In my World Geography classes we had a lesson on what it takes to be a good citizen. That which includes being a good citizen in the community, at school, globally, and in the digital world. I realize that we can have one lesson and they learn from it, but it is a continuous lesson in reality. A lot of things go in one ear and out the other, and ultimately these kids are human and will make mistakes like we all do. It worries me that they could use the internet in a way that could harm themselves or someone they care about. I will do my best to monitor and continue to be honest with them about the web and let them know when used effectively it is a an amazing tool.
Three things I would like them to understand about being a good digital citizen include etiquette, safety, and plagiarism.
I want my students to realize that things they say or pictures they post on the internet are not private and once its out in cyber space its out there for all to do with it what they will.They need to understand with their family they may act one way, with their friends another, with their teachers another, and with the internet they should too. They should do what they can to present themselves in an appropriate manner and not create a bad reputation for themselves. I also want them to be safe on the internet and make sure they don't talk to people they don't know or allow people to take advantage of them. Also, in no way, shape, or form do I want them to be a part of cyber bullying. They need to be aware of the dangers of bullying on the internet. They need to protect themselves and play it safe. The last thing I want them to understand is that plagiarism is unacceptable. Of course it is a lot easier to catch that happening with websites like turnitin.com, but still they need to know that they must do their own work. I also want them to understand that everything they read on the internet may not be true. They need to learn that research doesn't entail grabbing the first source given, they need to really look through documents and analyze the validity of the content they are researching.
I would continue to reinforce, remind, or teach the importance of all of these issues with students through discussions. I have a Google clip about digital citizenship that I've shown to my World Geography classes, that I can also share with my ELA classes.
Having an open communication with parents about what their child is doing in school and on the internet is very important. A note can be sent home with students to have their parents sign and return. This form could include websites that the students often visit. This would allow for parents to know that they too at home can visit the websites for themselves so they can be aware of where exactly their child is going to on the internet.
I like various resources that I know can be used in the classroom effectively such as BrainPop. Both Media Awareness Network and Common Sense Media have great lesson plans and educational opportunities for both student and parent.
WOW!! I'm almost there!!!