Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tool #10 Digital Citizenship


1. The internet and the tools we have are incredibly valuable for our learners. They can also be a source of wasted time and even worse, dangerous for our students. In my opinion, the most important things to teach are responsibility, safety and respect. Students must understand that there is an important purpose in conducting themselves this way. We want to be able to collaborate globally and continue to use these tools to our advantage. Students should be educated to understand that with these resources come much responsibility and the need for a respectful safe environment.
2. ISTE' s NETS-S and NETS-T offer standards for students and teachers. This site offers a way to evaluate the skills students and teachers need to operate safely and productively in a digital environment.
3. I think modeling good digital citizenship is the first step. But we must also explicitly teach these skills. So I would begin with examples and non examples of good digital behavior. We would have discussion about why this is appropriate or not and what the student is risking by engaging in behavior that is in appropriate. They should come to realize that there are short and long term consequences when you misuse the resources. Through discussions and discovery, they should come to the conclusion that they are limiting their opportunity to take part in these desirable learning experiences.
4. I would share this with parents throughout the school year. We should set expectations and clearly explain the reasons for these guidelines with the parents in our handbooks, at back-to-school night and at conferences. Parents should understand the risks involved with opening their computers and devices to the children at home as well.

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