A Digital Citizenship Inservice

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I’ve had an educational technology consulting company since I retired from the public school system.  I was recently hired to give an in-service for a private school in St. Louis on digital citizenship. This is a subject I have a lot of experience with as it is one of the graduate courses I designed and teach. TOCSinservice

We spent the morning on an introduction to the 9 elements of digital citizenship. The teachers loved taking the Kahoot quiz  later to see how much knowledge they retained. How much do you know about digital citizenship? Take the quiz yourself and find out.  Teachers, feel free to use the quiz with your students. If you join free, you can even edit it for your own use. It is a good idea to talk about good citizenship skills in general when using Kahoot.  It is very competitive, so players should pay close attention and if they are in the lead, cheer only silent cheers.  : ) Players should congratulate the winners, though.  The teachers also really liked the Digital Citizenship Survival Kit I used as an introduction.  It went over very well and some are planning to use it now, too.  Thanks, Craig, for sharing that idea. I did add an idea – a compass.  We all have an internal compass to help us know what is right or wrong, but we need to learn how to find and use this compass for making decisions when using digital technology.  I talk about Ethical Direction by Dr. Mike Ribble in my workshop, so the compass works very well.

We spent the afternoon working on adapting the curriculum already in place to include digital citizenship activities.  It was so rewarding to see many of them overcoming their concerns, usually in the form of “Great…..just one more thing to add in an already full curriculum” through collaborating, discussing, and seeing where digital citizenship activities might best fit into the curriculum already in place.  They also began realizing that there are many opportunities throughout the day for some quick, instant discussions that can take place now that they are aware of what to really talk about and have resources in place to back up what they say.  If you are already using Character Education lessons, this would be the perfect place to adapt to include digital citizenship lessons.

The goal of teaching digital citizenship to students is to teach it in every classroom (yes, even P.E., music, and art) and model it in everything you do online.

Even if students aren’t using email, social media, etc. in your school, it is a safe bet they are using it at home. It is my belief that we can’t enforce digital citizenship through filters alone (although filters are necessary for security as well as safety in many instances). What really needs to take place is teaching students to use their own internal compass to help them decide for themselves what is right and wrong with what they say and do online. I found a quote to use that is perfect.  “The best filter kids can have is the one between their ears”~Jason B. Ohler. 

It was a great day! So much fun! If you know of a school that wants some training on digital citizenship in the St. Louis area, be sure to send them my way.  : )

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