1-to-1 Essentials – Encouraging Digital Citizenship

1-to-1 Essentials – Encouraging Digital Citizenship


So when we started our iPad program we focused on, this is how you use the device, this is how you use apps, this is how you keep it in a case and keep it away from dangerous things. But, we realized going in that more important than that is really how do you need to think about using it? So when you’re doing that, when you have all this instant access to communicating to people, posting things on the web, researching, what are the processes that need to be internalized in order to be good, do well. We want them to learn how to be responsible digital citizens at an age where they’re young enough, where it can become a habit of mind, so when they do enter high school, they’ve already internalized this. And I think if they can do that then they’re going to be much less likely to make some of the larger mistakes that some high school students can make because they’ve had an opportunity in some ways to make those smaller mistakes and learn from them. Ideally digital citizenship is woven through your social-emotional curriculum. If students are talking about how we communicate and have friends then that’s an easy carryover to. Same thing is true online. We have to respect each other’s feelings, think about, have empathy for the other person and think about how the other person would interpret what we’re saying. So I expect whatever we say and how we act and treat each other within the classroom verbally face-to-face, is how you would behave and write on a computer, on a telephone, or anything, it’s the same expectations. We want them to internalize the thought process. You know, I’m going down this road and I probably shouldn’t be, what do I need to think about? What are the consequences that could come out just from what I know? Rather than waiting for an adult to say, “That’s bad, I’m taking your device.” That’s one thing that struck me, that they’re waiting for consequences. And if you have a whole group of students waiting for consequences, they’re feeding off each other. They’re all saying, “We’re not getting caught, you know. We could do this. It’s okay!” If you’re using an iPad, or you’re using a paper and pencil, either way, the process involves failing and allowing that to happen and then encouraging self-reflection and making that part of the process. If you get that feeling in your stomach that something’s going on wrong, that’s your sign. That’s your bell to immediately go tell an adult; anybody, a teacher, a parent. If you bump into something on the internet that you’re not sure about or don’t understand, that’s when you go to an adult and talk about it. And I reassure my students I said, “You will never ever get in trouble for showing this to your parent or to a teacher because that’s what we’re here for.”

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