• .: Welcome! :.

    My name is Michelle DeSilva and I am a middle school world studies teacher. The Educational Voyage is a place where I can connect with others and share videos, photos, and articles that I find relevant and interesting. It is also a place where I can share tools and techniques that I am currently using in the classroom to help students become 21st century learners.
  • Digital Dossier: The footprints we leave behind

    Posted By on June 30, 2009

    This video gives us a look into how our digital footprints are formed. It was created by Digital Natives, an interdisciplinary collaboration of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the Research Center for Information Law at the University of St. Gallen.

    We are beginning to see more and more news about how digital footprints are affecting people entering college and applying for jobs. It is important for our students to understand how the information that they place on the internet can have an impact on them later in life.

    While this video does not answer all of the questions that need to be addressed, it certainly is a good conversation starter. I recommend showing this to students at the beginning of the year to open up the discussion about using the online world responsibly.

    3 Steps for 21st Century Learning

    Posted By on June 29, 2009

    This is a short video by Jackie Halaw on how to begin converting your classroom to a 21st century class.

    3 Steps for 21st Century Learning

    Seth Godin on the tribes we lead

    Posted By on June 21, 2009

    I have been following Seth Godin for a while now and have found him to have many interesting ideas.  His recent one being the idea of tribes and how they are effective in the 21st century. In this video he describes his idea of tribes and how they are being used in society today.

    Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so. (TED)

    Facebook Manners Video

    Posted By on June 20, 2009

    This video was shared on Twitter by Pat recently. I think it is a great video because it is amusing but makes some good points at the same time. I will be using this in my class next year to open up the conversation with students on how to be responsible on the internet. Enjoy!

    Game-based high-school history course

    Posted By on June 19, 2009

    Now this is 21st century!
    Don Tapscott introduces us to this amazing new way to learn history. The full article can be read at Grown Up Digital. Take the time to view the video linked below. It is worth it.

    Watch the video for Conspiracy Code here.

    How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live – TIME

    Posted By on June 15, 2009

    This is an article by Steven Johnson about Twitter and the impact and changes it is making in our lives. In this article he points out that the “the key development with Twitter is how we’ve jury-rigged the system to do things that its creators never dreamed of” (TIME). That is the great part about Twitter. A program that was developed for quick updates, on things such as what we ate or where we are at the moment, has been transformed into a place to discuss topics with people around the world as events are unfolding.

    I especially enjoyed where Steven writes about a conference he recently attended. He explains Twitter was being used by participants during the conference and how it exploded into a global conversation:

    At first, all these tweets came from inside the room and were created exclusively by conference participants tapping away on their laptops or BlackBerrys. But within half an hour or so, word began to seep out into the Twittersphere that an interesting conversation about the future of schools was happening at #hackedu. A few tweets appeared on the screen from strangers announcing that they were following the #hackedu thread. Then others joined the conversation, adding their observations or proposing topics for further exploration. A few experts grumbled publicly about how they hadn’t been invited to the conference. Back in the room, we pulled interesting ideas and questions from the screen and integrated them into our face-to-face conversation.

    When the conference wrapped up at the end of the day, there was a public record of hundreds of tweets documenting the conversation. And the conversation continued — if you search Twitter for #hackedu, you’ll find dozens of new comments posted…

    I have been using Twitter for a while now to post articles I find and want to share, to read updates from others, and to update others on what I am doing. It was not until after reading Steven’s article that I decided to delve into the search function of Twitter to see what I could find. I did a search for #iranelection and the results came up just as they would in any other search. The wonderful thing about Twitter though is that about 20 seconds later a message appeared at the top of my screen that said “122 more results since you started your search”. People around the world connecting and discussing topics with an automatic update every few seconds…..that is what I love about Twitter.

    Please read Steven Johnson’s article: How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live here.

    Holocaust Project

    Posted By on May 22, 2009

    This year I gave students in my class the opportunity to earn extra credit by researching the Holocaust and designing a project for the St. Louis Holocaust Museum Art & Writing Contest.

    My students learned a lot about the Holocaust during their research and designed some wonderful projects. The contest included a writing division and an art division and students had the freedom to choose the way in which they wanted to express themselves with their project. Video, sculpture, drawings, essays, poems and much more were received as entries. Students knew that their that projects would become property of the museum, may be featured on the internet, and could be shown at other venues. They understood that these projects could become a part of their digital footprint and they were excited about this.

    I think that it is important that students begin working on a positive digital footprint at an early age. They need to understand that it is not something to be afraid of, but rather a way to showcase their work and skills throughout their lives. I believe that this is something that we, as teachers, need to help our students understand and that we should help them begin the process.

    I received many wonderful entries from my students and am happy to report that one of my students, Kate Schlafly, won first place in the writing competition. Her project was displayed at the museum and will later be displayed at several other venues throughout the city. Another student of mine, Sara Franklin, received an honorable mention for her project in the art division. Her project was also displayed at the museum and will be showcased at other venues as well. They were both honored at an award ceremony held at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and were mentioned in an article on the St. Louis Jewish life site. Their photos from the award ceremony as well as photos of their projects are featured on the St. Louis Holocaust Museum website under events. This is a great addition to their digital footprint.

    I am so proud of all of my students who entered this competition and recommend competitions such as this to other teachers who are looking to get their students involved in projects in the community.

    Sara at the award ceremony

    Sara at the award ceremony

    Sara's Project

    Sara's Project

    Kate at the award ceremony

    Kate at the award ceremony

    Kate's Project

    Kate's Project