The Making of Digital Citizens

What a rich discussion we had last night during Session #3 of the Virtual Book Club! If you weren’t able to join us, listen to the recording here: Virtual Book Club Feb 4th/5th and please share your thoughts on this blog: Virtual Book Club. We have been reading and discussing Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds by Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis  and our focus this time was Chapter Five (Digital Citizenship) and Chapter Six (Contributing and Collaborating).

We confessed, bragged, questioned, shared tips and traded resources on the topic of Digital Citizenship. It seems there is always more to consider from using images in our presentations to setting our privacy settings but we all agreed that we need to model strong digital citizenship for our students and explicitly teach them how to be a thoughtful contributor in the digital world.

  • Connie shared “Just as we model and teach ways to effectively present and collaborate in face to face groups, digital citizenship is just another layer.
  • Joseph agreed and asked, “Students need to understand that there are differences in communicating on facebook, twitter with friends versus using this type of media in school…but how to teach?
  • Elena commented, “It[digital communications] also provides an opportunity to evaluate how we interact with each other face to face. Sometimes in the middle school environment, speaking to others with a certain tone or attitude can become the norm.
  • Amy agreed, “Not only do we need to relate to our students using technology but we need to teach them how to communicate in positive ways using technology

Some of the great resources that were shared to help with teaching digital citizenship were:

Some tips given about getting students to care about digital citizenship:

  • Use real-life examples (read Chris’ story here) and facts (thanks to Laurel for sharing that 70% of employers look at digital footprints)
  • Have students create Digital Citizenship materials (Digiteen and Digital ID are examples)
  • Provide an authentic audience (when students see that others are actually reading/listening/watching their work, they care more)
  • Make it easy for students – provide them with music and images that they can use
  • Model by adding the URL for photos within classroom presentations
  • Use your librarians! They often have lessons ready to go on this topic
  • Start with a private wiki or an Edmodo class where you can monitor and give feedback to students before collaborating with another classroom.
  • As Rocky has done, actually contact authors and artists to request permission to use their materials. (Read more about what Rocky has done here)

We wrapped up by sharing a bit of advice about getting started with global projects and we all got really excited about trying Mystery Skype. And, as usual, the time flew by. I never knew an hour could pass so quickly!

A huge thank you to Vicki Davis for joining us in between prom planning and Flat Certified teacher training. Your professional generosity is unending. Another thank you to Jim for picking up as co-moderator. It is so helpful to know someone else is listening, reading, typing and talking as fast as I am! And a thank you to all the busy educators who took time out to share, question, and connect.

I’m looking forward to our next meeting on Monday, February 18th at 7:30pm EST (that’s Tuesday, February 19th at 3:30am GMT). For your time zone, click here. We will be discussing Chapters Six (Choice) and Seven (Creation).