What kind of digital citizen are you? Do you simply pass on something you saw online or do you try to verify if it is true or not?

I have had debates with my friends about this.  I understand that this passenger wanted to say goodbye to his family and friends.  The consensus among my friends is that maybe this was a good way to say goodbye to all the people at once.  If you had only one person to say goodbye to who would it be? I myself am unsure about the live streaming part of it. Was there a more private way to say goodbye?  It doesn’t say in the article if other people were shown in his stream; if they were, I believe that is an invasion of privacy and  not okay. If it was just him, perhaps it is okay.

The article about bullying we read rang true to me. I remember sitting through anti-drug and anti-bullying assemblies in school and thinking how pointless they were because that was not my reality.  I connect with the author when she says students don’t truly understand that some of their actions truly hurt people and qualify as bullying. I have had instances where some students were ostracizing another student and not even realizing it. Teaching primary school, I see  kids play strange games that they think are innocent but in truth are not. One example is “The Cheese Touch,” or any other kind of touch they can come up with. This is based on the graphic novel series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Basically what happens is that one student has “the touch” and can only pass it on to others if they can touch someone else.  When I find out this is going on, I gather the students and calmly ask them to explain the game. Thinking it is an innocent game, they do. They don’t realize they are doing anything wrong and are shocked when I explain that they are actually bullying.. They realize that the game leaves  someone out and repeatedly makes her/him feel bad, which is the definition of bullying that they understand. This game rarely happens more than once in my class, as students realize simple that “innocent” actions that can also be bullying.


I have a  similar sign in my classroom for students to refer to when speaking with one another. For some reason, I have never used it in connection with a digital citizenship lesson, though I now see that it works perfectly.  

Digital citizenship is about being a good person online and developing a positive digital footprint.  I work hard with my class to develop a learning community that is full of students who are compassionate. I strive to improve the whole child and not just focus on their academic knowledge. I help students develop these skills in their daily offline lives. My hope is that they transfer these traits to their online presence when they are at home.  Truthfully, I’m not sure there are separate online and offline lives anymore. Technology and the internet are so connected that is is hard to separate the two.

Common Sense Media has many great lesson ideas about digital citizenship, as well as other technology topics that are important for students to learn. Digital citizenship is such a broad topic what do students really need to know?

Digital citizenship is included in our school curriculum as one of the Units of Inquiry for Grade 4. They inquired into the central idea of Digital citizens have rights and responsibilities and the following lines of inquiry: our rights and responsibility as digital citizens; our digital footprint; and the effects of cyberbullying. I was very impressed during their learning celebration with the students’ breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding about what it means to be a digital citizen. For example, some students coded games to teach each others about how to be good digital citizens. I even used these games with my own students. Based on their reactions to getting questions wrong, I believe they learned a lot..  

Additionally, Grade 5 students just concluded their exhibition. One group actually inquired into cyberbullying. I was very curious about why they chose this as their topic, so I sought them out post-exhibition to discuss their experience. One group member explained that, “Everyday when I get on social media I see the mean things people have posted.”  Another agreed, “It is a big problem and comes in many forms.” For the action component of their project, they created badges for students to wear agreeing not to be cyberbullies. They also designed a t-shirt with the THINK acronym and a tragedy/comedy mask that showed how a victim of cyberbullying might appear positive outwardly but feel depressed inside. I was impressed by their empathy for victims and passion for their topic. The group received a lot of feedback about the affect their project had on viewers. I really hope they did inspire action among their peers to become more aware of cyberbullying and consider the effects of their choices online. I don’t hear my Grade 3 students discussing or worrying about cyberbullying; however, I made a point to take them to the cyberbullying presentation given by the Grade 5 group so they could learn about it early and enter into digital citizenship with awareness of the risks and benefits.

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