In an age where students are coming into our classroom with smartphones, ipods and tablets it is essential that we talk about digital citizenship. Our students are on social media all the time from facebook to instagram to snapchat or whatever is the new and hip social media site to be on. They are posting pictures about themselves and posting about what they are doing and many don’t stop to think about before they post. They feel they are protected behind their little devises where they can post what they want and say what they want and it doesn’t matter because no one really knows them.
This is why it is so important to teach students digital citizenship in the classroom and beyond. I love the saying that I see in a lot of classrooms called THINK. T– Is it True? Do you have evidence to support what you are saying? H– Is it Helpful? Does your post or comment help to drive the discussion? I– Is it Inspiring? Will it inspire readers to think differently? N– Is it Necessary? Does it need to be seed? K– Is it Kind? Are you making this post or comment in a kind, respectful, courteous way? Students need to know that when they are posting comments whether in a classroom setting or on social media that there is someone else on the other side of the computer that has feelings. Posting is a reflection of who they are and who they want to be. If they are posting negative comments about people or their ideas than it reflects negatively back on them.
In the classroom I have them practice academic writing. They are not allowed to just say good job or to like a post, they need to explain why they liked it and add to it. If they do disagree with a persons post they are taught to do it in a respectful manner. They don’t attack the person, they disagree with the idea. For example, my students are taught not to say I don’t agree with you they are taught to instead say, I don’t agree with the idea of ___ or the statement of ____, I see it this way ___. If you are thinking of incorporating technology into your classroom or are already doing it don’t forget to teach digital citizenship and how to be better people out in cyberspace.
Let me know your thoughts on this and how you are helping your students to be better digital citizens.
See my other post on digital citizenship and getting started with your digital classroom HERE.