approx read time : 1:30
I recently had the privilege of participating in a digital citizen panel of experts included students (!) alongside Simon Helton, Richard Culatta, Sandy Barnes and was chat moderated by Alysha English of the IDEO Teachers Guild. First, let me just say how excited I was to learn about the IDEO Teachers Guild. This amazing space brings teachers together to collaborate on designing creative solutions to common challenges. The challenge related to the chat I attended was “HMW empower students to be better digital citizens - smart, kind, and secure online?” You can see all the project submissions here. No winners or losers (woot!) but you can check out which activities got the most likes to become ‘favorites’.
The chat started out asking for a definition of ‘digital citizen’. In the old days (i.e. last year) the term digital citizen conjured up images of staving off cyber-bullying, copyright best practice and a list of ‘don’ts’ by which student (and teachers) could monitor ‘acceptable use’. Fast forward to today and we have students leading national political discourse and inventing products and systems that improve lives and societies.
Sound use of technology (aka Digital Citizenship) is no longer just about keyboarding and citations. Citizenship in the offline world is characterized by engagement in community; including those with a different point of view. Digital citizenship simply transfers that behavior to the place where most of our interactions (for better or worse) take place.
Many kids have learned to “THINK’ before they post but if we’re truly teaching digital citizenship why aren’t we asking them to THINK as they create? Is their work true, honest, inspiring, necessary and kind?* What does that look like? It’s the following list of technology ‘do's’
If we shift our thinking about Digital Citizenship from ‘don’ts’ to ‘dos’ we create a framework for instruction on appropriate engagement that’s relevant including; respectful dissent and thoughtful discourse, integrity in representing work as your own or another’s, setting standards by reporting inappropriate use, collaboration, analysis of data for bias, curating and creating engaging content that connects with an authentic audience.
I challenge you to THINK how you might model and encourage positive digital citizenship in your next lesson.
*Editor’s note: Some schools list the ‘i’ as illegal. Consider how this might reinforce the us vs. them attitude in teens. How can you build positive relationships when the establishment is assuming the kids are criminals?
approx read time: 2min +3 min for linked article
I came across an article this week from KQED Mindshift with tips for parents and teachers on how to talk to kids about terrible things. The last item focuses on the role of social media and how it amplifies the experience for kids, even those who aren't directly involved. Many kids saw what happened in Parkland in live time on social media and then turned to their peers in an effort to process the unimaginable. As the news cycle started churning, there was little opportunity to escape the carnage, fear, and confusion. KQED mentions how kids may feel that they can't walk away from a conversation about such an event for fear of being judged as uncaring. It's just another example of how social media use is pushing our kids into situations they just aren't ready for. I don't mean sheltering them from these types of events they deserve to know what's happening in the world, but rather them being able to grieve in a personal way. My heart aches for them all.
One of my most vivid memories from high school is how I felt in the wake of the death of a friend from carbon monoxide poisoning. It shook me to the core, but I didn't have words to describe my emotions. I needed to be quiet and alone to figure it out. I can't imagine being made to feel guilty about that on top of the anguish and confusion in the face of mortality.
I think about my work as an Internet safety presenter at Protect Young Eyes and realize that "it truly "takes a village'. As schools prepare to join nationwide walk-outs in the coming weeks, this topic is going to continue to resonate for our kiddos. It's imperative that teachers and parents are aware of what's going on in their world, even in the seemingly 'safe space' of a friends.
With the break in semesters, it’s as good a time as any to take a break from blogging and offer you a chance to review any posts you may have missed or wanted to review as you get a fresh start mid-year. So go ahead, check out the archives. Share your favorite post with a friend, or tweet it to your peeps. Refer to the tags at the end of each entry for search terms or just try your luck in archive roulette!
Carol Glanville, M.Ed.
Organizational Design Consultant