digital citizenship

Evaluating using the WWWDOT Framework

Yesterday I came across this Edutopia article on the WWWDOT framework. I find that teaching students to be critical consumers of the information they read on the internet is a large task in Grade 6 so I am always looking for different strategies to help them with this process.

I decided to turn the 6 questions or steps into an infographic that I can display in my classroom or provide to students. I used a new to me tool, It was pretty easy to pick up fairly quickly and the library of images and templates was excellent considering it is a free website.

Here is my finished product:

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.03.57 PM

Source: Zhang, S., Duke, N. K. and Jiménez, L. M. (2011), The WWWDOT Approach to Improving Students’ Critical Evaluation of Websites. Read Teach, 65: 150–158.

Webwise Parents

As part of the Parent Coffee Morning Series at my school I prepared a presentation on being a “Webwise Parent” and to begin a conversation about tools and strategies to help support parents in dealing with digital media.

The response to this was very positive and it seemed like it is a topic that many parents would like to discuss further.

Developing Acceptable Use Policies with Students

This year I have begun an iPad pilot project in my Grade 4 classroom. One of the first things that I knew needed to be done was to develop an acceptable use policy with my students so that they would take ownership over utilizing the iPads as learning devices.

Over the first couple of weeks of school, we worked through the Digital Passport by Common Sense Media and developed our own class acceptable use policy with the students taking ownership of the creation. We worked through the various modules and had some great class discussions after watching the videos. My students also drew upon the IB Learner Profile and Attitudes to help explain some of the components of the acceptable use policy.

These were the ideas that my class developed!

Grade 4 Digital Citizenship
Technology Acceptable Use Policy

  1. There is an appropriate time and place for technology.
  2. Be mindful of the people around you when using technology.
  3. Don’t get distracted or side tracked from the task.
  4. Don’t share personal information.
  5. Everything online is permanent. Don’t write anything you wouldn’t say to someone.
  6. If you see something mean or inappropriate you need to tell an adult immediately.
  7. Use specific keywords when doing a search – the more specific you can be the better.
  8. Try to locate more than one place with the same information to make sure it is accurate.
  9. We need to have integrity when using information. Make sure to acknowledge where they information came from.
  10. Be appreciative and respect other peoples’ hard work.
  11. Be a THINKER – How can you make it your own? Know what is right and wrong.
  12. Use your creativity to make your own work awesome!
  13. Be an independent thinker and don’t rely on other people.
  14. Be a risk taker and share your ideas safely online being open to constructive feedback.

When you take a look at this list – it is fairly comprehensive for what my Grade 4 students will be using technology for. As they took part in developing it, they also take ownership of implementing it and I have noticed students helping keep their classmates on track! As we continue on our journey, we can always add more components to our policy if the need arises.

Citizenship and Your Digital Footprint

One of the reasons I first began blogging and tweeting was to develop a positive digital footprint (i.e., the results that come up when someone ‘googles’ you) on the internet. In the digital age there is almost a certain expectation that you have some type of digital presence, and as a professional I feel it is important to contribute to this in a positive way. I don’t think as a teacher today it is acceptable to say that you don’t do technology, I believe strongly that you have evidence that you are at least trying to understand what is happening in the digital world and the lives of students so you are able to meet them where they are. I don’t think that you need to be an expert but you need to at least have an open-mind toward the use of technology!
Growing up as a student I was a student of Web 1.0 – and the most collaborative tools were I.C.Q. and email! In someways I feel fortunate that I was an “adult” when many of these new Web 2.0 tools (Facebook, Twitter) came along because I already was conscious of the power of these tools – both positive and negative. Unfortunately, I don’t think that many students today are aware of the power that their digital footprint holds. Many employers are known to check candidates digital footprint as part of the hiring process and some universities also use this process in more selective programs. Many students make their profiles “private” or “locked” but this is not enough as it may raise questions as to why they need to have that status and what they are trying to ‘hide’. Students also need to be creating a positive digital footprint.
I have a lot of questions (and some of my own beliefs!) around this concept of digital citizenship and developing students awareness of their digital footprint.
What are schools responsibility in teaching digital citizenship?
At what age should we begin teaching these concepts?
In what ‘subject’ area do we teach these concepts?
Who should be coordinating this?
Is this an issue that you consciously tackle at your school or something that you hope students will learn? How can we ensure that we are developing students who have a positive digital footprint and are ready to take on the challenge of being digital citizens.