Teaching Digital Citizenship (An Ageless Lesson)

There is one topic that I continue to present on a daily basis, mostly informally:

Digital Citizenship. 

How can we be good digital citizens? 

My colleague, Deborah Zeman, partnered with me to create a Digital Citizenship Academy two years ago. I knew that we needed to address this topic with our students who attend our 1:1 Macbook Air high school.

Previously, I moved around from English class to English class creating a forum for students to address how not to be a good digital citizen and to model for them how to change their online behavior and lead themselves in positive branding.

This DCA allows for a larger group of students but also brings their classroom teachers in on the discussion.

DC1

We start out asking them “What is digital citizenship?” and “How do you promote good digital citizenship?” We use mentimeter.com to gather their answers and use this time to clarify what digital citizenship means. We also go through and spotlight some of the best answers and have students share about their answer more in detail.

Next, we pull out the star act in our presentation:

The DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP SURVIVOR KIT

Digital Survival Kit

We, originally, found Craig Badura’s post from 2013 and loved it so much we decided to use it as the star of our digital citizenship show! We already had our presentation from years before, but this little kit not only makes our points tangible, it also leads the students through collaboration (they are in groups), communication (they have to do a quick 30 second presentation), and critical thinking (linking items directly to DC).

Contents: 

Toothpaste, measuring tape, toothbrush, cotton balls, sharpie, lock

After we completely go through each item and students share how they relate it to digital citizenship, we address simple things NOT to do. We have a very truthful and frank conversation with our students about the dangers of social media. We talk in detail about what is appropriate to share and what is not. We add in several fun videos that have some great examples and get our students thinking.

DC2

After this, we have our students take out their laptops. They have several challenge activities to go through, including googling themselves and one adult family member. We talk about how we can change our online presence in a positive way and then guide them in creating a personal/professional portfolio.

Our school is a GSuite district, but there are lots of great tools out there to help them curate their work and accomplishments.

One of the main points I stress is that Digital Citizenship is not just a “teen lecture.”

No matter our age, we all need to practice good digital citizenship habits and norms.

No matter our age, we can all model and lead others to be kinder, think before posting, and to use our online presence to make a positive impact on those in our circle of influence.

Empowering Educators Everywhere,

Tisha (@txtechchick)

 

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