Posted by: Jill Spencer | April 21, 2013

Resources from Edutopia

Wondering what innovative educators are doing across the country?  My go-to-site is Edutopia.  I am never disappointed!  Curious about what they might have related to digital citizenship, I did a search and found these blogs:

1. Ideas for Digital Citizenship PBL Projects by Andrew Miller from the Buck Institute, a leading proponent of project-based learning.  He suggests a combo of components to consider as we plan…

  • Incorporate the NETS from ISTE–he points out that there are actual digital citizenship standards!  They are listed below.  ISTE, by the way. is the International Society for Technology in Education.
Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior. Students:
a. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
b. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
c. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.
d. exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.
  • Focus on an authentic purpose for your unit–have students design a program or create an information campaign or solve a problem related to digital citizenship that they present to a wider audience than their teacher.  My first thought is that many middle grades students would get into creating a children’s book on digital citizenship or social media for elementary students, especially if it went into the school’s library.
  • Include content standards–certainly the Common Core literacy standards are a natural fit, and they stretch across the curriculum.  A lot of information about the CCSS relates to reading closely and writing argument essays.  However, there are specific standards that are integral to the digital world.

Key Anchor Standards pertinent to digital citizenship

Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

2. VideoAmy’s Five-Minute Film Festival: Teaching Digital Citizenship, a treasure trove of short video clips, provides information for teachers, students, and parents. Here’s one of the videos on her list that would be a great discussion starter at a parents’ night.

Other topics in her film festival include: protecting online privacy, safety, and an example of a digital citizenship curriculum from Google and YouTube.

Teachers, parents, and schools need not feel alone as they work hard to help children and teens navigate the digital world.  There are many resources available–just be sure to preview them carefully before sharing them with students or the wider community.  Remember–things that scare adults often seem enticing to young people.  Look for resources, like the ones mentioned above, that are purposeful, balanced and open the door for ongoing conversations.

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