Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tool #11 - Digital Citizenship

The concept of digital citizenship will never change, but as technology increases and more is available to us each and every year it can become quite complex. I read in a recent survey that teens and young adults spend more time during the week on the internet than watching TV. I believe this 100%. As a teacher, I am so excited to have the opportunity to use technology in my classroom and have students interact with it. However, before we incorporate technology into our lessons, we must first work with students and explain the expectations when using the different technologies in the classroom. I think the keyword here is "before." I compare this to riding a bike. Whenever we first start out, our parents made sure we were safe by having training wheels and running along beside us. Our parents also made sure we knew where the brakes were and how to steer. Once we got the hang of it, we were on our own and our parents could stand back and watch and come to our aid when we needed them...maybe to fix a flat tire or put the chain of the bike on. We must explain the basic steps of digital citizenship before introducing it in our classrooms. Then, the students will be able to navigate on their own and come back to us when they need help for the bigger things.

Students need to know that just like there are not so very nice people in the world, there are also not so very nice people on the Internet. Students need to know how to realize when there might be a problem. Discussing ways to sort through this if encountered with one or ways to avoid this should be taught. Maybe pose a problem that could happen and then think aloud on how you could solve it while getting ideas from students. The best tool is modeling and monitoring the kids and making sure they feel comfortable with the technology they are using.

I've been searching "digital citizenship" on various sites trying to read more about it. I found this 4 minute video on youtube and thought it said a lot without saying one word... This video pretty much sums up how children learn these days.


  1. Yikes! Those were some depressed little faces...

  2. Kayla, I loved your analogy to riding a bike as far as preparing students and having those conversations.

    The video you posted is excellent. Isn't this imperative that we address our digital learners?

    Way to go on completing your 11 Tools! Welcome to Meadow Wood. I am here to help you, so please ask. Looking forward to "Learning on the Wild Side" with you in 2010-2011!