There’s no denying that the world we live in is connected into technology at all times. So how do we teach students to live in this world in a responsible way and embrace their digital citizenship?
I found this totally cheesy video that has a good message in it.
We know that children have tremendous access to the internet, but do they know how to use it responsibly and promote a positive image? Some might, but many are not likely aware of the impact they can have online. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Education promotes digital fluency in our students, and are looking to integrate the teaching of digital citizenship into the curriculum.
Within the current curriculum there are already several outcomes that lend themselves to the integration of learning about digital citizenship. I have listed a few below that I feel would work well for the middle years grades.
English Language Arts: Grades 6-9
All of these grades have very similar outcomes in Comprehend & Respond and Compose & Create.
CR 6.1, 7.1, 8.1, and 9.1 read something similar to: View, listen to, read, comprehend, and respond to a variety of texts that address identity, social responsibility, and efficacy
and CC 6.1, 7.1, 8.1, and 9.1 read something similar to: Create various visual, oral, written, and multimedia (including digital) texts that explore identity, social responsibility, and efficacy.
With these outcomes lessons could be designed to read and discuss a variety of fictional and real posts that are on Facebook, Twitter, etc, and the types of photos that are posted on these outlets and others like Instagram and SnapChat. Students could analyse what creates a positive and what creates a socially positive identity. Through these conversations students could work at creating texts and projects that demonstrate their understanding of digital citizenship.
These conversations could also tie in with Grade 6-9 Career Education Outcomes about positive identity
- LW 6.1 – Examine effective practices such as responsible decision making, cooperation, and accepting diversity and predict their continued importance in one’s own career.
- CG 6.1 & 7.1 – Investigate the influence of a positive self-image on one’s life.
- CG 8.1 – Analyze one’s own self-image including personal skills, interests, and behaviours and their influences on one’s life and work.
- CG 9.1 – Plan for, demonstrate, and document improvements of one’s own capacity for building a positive self-image.
By understanding the impact of responsible digital citizenship, students can look at the impacts of their online identity with the prospects of a career. Perhaps role-playing type scenarios could be set up to replicate business and their views on potential employees based on their online presence. I found an interesting website that offers some ideas on career education, and I think there are some great possibilities for integrating digital citizenship.
There is also some great potential in some of the social studies outcomes.
- PA 6.1 – Examine the relationship between an individual’s power and authority and the power and authority of others.
- PA 8.2 – Examine the role of power and authority in the application of diverse decision-making processes in a variety of contexts.
- IN7.3 – Analyze the relationship of technology to globalization.
These outcomes really connect to how much a reach the internet really has. Students could examine the rules that are placed in “real-world” society, and whether or not those same rules extend to the internet. The concept of globalization could also be explored in seeing how our digital citizenship allows us to connect with the world beyond our classroom, province and country and share ideas in a positive manner. These outcomes can then connect back into some of the ELA outcomes about reading and responding to social responsibility. Here are some more great websites that connect kids with the world:
There really are so many ways to connect students to the idea of digital citizenship and teach them how to be responsible members of the global community.
This little clip from Discovery about the movie Tron: Legacy I think shows how movies like this can really help kids explore some of the themes behind what we would be looking at in the classroom. I haven’t seen this movie, but I’m thinking it should be on my must watch list!