The digital passport by Commonsense Media will be tested out this week by my class of 6th graders. Hopefully some of my peers at my school will join me in this test as well.
In order to teach students about digital citizenship and its importance, teachers need materials. In our Google discussion this week, there was complete consensus that two of the tools offered on the Internet would be very useful in this instruction when accompanied by thoughtful discussion and support by teachers: The Digital Passport and The Digital Driver’s License.
I still maintain that, to have an extremely effective program, highly effective materials need to be supported by leadership with a vision that includes meaningful integration of technology. Individual teachers can use these tools in order to have meaningful discussions with students about digital citizenship. If students only hear about digital citizenship issues here and there (inconsistently), it will not have the same staying power as if a whole school (or district) adopted this philosophy and learning.
In addition to looking at the Digital Drivers License and Digital Passport programs, I sought out other materials that would be helpful in teaching students all the components of being a responsible digital citizen. Edutopia is a consistent provider of very helpful information on topics like educational technology. It posted a brilliant article called the Five-Minute Film Festival. This post features a video playlist of twelve videos that cover a broad range of topics under the umbrella of digital citizenship. The intended audience for these videos include a mix of student and teacher viewers. For those wanting more information or to explore the topic further, Edutopia has curated additional resources.
Cable in the Classroom is another site that has put together a comprehensive list of videos and activities in order to teach about digital citizenship. These sources are intended for students in grades 4 – 8. The idea behind this site goes beyond becoming a responsible citizen. I like that this site offers videos and lessons that really make students think. For example, there is a lesson on viewing media and how advertisements affect people. CIC has completely laid out lesson plans which support both common core standards and ISTE standards. After my students complete their digital passports, I will lead them through Cable in the Classroom’s lessons to both give another level of depth to the subjects for my students and also to test out the materials from a teacher’s perspective.
In researching tools to support teaching digital citizenship, what I have found is there is a mass of materials. This is a very important topic worthy of having a multitude of tools. It is really helpful to have sites curate a core selection of materials to help up teachers of specific grade level ranges. As an individual teacher, I will test out the materials that seem most suitable to my students and their skill level. I will continue to advocate for school-wide adoption of digital citizenship programs in order to best serve our whole student body.
Borovoy, A. (2012, Sept. 14). Five-minute film festival: Teaching digital citizenship. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/film-festival-digital-citizenship
Common Sense Educators. (Producer). Common sense media: Digital passport [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbdUyXtLFMM
Commonsense Media. (n.d.). Digital passport. Retrieved from https://www.digitalpassport.org
Digital drivers license. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://otis.coe.uky.edu
Empower students to be inctrl in a digital age!. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ciconline.org/digitalcitizenship/inctrl