In Digital Citizenship
We can warn people about being socially appropriate for our audience when posting, but it doesn’t always seem to make sense until you’ve made your own media “mistake”.
Teaching students about netiquette and visibility settings is a great place to start. But it isn’t enough to protect students from all possible situations they might encounter on the internet. What we should do is teach strategies when consuming and creating media.
Some things to consider are:
- What audience am I trying to reach?
- What media is the best format for what I am trying to share?
- What platform should this be shared on?
- How are my emotions? Will I still feel this way in 1 day, 1 week, 1 year?
- Does this add anything to a conversation?
- Does my voice need to be heard, or should I be lifting up others voice? (Do I belong to this community?)
- Are there facts to support my opinion?
- Do I want this to be a part of my permanent digital footprint/identity?
- Is this safe for me and others to share?
There are many resources and lessons available for teachers to teach about digital literacy and digital citizenship from many sources including, Edutopia, Be Internet Awesome, InCtrl, Common Sense Education, and so many more!
I firmly believe that this isn’t a one time conversation. Digital citizenship needs to be integrated into many areas of curriculum, not just a one day intervention to be forgotten about (I’m looking at you- one-day sexual health education programs). This can be in Social Studies in the context of citizenship, English Language Arts in the context of author’s purpose, Health in mental health and well-being, Science in technology, and almost every other content area.
I feel thankful that our division has prioritized Mental Health and Wellbeing these past two years, and have integrated that throughout the organization, including digital citizenship. We also have Learning Consultants (like myself) available to go into classrooms to introduce topics such as digital citizenship into schools. I am lucky enough to be going into Bart’s class this week to do some learning around digital citizenship!
Through my exploration of this topic with my group this week, I really began to see the value of emotional literacy through the podcast Connect Safely. Watch our group’s video below:
I feel like the education sector in Saskatchewan is beginning to see the value in training teachers about digital citizenship by offering post-secondary courses to teachers about media and digital literacy in education. Classes such as EC&I 832 and EC&I 834 through the University of Regina, and the addition of Educational Technology as a route for MEd students. However, we still have lots of teachers who do not take these courses. We have to build capacity in all our educators if we expect them to teach digital contexts, and add explicit language about digital literacy throughout our curriculum.
This week I’m challenging myself to creating a digital literacy lesson for grades 7/8. I’ll do a follow up blog post this week to post the lesson and my reflection.