Posts Tagged ‘Digital Citizenship’

Post 13 on the 30-Day Blogging ChallengeName the top tech tools that you use on a consistent basis in the classroom and rank them in order of their effectiveness, in your opinion.

tools “A successful tool is one that was used to do something undreamt of by its author.” – Stephen C. Johnson

The larger challenge here is that nowhere in the above prompt does it give me an idea of how many top tech tools I can list!

I’ll go for 3 that I use professionally and 3 that I recommend using with students.


1. Google tools: Email, Calendars, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Maps, Drawing, Google+, and Sites. There are more tools than that – but those I use on a daily basis. I haven’t used Office products in many years. When you can collaborate and access your things from anywhere, why use anything else?

2. Twitter- I joined Twitter in the fall of 2008. That’s 6 years ago! I’d say I began to see the power and use of Twitter about a year later and haven’t looked back. It’s the place where educators connect, share, support one another, stretch each other’s thinking, and get resources – all whenever you want it. I feel very fortunate to have my PLN.

3. Diigo – I use Diigo to save and share anything I find on the web. I have Twitter and Diigo connected so that anything I favorite on Twitter automatically saves to Diigo. I save many links each day and then have access to all of my resources anytime from anywhere. Plus, I can use the social side of it to see what others are saving and sharing, use Groups to collect collaboratively, and offer what I’ve shared to others.

With Students:

1. Common Sense Media: I value the work that went into designing their Digital Citizenship Scope and Sequence and highly recommend these resources to all educators. I’ve also used and am again using the Digital Passport site (and app) with students. Graphite is a fabulous tool where resources have been evaluated and vetted by other educators. Thank you Common Sense Media, for all you do to support educators, students, and parents.

2. Google tools, again: Having a Google Apps for Education domain has contributed to a big shift in the way we teach and the way we integrate technology. These tools enable students to use technology as a tool to support learning, rather than starting with the tech and trying to go from there. Collaboration and sharing has impacted the amount of printing as students turn their work in digitally. Google Classroom is just getting underway, but already I’m hearing excitement and enthusiasm from the teachers using it.

3. I use a variety of iPads apps with students to encourage them to share their learning with others. We offer choice and students decide on the best app to meet their needs. Some of these might include: iMovie, Haiku Deck, Book Creator, or Explain Everything. Those apps would be at the top of my list for that purpose.

I look forward to reading the 13th post that other bloggers have shared to get their perspective on top tech tools.

 Image: creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by katerha: http://flickr.com/photos/katerha/5746905652

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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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