Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tool #10 - Underneath it All - Digital Citizenship

1.  There are so many things that students must understand to be good digital citizens. One important aspect is that students have to protect themselves from predators and cyber-bullying. Students feel helpless when anonymous individuals are harassing them and must know what to do. When contacted by others, students must understand that all that is "said" may not be safe and how to evaluate who they are blogging or contacting through e-mail or Facebook. We want to encourage them to safely explore websites and be in contact with all of the other people on the internet who can enrich our students lives by opening a window into a world of new ideas, new discoveries and divergent views on topics.

Students must also know how to evaluate information on the internet for its accuracy as they explore the outside world of information and ideas. Lastly, students must follow the rules of computer etiquette and honor copyrights. They must give credit to others for their ideas and pictures and not take the credit for themselves.

2.  One resource for instruction that I found to be very useful is the Cyber-Bullying lessons. In today's world of technology, harassment is happening too often. This resource will be available when/if needed.

3.  To teach digital citizenship to students, teachers must model it themselves. Giving credit to the creator of pictures, videos and other products on the classroom flip-charts is the first step. Including requirements for copyright credit and back-up research to check the accuracy of one web site should be included in the rubric for the assignment/project. Reviewing the technology contract signed by the students and their parents is another step. I believe that the teacher's job is to prepare the students for their post-school technology experiences. Enforcing the guidelines will make students more aware of them and as they practice being good digital citizens, they will continue their good practices after they finish my class.

4.  To share the ideas of being a good digital citizen to parents involves reviewing the technology contract at Open School Night and through e-mails. Inviting parents to come to a showcase where students show their digital products will show parents that being a good digital citizen is essential to success inside and outside of the classroom. Every parent wants the best for their child and preparing students for future success will be welcomed.

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