Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tool # 10

Digital Citizenship is not just about treating other web inhabitants with respect, but is also about being careful not expose oneself to dangerous situations. There are several "rules" that students must understand about entering web space. The web is not to be used to abuse and belittle peers or adults. It is important that they understand that anything that happens on the web can come back in the future. It is not unusual for comments that are written without malice can be misinterpreted by anyone reading them. So it is very important not write comments that are directed at specific groups or people. Another important "rule" is to remember that one is not alone in cyber space. There are people out there who can be a danger to students and are looking looking for innocent victims. Students should be aware of their vulnerability and provide as little private information as possible to anybody who is not well known to the student. Students should also understand that the internet is like a community. Another important factor that each person should understand is that just because it's on the internet does not necessarily mean that it is one hundred percent true. Students must learn how to discern trustworthy sources from dubious contributors.
I subscribed to Common Sense Media  and hope to use many of the lessons about digital citizenship which are provided there. At the beginning of each year, I will teach a short section on digital citizenship prior to using any technology in the classroom. Not only will I teach about digital citizenship, but I will try to model it throughout all the information and sources that I provide the students.
I feel that information about digital citizenship should be provided to parents on my teacher web site. I will also provide a link to Common Sense so that parents can also visit the site and be aware of all resources that it offers.

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