That’s right! With the plethora of resources available for teachers, there’s no reason we—as educators—have to stop promoting the importance of behaving safely and responsibly in the digital world.
I personally find visuals and concrete examples to be the most effective when stressing the digital citizenship concept to students. For example, the Think Before You Click video created by my Tech Club students was a huge hit in our middle school—and beyond! If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check it out!
In addition, my Tech Club students shared several analogies using real world objects on the morning announcements program each day to stress the significance of creating a positive digital footprint! For instance, toothpaste was utilized to stress that information students post online is similar to toothpaste coming out of the tube. Once it’s out, it’s almost impossible to get it all back in the tube! However, unlike toothpaste, whatever is posted on the Internet will always be there.
And then there was the permanent marker metaphor: Did you know that what you do, say and post online can be seen by anyone—even people you don’t know! And like the ink in a Sharpie marker, these things are difficult to erase—if not impossible.
If you like incorporating this type of imagery into classroom activities, then you’re just going to love, love the Digital Citizenship Survival Kit developed by Craig Badura as well as the “bedazzled” version of this creation designed by tech guru Lisa Johnson. The latter is also a great example of “app smashing”—or the act of using multiple apps to create a project.
Use the Digital Citizenship Survival Kit to remind students that every single word they say and/or every picture they share on social networks or mobile devices can be shared over and over again. Who knows where it will end up? Therefore, they need to be aware that whatever they are publishing or texting is something they can be proud of—today, tomorrow and even five years in the future—and regardless of who sees it!
Image Attribution: Common Sense Media.