Sunday, November 16, 2014

Post #13

How will you teach your students about being safe and responsible digital citizens?
Review the links below and post your ideas in your blog.

1. Teaching Digital Citizenship In The Elementary Classroom by Mary Beth Hertz
K-8 Technology Teach in Philadelphia, PA.

2. Safe Digital Citizenship by Sandra A. Trach, Principal

3. What Is Digital Citizenship (5:18)

4. Digital Citizenship: Teaching Students About the Safe and Responsible Use of Technology (3:10)

5. Adapting Digital Citizenship to Elementary ESL Students (5:20)

digital citizen poster

As the world turns and technology takes over, it is spilling into the classrooms earlier and earlier in a students learning career. Kindergarteners are learning how to use the internet and social media websites a lot faster than you or I did and they use them on a daily basis. Elementary students are blogging, using Twitter and making their very own cyber footprints. It is truly amazing to watch, but as a teacher we need to guide these children through their internet usage safely. We need to teach them to be good digital citizens. Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use. It is our responsibilities as teachers and parents to teach our children how to be a safe, kind and responsible digital citizen!

Teaching Digital Citizenship In The Elementary Classroom
Mary Beth Hertz, a K-8 Technology Teacher in Philadelphia, says that she spends an entire month covering digital citizenship in her classroom at the beginning of the year. She has different methods for different grades as to how she goes about this. Her K-4 grades she uses Storybird, which is a website for writing stories online and allows you to comment on the productions. She monitors the commenting being done and this gives the students a chance to practice their commenting techniques before moving onto a public blog. This website looks fascinating in itself and will be a useful tool in my future classroom. For her 5-8th graders she uses Schoology. It is an all-in-one tool for teachers. You can set up discussions and blogs to keep the commenting monitored and connect with students. Hertz said she has had issues in the past with these grade and the cyber-bullying and "mean girl" commenting and used this as a teaching tool to correct the students and have them make virtual amends while deleting their comments. I love her approach to this and I will incorporate this into my classroom lesson plan on digital citizenship.

Safe Digital Citizenship
This article was written by Sandra Trach, a school principal, in Nov/Dec 2013. Her very first statement in the article is, "Online safety requires ongoing professional learning for staff and continuing education for parents." I completely agree with this statement and as a parent know it to be true. She goes on to list some responsibilities of all involved in the process.
Teachers Should:
-Partner with parents regarding the types of devices and digital curriculum their children will use throughout the school year;
-Review the district’s Acceptable Use Policy with parents and students;
-Have students sign a safety pledge that supports device care and digital citizenship expectations;
-Directly teach students how to take proper care of their devices;
-Pre-assess student knowledge and experience with devices and the Web in order to plan instruction;
-Directly teach specific Web skills and applications that you expect students to know and be able to use;
-Engage students in technology as an authentic means toward learning; and
-Pursue professional learning opportunities to strengthen curricular and digital skills.

Students Should:
-Be respectful, kind, and honest;
-Talk to your teacher and parent as soon as you see, feel, or experience something that is not right on the Internet;
-Use strong passwords;
-Make sure teachers and parents have all of your passwords;
-Remember that not everyone is who they say they are on the Internet; and
-Use primary sources.

Students Should Not:
-Share personal information online;
-Open unexpected messages or unfamiliar attachments;
-Agree to meet people who approach you online; or
-Plagiarize or cheat.

Educators and Parents Should:
-Become digitally literate;
-Keep computers and devices visible for your attention;
-Set limits and guidelines;
-Use system controls for devices and websites;
-Understand social networking and photo sharing; and
-Preview websites in advance.

I think these are amazing guidelines and teacher should post the "Do & Don't" list somewhere very visible for the students in the classroom. It should also be sent home in a guidelines letter along with the parental suggestions for the parents to keep at their homes. These will also be incorporated into my classroom and into my lesson!

What Is Digital Citizenship

This video is a great explanation as to what it means to be a digital citizen from a teachers point of view to a parent. It compares digital citizenship to getting a drivers license. We need to prepare them for both. This would be a great homework assignment for the parents. I know, I know, most parents would probably think this is crazy, but I firmly believe we need to take a little more time as parents to be involved in our childrens school and what they are learning. This would be a great start to the year. It gives the parents the idea to know what the students might be doing in the class and out.

Digital Citizenship: Teaching Students About the Safe and Responsible Use of Technology

This video is from the University of Lethbridge Faculty of Education Research by Professor Robin Bright. She teaches students to really think about the fact that they are not just consumers of the internet, but they are also creators of knowledge. She uses the phrase "Think before you click" and that is a great slogan for any classroom and digital citizenship. Prof. Bright says that 50% of children between the ages of 9 to 16 don't know how to change the privacy settings on the social media sites that they are already on. This is why we as teachers need to educate our students and make the parents more aware of what they are getting involved in. This way we can help protect them and help them protect themselves.

Adapting Digital Citizenship to Elementary ESL Students

This video is really great! It stars Ms. Laura Rossi, who is a K-8 Technology teacher for Trevista ECE-8 in Denver, CO. She breaks down the lessons on digital media and digital citizenship for ESL students on a level that is truly genius. What she does is uses one vocabulary word at a time till the students understand exactly what it means, then she incorporates another word. She also tries to bring the lesson into the students hands. Like email, she brings in real mail so that the students can physically see who the sender and recipient is, then she moves it onto the actual email so the students can compare the two. I am not sure if I will ever have to deal with an entire class of ESL students, but if so I have some great ideas thanks to Ms. Rossi!


  1. Hello Sabrina! This is a great idea for a blog post that flows very well with what we've learned this semester! I can tell you put a lot of thought into this assignment and in the videos you chose. The only thing you need to watch is your punctuation. You were missing a few commas here and there, but this is overall a wonderful post! Great job!
    --Heather Howton

  2. This is a great post on teaching internet safety. Good job!