Week 3: Digital Citizenship & Digital Footprint

This week in EDTC6433 Teaching with Technology, I explored the topic of Digital Citizenship and Digital Footprint. Coincidentally (or not?), Digital Citizenship is the very topic I spent time discussing during last Friday’s LEAP Tech time, so it has been on my mind all week. I watched three OfficeMix presentations. One juxtaposed how much our society prepares teens to be safe drivers and how little we teach students to be safe users of technology, especially online. On Padlet, I responded to four questions about how I would explain driving and what it means to be a good driver to my students. I put it into context for them. I answered the questions in a way that would relate to elementary students, who don’t have experience driving yet, but who are passengers in vehicles everyday. In thinking about teaching my students how to be good digital citizens, it is important for me to meet them where they are. My instruction should be meaningful, so I want to present information that they can relate to. This week, I have been reflecting on a few questions myself: How do my students use technology? What purpose does it serve for them? How aware are they of digital footprints? At this time in their lives, why is digital citizenship important to them? Since I haven’t ever brought up the topic of digital citizenship with my students, I want to make sure I approach it in a way that is relevant and accessible.

A few take aways from the video for me were the idea that social media is a part of our identity, and anything we post about ourselves is public. Our online trail never disappears, even if we’ve deleted something.

In one of the OfficeMix presentation, I took a closer look at the digital citizenship standards for students and teachers. It boils down to the essential question, how do we access, use and share information? During my building LEAP Tech time this week, we also looked at the success criteria continuum across grade levels for digital citizenship. I could see how skills presented and formed in the primary grades are built on in the upper elementary grades. I felt overwhelmed seeing what it expected of my students in the area of citation. I have not done a good job of modeling citing sources when I use images in my flipcharts. I did, however, discover some great tools on our portal for students to easily find citations for sources they use. Britannica Image Quest has an icon on each image that will produce the citation. From there, students can simply copy and paste it into their Works Consulted page.

The last step of this week was to look at resources on digital citizenship online and make a plan for how I’ll implement one aspect of digital citizenship in my classroom. I made a plan to introduce digital footprints to my 5th grade students, to start. I will facilitate a discussion, asking my students what technology they use on a regular basis and what does it allow them to do? We’ll make a list of pros and cons about new technology. Then, I will show this video about digital footprints:

Students will make a short list of tips or advice for peers to be safe online. In reading group, students will read two articles on positive and negative effects of using technology. Students will present their findings about using technology, their own opinion, and tips on being safe online.

How does this week’s topic relate to me? I appreciate having the opportunity to check out what resources are out there about digital citizenship. When we are presented with so many tech standards to teach and given no curriculum to teach it, it feels like a huge load added to our plates. I have been struggling with how I am going to fit in technology lessons when I have such limited time with my students. Honestly, I am usually hesitant to have my students bring netbooks to Safety Net because it can sometimes take 15 minutes to just log in (half of our class time). I also know that my students have not been receiving instruction on technology tools in previous years, so I will have to start with the basics. I will need to adjust my expectations, rather than sticking to the scope and sequence for Student ISTE standards. I do, however, feel it is important for ALL teachers to model good digital citizenship behavior. I will model citing my sources, using safe search engines, using netiquette, etc. It is the responsibility of all teachers to incorporate some aspect of technology and digital citizenship in our teaching. Teaching tech standards should not fall on the backs of Librarians or classroom teachers only.

I am feeling excited to have these discussions with my students to find out what they know and how they feel about technology. I am also feeling comforted that there is a wealth of resources available for me to use to tackle ISTE standards with my students. I don’t have to create everything myself!

Jaro, B.L. [BeccaLeeJaro]. (2014, October 3). Your digital footprint. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TUMHplBveo

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