Over the past few weeks I’ve had a few opportunities to facilitate conversations around Digital Citizenship. In addition to the great discussion and new insight from educators and parents, we also did our best to focus on the positive. Talking about Digital Citizenship, whether with adults or students, tends to go to the negative – all of the bad things that could happen or do happen. It’s time to make a shift.
I have been influenced by the positive nature of DigCitKids – a site created by a student, for students. Curran Dee is speaking nationally and engaging kids and adults in the conversation. He’s definitely got me thinking and in my work with students, I’m engaging them in this positive conversation as well.
I led an immersive session at Vita-Learn’s VermontFest conference earlier this month.Vita-Learn is Vermont’s ISTE affiliate and this is one of two conferences offered here in Vermont annually.
Near the end, participants shared their ideas for a positive approach to Digital Citizenship. Here are a few of the ideas:
- Do a project around DigCit where students have a voice.
- Examine current practice and consider how to end each lesson more positively
- Build community.
- Encourage a growth mindset toward technology with teachers and students.
- Showcase and share positive examples with a wider audience.
- Use the design thinking process with students and pose a question about positive technology use
- Produce PSAs
- Pay it forward
Last week, I had the opportunity to continue this discussion, but this time with parents in our community. I utilized many of Common Sense’s resources for parents, and we had a great conversation. There’s agreement all around that our focus should be on positive, responsible use of digital tools rather than the potentially scary or negative connotations often associated with the topic. Parents had an open mind and were eager to give and receive tips and advice about parenting in this digital age.
Putting It Into Action
Here in our schools, we’re being pro-active. Many of our classrooms Kindergarten-8th grade are integrating digital citizenship lessons, activities, or conversations into their work with students. I shared one example in this post recently. We are now in the process of applying for Digital Citizenship Certified School status and after that, we’ll strive to be Digital Citizenship Certified District. Want to do that yourself? Learn more here!