Digital Citizenship Scope and Sequence

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One of my favorite (and most challenging) parts of my job is creating engaging lessons/activities to promote good tech use amongst our students in and out of school.

Sometimes this knowledge and skills is taught in classes, but a lot of times, it is taught separately during our advisory/weekly BLOCK time when we often work on social and well-being skills with our students.

For me, it can be hard to identify exactly what the grade of students needs and how it can be taught well, rather than a teacher droning on about the “No, no, nos” of their digital world which we are not always a part of.  Compounded with this, is sometimes I have to prepare lessons that I will not teach.  Often times, advisory teachers or grade level teachers teach the content and may not have social media or a good understanding of how our kids use it as they try to share their wisdom with the students.

That being said, I think it is effective, most of the time.  I try to partner up teachers so that even listening to what the students are saying can be educational for them, and I try to have interactive activities which get the kids to think and share their thoughts.  Many times there are no answers, but the students are left with questions, that they hopefully ponder, strategies that they may try or at least develop empathy and/or understanding of the systems and their classmates.

Here is our Secondary Digital Citizenship document to date.  It is a “live” document which is revised regularly.  I feel that the digital citizenship curriculum can’t be planned out perfectly every year.  Every year, different groups of kids walk through the doors.  Each grade level’s digital socialization is a bit different than the other.  It’s a great challenge.  I like that I do teach some of the students, because then I do get a good feel for what they are doing and how they are using their technology.

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The Power of Visuals

This post is in response to our Course 3, Week 2 assignment to use Creative Commons image search to find an appropriate image to use in at least one of the classes you teach. 

The overarching digital citizenship essential question for the year for our middle school is:

How do YOU positively contribute to YOUR (digital) community?

I’m trying to make as many connections to our new Responsible Use Policy as I can.  I will be presenting the RUP to a variety of audiences and am trying to get the students to engage with it as much as possible this year.

I was search Compfight for a while looking for Creative Commons images that would allow me to add the question directly on the image (both in rights and contrast/whitespace).

The first two with pensive girls at their laptop seemed to fit that need, but then I thought they were too literal and that this wouldn’t necessarily connect with the larger population at my school.

Photo Credit: owenstache via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: owenstache via Compfight cc

I like the black & white and the pensive look, but doesn’t use the Rule of Thirds

Photo Credit: mer chau via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: mer chau via Compfight cc

*I like the bleached out whitespace in the upper right, and it’s a good use of thirds, but can my male students connect?

I then thought about responsibility, but could really find anything and couldn’t think of what to search for to get an image that would visually depict responsible acts well.

Then I started thinking more about community and contribution:

Photo Credit: Storm Crypt via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Storm Crypt via Compfight cc

*Maybe this image will make them think of community, but maybe too concretely?

Photo Credit: debaird™ via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: debaird™ via Compfight cc

*I like how this is a visual of different imprints of a community and what people choose to “post”

Photo Credit: graphistolage via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: graphistolage via Compfight cc

*On a stage?  What is she contributing?  She seems empowered and brave.

Photo Credit: PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE via Compfight cc

In the end, I think I like this last one best.  I wouldn’t be able to add any text to the slide because it’s so busy already and I think it would get lost with the different colors and textures going on in the image.

I like what this picture “says” to me:

The holding hands represents community

Each child looks different and they all have different expressions on their faces

A few children seem to be looking at a guiding hand, while some are not

I love the power in the girl-in-the-front’s eyes.  I love that she seems to be silently leading or maybe just more aware?

So now I’m left with a few questions:

1. What do you think of this image?  Do you think that this would be good to show when I’m presenting our essential question: How do YOU positively contribute to YOUR (digital) community?  Are you drawn to any of the other images or have any other suggestions?

2. Can my pre-teen and teen students connect with this – or are the kids too young and the image not edgy enough?

3. I’ve been using a lot less text on my slides the past year or so, but I do love the non-text slides.  How will this impact parent presentations?  When I present to parents many of them have low English skills.  Is this confusing them even more?  Can I give them what they need in a supplemental handout?  Will they just be reading that and tuning me out?

I’m interested to hear your feedback and to see what images you have chosen for your blogs!