Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tool # 10

Digital Citizenship
Why should we teach students about Digital Citizenship? Using the internet is the primary platform 21st Century learners use to investigate, create, collaborate and communicate. As educators, I feel it is our responsibility to help them learn the skills to discern the multitude of information that is available at the click of a button and to be safe while doing so.
There are several Brainpop videos that we have used to help students better understand some of the topics associated with Digital Citizenship. Some that we have covered are Cyberbullying, Copyright, Digital Etiquette, Plagiarism, On-line Sources and Internet Searches.
Copyright Cyberbee would be another source from the Ed Tech resource chart that looks promising.
Teaching students about copyright and plagiarism is difficult, but it is one of the most important issues in Digital Citizenship. One way to teach them about this is to have students write a creative paper on any topic of their choice. Then collect all the papers and select a few of them to read aloud to the class. Do not use any names, but after reading one that impresses the students, tell the class that the paper belongs to someone other than the true author. When the student protests, begin a class discussion of how it makes the person feel that their work was “stolen” (claimed) by someone else. I think this helps the students have a better and more personal understanding of plagiarism and why we have copyright laws.
To help parents understand digital citizenship, you can send home the acceptable use policy forms, but you can also share some of these ideas during back to school sessions. Another idea might be to create a short podcast or video and post it to your website.

First, and foremost, I would want to make sure that the students understand the importance of being safe on the internet. They need to realize that you should never give out personal information to unknown sources.  Students should also be taught that bullying is not allowed and that includes bullying on the internet. Students also need to have an understanding of copyright; what it is and why it is important to request permission when in doubt. Students need to realize that we should never copy someone else’s works and use it as our own. We should also make sure that students have an understanding of reliable sources when doing research. Using some of the information that was given to us by Alan November will help us teach this to our students.

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