Last year was my first year teaching. I have to admit that it was a whirlwind of craziness that I just tried to survive! One part I know I didn’t succeed at was Digital Citizenship. It has a section of the state standards all to itself, yet I didn’t even touch it. This year I’m hoping that will be different. It will be different.
I’ve had to do a lot of researching and learning on the subject this week and I’ve already found so much great information! I’m a very visual/physical person. I absolutely loved the Digital Citizenship Survival Kit page. Each object you put in the bag is a great representation of something to do with Digital Citizenship. I really think my students could identify with the simple visuals and what they stand for. I think a fun opening activity would be to have students squeeze out a tube of toothpaste and then have them put it back in. This would help them see that once it’s out, it doesn’t go back in!
As I continued looking around, I watched this YouTube video. It briefly pops up a screen with “identity theft, sexting, cyberbullying, plagiarism, predators” written on it. This got me thinking; do students realize there are laws (not just rules!) about things that happen online? I then started looking up state laws concerning these topics. My research led me to the Attorney General’s website. I sent an email asking for direct links to the state laws dealing specifically with these issues. I really want to open my students’ eyes to the fact that if they participate in some of these behaviors, they will have very real consequences they will have to pay. (Hopefully I hear back soon. I will share if I get anything!)
I also Googled myself to see just what the world knows about me. I’ve always been pretty “quite” on social media. I’ve also been very cautious of what to say or post. (Being raised in a Christian home definitely helped with most of the life choices that helped with all of that!) When I looked myself up, all I found was my Facebook and Twitter pages, along with my school’s page with me listed as an employee. Thankfully I didn’t see anything that I wouldn’t want my mother, students, or possible employers to see.
Since I was raised the way I was, I didn’t put Digital Citizenship as a priority for my classroom. I imagined it was common sense and that these morals or behaviors were taught at home. However, I realize that most students aren’t raised similarly and they don’t have that parental control at home to watch over them. I have much higher goals for myself for this year and teaching Digital Citizenship!