston, Sundee, Game theory, Gt live.

My daughter has a big idol, you tuber, Sky Brown, who is surfing and skating so beautifully and courageous her skateboard.

Other you tubers that she and her friends’ likes are The Norris Nuts- surfing, skating with a skateboard, and dancing.

How about you? Do you have any favorite bloggers or you tubers that you like? I am a bit behind this, but I must say I like it from YouTube, like my daughter, Sky(from Sky&Ocean). I think she is a very cool and inspiring girl. Then I enjoy listening to music very much and I discovered talking to my friends, about the Pentatonix, an acapella music group. I like also the Holderness Family. It is great fun youtube channel music for families which I like very much as well.

Please enjoy some songs about quarantine time, (one of it is “All by myself”-parody), because I think sometimes we got a bit tired from online teaching and learning and we need to get some fun and smile.

# COETAIL#Course2, Unit1#Respecting the Remix

“Respect the Remix”

Luckily, in my first post that I wrote in my Coetail first course, I observed with great happiness that I respected the intellectual property and I cited correctly, putting the names of all the authors, and respecting the copyright etiquette properly. However in this blog, I didn’t use any pictures or videos, so I might need to extend my observation to other posts as well when I use other digital information if the copyright is correct and if I mention the source. 

I must be sincere, sometimes when I use an image of famous artwork to teach my children some knowledge about art history, I consider that for educational purposes I am entitled to use this image. Often I look at sources that are shared and they don’t have strict copyright rules. But I should consider and revise very carefully those rules. 

In my opinion, I think it depends on the purpose of how you use an image. If you would like to reproduce and print 100 times for a commercial purpose, of course, it is illegal. If it is for an educational purpose, to inform people and teach some artistic skills or to refer to it in a context as art history, I think it is different. If I would print or open the information to a public view, it would be not permitted.

How to use digital information in the correct way?

Rosenthal Tolisano, who is an expert in Copyright topic,  said:

“The following infographic chart was developed with an introduction of a New Era of Copyright Consciousness and a suggested simplified flow to follow:

  • create your own media (then you don’t have to worry about infringing on someone else’s copyright) 
  • search for public domain media (then you don’t have to worry about copyright, since it has been voluntarily released or has expired. No worries about giving proper attribution or citing the source either) 
  • search within the Creative Commons domain (make sure you double check requirements under the license: attribution? non-derivative? non-commercial? etc.)
  • determine if your use of the copyrighted material can fall under Fair Use?

His fantastic chart is a perfect guide for the people who are unsure and even for myself gave me so many answers. Please explore it and apply it to your teaching practice.

 Copyright Flowchart (Rosenthal Tolisano).

I am very grateful to my COETAIL instructor, Joel Bevans, who brought this knowledge to our attention.

What is our role, as educators, in respecting the intellectual property of others

Our duty as educators is to teach the students to respect first the ideas of the others and their intellectual property. Always to mention the resources and to try our best to be original, creative and bring something new(new ideas, knowledge). Otherwise, it is stealing and it is not right. 

It is true that in order to create something new you need to inform yourself, get inspired by and create a new reaction in response to what you know. Did you experience that by yourself? Because at least myself, as an artist I always feel so.

But as ISTE Standards for Educators, says

3.c “Educators mentor students in safe, legal and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property.”

How can you inform your students and peers about the importance of respecting the intellectual property of others? 

During my art classes, I encourage them to be original, to respect others’ ideas. I can inform my students about the importance of being original and that if we need to use an image, we must always put the” © “ symbol or mention the resource.

 Do you see this as an issue in your school? 

No, at our school this is not an issue. All the teachers are respecting intellectual property. My students are quite small, elementary students and I have never seen an act of plagiarism in their artworks.  

How do we teach copyright in countries where international copyright law is not clearly defined or followed? 

We try to appeal and refer to common sense and moral values of the people. We teach digital etiquette and how we should be respectful. We give an example and try to imagine how someone would feel to experience such a situation and we appeal to ethics.

What is our obligation as educators?

I think, that our obligation as educators is to teach the students, and people about intellectual property and about their copyrights to be respected. We should “model digital citizenship”(as Rosenthal Tolisano said). And very important is to encourage them to be creative, authentic and remix different knowledge.

