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We live is a world surrounded by technology. Almost everyone wants to use it, but we do not always stop and ponder what the implications of information that we put on it will do to ourselves. Even more important, students are eager to express themselves and explore the world of Web 2.0, but they don’t always think about the dangers.

We have discussed in my technology class about the importance of collaboration and interacting with others in order to be able to be successful in the work place. We also recently discussed digital citizenship, a concept I had not thought of before.

According to Digitalcitizenship.net, Digital Citizenship is: “the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use.”

The site lists 9 elements of Digital Citizenship that people should be aware of. You can find them here: http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html. I thought this was interesting as most of this was in my mind “general knowledge” anyone in the 21st century should know. However, I guess this would not be the case, especially for young children. As a future teacher, it is important to take the time to discuss these with my students and make sure they are prepared to face the consequences if they fail to follow these elements of digital literacy.

Some schools are implementing curriculum into the classrooms to assist teachers in educating their students about Digital Literacy and safe habits for the internet.  This article is not recent, but in 2010 The New York Times published an article titled Teaching About Web Includes Troublesome Parts. This article highlights the fact that students don’t often realize that something such as an online “private” diary is not actually private.  This part of the article was very intriguing to me:

Mr. Jenkins asked the class if there is a difference between a private diary on paper and a public online diary. But the class could not agree.

“I would just keep it to myself and tell only people that were really, really close to me,” Cindy Nguyen said after class. “We want to have our personal, private space.”

That blurred line between public and private space is what Common Sense tries to address. (Clifford, 2010, 1).

Some students do, but I believe many students don’t understand how wrong they are to feel that this private diary on the internet is really a “personal, private space” for only their eyes and record.

The Common Sense website has a lot of great materials for parents and teachers, including a 65 page document (I skimmed it and it was great!) on how to Spark Conversations about digital citizenship with a family activity worksheet – it is divided up into grade levels with different sections including a word search/game activity, discussions with parents,  usually some activity online to do, as well as a common sense pointer. Would definitely recommend checking this out! Worksheet of tips for Teaching Digital Citizenship to Kids – K-12

Mike Ribble, who defined Digital Citizenship, states

Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology – Dr. Mike Ribble

Therefore, I am interested in learning for the future: how do we as teachers effectively implement and strategically teach this in our classrooms?

Here’s a fun brain pop video about Internet Safety (does not include all the 9 elements, but is a start!). Don’t forget, we need to think about ways to educate our kids!

Brain Pop – Internet Safety!

Brain Pop. (2016). BrainPOP Jr. | Internet Safety. Retrieved March 23, 2016, from https://jr.brainpop.com/artsandtechnology/technology/internetsafety/
Clifford, S. (2010). Teaching About Web Includes Troublesome Parts. Retrieved March 23, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/09/education/09cyberkids.html?_r=0
Gegan, W. (2016, January 19). 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship – Printable Poster. Retrieved March 23, 2016, from http://www.fractuslearning.com/2014/09/09/digital-citizenship-poster/
Ribble, M. (2016). Digital Citizenship. Retrieved March 23, 2016, from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/
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