Posts Tagged ‘Digital citizen’

The prompt for today’s blogging challenge is to write about a piece of technology I’m hoping to incorporate into my curriculum. I’m not a classroom teacher and don’t have a curriculum to follow, so I’m going to adapt this post.

planeThis year, we are venturing down the road toward our first 1:1 pilot, with Chromebooks. We had attempted a year and a half ago, to get funding for a 1:1 iPad initiative. That failed to pass muster and we learned a lot of lessons from the experience. Since then, we also learned about how challenging it is to share iPads!

A year passed and Chromebooks emerged on the horizon. We found a way to fund a pilot for this device with a small sampling of our school population. We determined that we could provide Chromebooks for two teams in our school. Our teams are made up of 4 teachers that work collaboratively, with 4 classes of students that move about within the space for various aspects of their day.

All teams in grades 3-8 were invited to submit a proposal, and then had to meet with myself and our administrator to defend why they should be the chosen ones. We had five teams apply and sadly could only pick two. One team selected is composed of third and fourth graders in multi-age classes, the other grades 5-8.

We’re almost ready to hand them out to students. Over the course of this year, we will be looking to see how having a device for each student impacts, enhances, and enriches learning. If access to technology when you need it is not an issue, how does that free up time and affect planning? How will transitioning full-speed ahead to using Google apps play out and transform what happens in these classrooms?

As the Chromebooks get distributed and students get underway with Digital Citizenship activities to begin their work, (thanks to Common Sense Media), we’ll be on our way. I’ll be sharing the ups and downs here on this blog.


Image: creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by Unhindered by Talent: http://flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee/573255385

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Cross-posted from A Platform for Good.

I am the technology integration specialist in a Vermont school district with two school buildings about a mile apart from one another. One serves grades preK–2 and the other grades 3–8. I travel between both buildings on most days and have the pleasure of working with all of the adults and students in those schools. A few years ago, our district decided to become a PBIS district. PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. We’re focused on the positive, which in turn, reduces the negative behaviors.

Each of the schools has a catchphrase that all adults and students know. At our preK–2 school, students are “Safe, Kind and Responsible.” At our grades 3-8 school, students know the acronym “SMART = We will be Safe, Mindful, Accepting, Respectful, and Truthful.” There are signs, reminders, and images all over both buildings to help us remember these behavioral expectations.

ABS pbis WillistonCentralSchool1b







In my work with students, these PBIS statements lend themselves naturally to topics under the umbrella of digital citizenship. The students know the phrases well and can easily transfer the ideas to their work with technology and the Internet. When asked what it means to be SMART online, they are able to share fabulous examples of how they are incorporating digital citizenship.

To help further these practices, we are utilizing many of the materials and lessons available from Common Sense Media. These lessons are a great way to connect what we’re learning to the PBIS words in each school. Teachers also integrate the language from PBIS into their technology-based activities. For example, here’s a blog post from one of our teachersexplaining how kindergarten students are Safe, Kind, and Responsible.

Another example of PBIS at work in my school district comes from a first and second grade teacher who worked with a group of students to create movie trailers on the iPad using iMovie. They each chose a different aspect of the school to describe in the movie.Being safe, kind, and responsible naturally evolved as one of the movies.

In our other school building, I observe teachers and students interacting with many digital citizenship topics. As part of a rotation with third and fourth graders, I also observe students making the connections between those topics and making SMART choices. By the end of our 6 weeks together, each student makes a short public service announcement to teach others about one aspect of digital citizenship. Here’s a recent example produced with Tellagami on the iPad.

We also have eight teachers currently engaged in various Flat Classroom Projects. Each of our grade spans is represented: K–2, 3–4, and grades 5–8. There is a lot of technology being integrated into the work they’re doing, which includes students communicating and collaborating with other students from around North America and a few in other countries as well. The middle school students are involved in the Digitween Project, which focuses specifically on digital citizenship. They are doing research and then will create and share a project to help educate others in our school community. Along the way, they are learning about being safe, mindful, accepting, truthful, and respectful when online. This project culminates near the end of 2013, so we’ll have more to share then.

Overall, there’s growing awareness about digital citizenship in our schools through the work we’re doing with PBIS. Digital citizenship is not a one-time focused activity or lesson. It must be repeatedly addressed with our students, our faculty, and our families. We all must work together to help our students learn what it means to be a responsible digital citizen.



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For the past few years I have been especially focused on Digital Citizenship in our schools. I believe the topics that fall under the umbrella of Digital Citizenship are of critical importance in all of our work. It will take a team (a village?!) to regularly introduce, teach, expose, and review these topics with our students. That team is composed of all educators, administrators, parents, and the students themselves.

Some of the topics include:

  • Internet Safety
  • Privacy and Security
  • Digital Tattoo and Reputation (I call it ‘Tattoo’ rather than ‘Footprint’ after a great session at ISTE on this topic)
  • Information Literacy
  • Cyberbullying
  • Creative Credit and Copyright

I have been promoting and using the Digital Citizenship curriculum and Scope and Sequence  developed by CommonSenseMedia. Not only is it great to have it at hand and ready in all aspects, but the lessons are well-developed, appropriate, and engaging. I highly recommend it. There are many other resources, sites, people, and curricular materials available as well.

I recently found out that educators can become Digital Citizenship Certified by CommonSenseMedia by undergoing some training online. I completed that this week. You’ll see that I earned a badge to put on my blog. My goal wasn’t the badge, but to help spread the word of the importance of this work with our students.


I participated in a Twitter chat about a week ago about Digital Citizenship using the hashtag #digcit. There’s always a lively conversation and great resources shared using that hashtag. Here are some of the quotes I took away from that chat:

(I’m sorry I’m not properly attributing them)

  • My understanding of Digital Citizenship is RAP: Respect; be Aware; Protect
  • Be a global citizen and a digital citizen
  • The very best way to teach digital citizenship is to model digital citizenship behavior. A close (and necessary) second is to talk about it.
  • Digital Citizenship is using the Internet ethically and responsibly to keep yourself safe and secure.
  • Parents are the key. They are the first teachers of digital citizenship.
  • One thing for sure: Citizenship can’t be citizenship if it’s DICTATED to the citizens!
  • It is important to model proper digital citizenship with children. Listen to them.  Be there for them and care about them.
  • One definition of digital citizenship could be “life literacy”. Kids are ahead in some areas but we cannot assume that they all digitally literate.
  • It takes a village to raise a good Digital Citizen!

Digital Citizenship topics are popping up in the news and online posts regularly.  Shouldn’t we all do our part to have these conversations with our students?


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