What tools do the young children /people need nowadays to be integrated in the media culture?

I have to answer this question citing John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in their article “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture

Participatory culture shifts the focus of literacy from one of individual expression to community involvement. The new literacies almost all involve social skills developed through collaboration and networking. These skills build on the foundation of traditional literacy, research skills, technical skills, and critical analysis skills taught in the classroom. 

The new skills include: 

Play — the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving Performance — the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery 

Simulation — the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes Appropriation — the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content Multitasking — the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details.

Distributed Cognition — the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities 

Collective Intelligence — the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal Judgment — the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources 

Transmedia Navigation — the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities 

Networking — the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information Negotiation — the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.”

I think those tools and skills should be used by the children in order to mingle and integrate into the media culture.

And now, that we know how to use information and copyright respectfully, and which skills do we need in order to be original and to address our ideas us to the public, we can go and feel free to explore and get inspired by other’s ideas, then mix it with our vision and create our own ideas. As my instructor, Joel Bevans said:

“Remixing leads to innovation.”

#COETAIL # Final Project Course1 #Virtual Art Show ”Self-Portrait”

#COETAIL # Final_Project_Course1_Virtual_Art_Show ” Self-Portrait”

By Simona Schultz

First of all, I hope that everyone is safe around the world. I know that for everyone this terrible coronavirus disrupted our lives and we had so many challenges lately. So keep yourself healthy and safe. This is a wonderful artwork, the self-portrait of a student of mine who is matching so well at this time.

  Artwork from a student in the 4-th Grade, ISB, South Korea,

© Simona Schultz

I enrolled just in time for the COETAIL learning journey and I have been learning so much in the past 6 weeks. Because we definitely use technology every day in our teaching practice.

I created a good plan and even the time, in the end, was very short I could wrap the project with all the elements together. Here is the UbD Project Plan.

After I transformed myself in the last 5 weeks, from “lurker to connector”, create a twitter account to connect with genuine teachers around the world, evolve in a researcher, studying about “connected learning”, about last innovative pedagogical concepts, and how can we effectively and practically combine authentically the technology in our curricular area, my final project was creating a Virtual Art Show with the theme “Self- Portrait” for all 8 classes that I am teaching, from Preschool up to 5th Grade. The exact name was ”Virtual PYP Creative Art Show/ “Self-Portrait”, maybe next time I will choose a simpler name to have more impact and keep it simple to remember for the little ones.

 I tried different formats, like Google Slides, Google Webpages, but I decided to choose the Padlet as a presentation platform because it gives the chance to interact and comment. Also to see at the same time all the artworks but also if you click to have a detailed view of each self-portrait. Another reason was that it was quite easy this system when I tried it out.

 Two other colleagues with whom I collaborate used it before. They gave me a few tips and the IT people were there to help with any questions.  So I could use it confidently.

Sample of the padlet for the “Virtual PYP Creative Art Show- Self-Portrait”

 © Simona Schultz

Samples of the padlet for the “Virtual PYP Creative Art Show- Self-Portrait”

© Simona Schultz

Sample of the padlet for the “Virtual PYP Creative Art Show- Self-Portrait”

© Simona Schultz

Sample of the padlet for the “Virtual PYP Creative Art Show- Self-Portrait”

© Simona Schultz

Another format was a video slideshow, that I made with the help of the Spark Adobe Video program. This was very suitable to show in 3min 15 sec a brief view of the artworks for the Virtual Talent Show.

Why did you choose this topic? These standards?

I chose the topic of Self-Portrait because it was a good theme to apply to all the levels from Preschool to 5th Grade and to reflect on themselves.  I thought if I could include in a big picture the expression of each of us, it would have been also a good idea, of communicating our school community together in those hard times, connected in a common picture with all the diverse student’s self- portraits.

Another reason was that it was a way of assessment for the children after they studied some of them in various contexts about the theme “Portrait” in the different art movements like Renaissance, Abstract Art, Cubism, Expressionism, etc.

The standards for students that I choose are the collaborator and the communicator. Communicator to send the message about who we are and to receive feedback via the padlet platform. Students as “collaborators” to work together with me are a good system to communicate and learn together.

Those are my learning goals from the beginning of the course:

“My learning goal is to become a collaborator, (from ISTE Standards) and learning/ exchanging experiences from other inspiring teachers around. I would like to develop authentic collaborations with different colleagues and students.

Another goal is to be a designer. I wish I could develop a unique style of teaching. I would like to combine my solid founded classical skills with the newly achieved digital/media skills.  I hope I could use technology more easily, to create unique authentic learning experiences.”

I think I have achieved both.

If you revamped a previously created learning experience, what have you changed and why? What’s been added and/or removed? Why?

It was a virtual learning experience. I used short instructions via seesaw and video. Links to the inspiring materials. The children could use a mirror to observe themself, a self-portrait picture from home or take more time to reflect on themselves, what they would like to express about themself.

Sample of my Virtual Art Lesson via Seesaw assign activity by Simona Schultz.

How was this learning experience (unit plan) different from or similar to other learning experiences (unit plans) you have designed?

It was a totally different experience because I had to plan to keep in mind that we are in the virtual learning experience situation and how it could be something personal and simple for the little ones but also increasing with the age, the theme of self-portrait could become more complex.

How does this learning experience (unit plan) relate to what you learned in Course 1?

I used new technological tools, as zoom conferences, seesaw and how to create a video clip from spark video. I culminated with the new tool that I learned with this occasion, how to create and use a padlet as a concept for a virtual exhibition.

 It relates to the concept of being learner-exploring and learning new media tools to express myself and embedded in my teaching practice.

 Applying the pedagogical method of constructivism- building with little steps, from how to access materials in an online course, “messing around” and “geeking around” with tech how to link and use different tools, to easy my research work and how to present myself(to reinvent myself with a new interface-updated to the last century not only using the last pedagogical concepts, deep insights, and understanding about the learning process, how to apply effectively in my class, but also as an image, how to present myself, how to connect.

“Connectivism”- creating a network among the interesting teachers around the world, using the internet and social platform to research, to communicate to work independently, to reach a new generation in their way. Did I manage to reach that? How did you manage to do that?

Sample from my lesson post it via seesaw by Simona Schultz

What has influenced you the most in Course one and how is that reflected in your learning experience/unit plan?

How to communicate with a big public. How I could learn from my colleagues and collaborate in an effective way. I collaborated with different classroom teachers, with the IT people with my students more actively.

There are so many new things that I learned, I don’t know where to start with. It was a very intense experience. I read all the materials mostly during the weekend and I tried to link and apply directly in my teaching practice everything that I have learned. Anyway, I am so happy that my computer doesn’t crash anymore and it is not that big wall between me and technology.

Even with my computer and all the technology systems, I build a good relationship!:)

That is a very good start. I am not afraid of computers anymore. I can try out different things.

What outcomes do you hope to see when students complete this learning experience/unit?

For each class, there were some special artists introduced, like Picasso for 1st Grade, Frida Kahlo for 2nd Grade, Van Gogh for 3rd Grade,  Andy Warhol for 5th Grade, etc. I expected that the students are inspired by a certain art style and reflect some influences from certain artists. For the upper elementary students, I created even a wider library pool of artists who created their self-portrait and they could choose which style they preferring to get inspired by. So they had more freedom to express themself.

I hope that the students take their time and do their best, and are proud to do good work to share with the others.

We aim to present the Virtual Art Show in a short slideshow video for Virtual Talent Show and also to send it during that day as a celebration of our learning and as a closing event before the Spring Break to our school community. There were lots of students and parents attending the Virtual Talent Show.

If you facilitated this experience, how did the learners respond to it? What feedback did you collect to inform future experiences?

They had a great response. The feedback from my peers, colleagues, teachers, parents, and students was very positive. I will plan in the future to release the padlet earlier to have the chance to get even more feedback and to have more time to participate in this interactive platform among the students as well.

Starting the Spring Break was for the students a reason to celebrate the show but afterward not to reflect enough, thinking back about it.

   Self-Portrait from a student in the 4-th Grade, ISB, South Korea

I would like to finish with one of the best artworks that I received from a student from grade 4th. She truly amazed me with her self-portrait. I am sure if you will meet her one day you will recognize her. But the way she blended the colors and she observed herself is unbelievable. In the background is the Gwangalli Bridge famous in Busan, South Korea, an element from her home. She is also an exceptional student but this time she really exceeded my expectations.