Let’s face it…even good students make bad choices. Hand a student a marker and he may tag inappropriate words on a desk or inscribe negative comments about a “frienemy” on the bathroom wall. Hand a student a pair of scissors and she may cut her neighbor’s hair or shirt. The other day I talked to a 3rd grade class in hopes of getting to the bottom of which student was placing notes around the classroom that read, “Watch Your Back”. Should we ban “school tools”? Can you imagine the classroom without these means?
Now incorporated into “school tools” is technology. There are pros and cons to this truth. Regardless of whether digital devices are permitted at school or not…particularly the almighty cell phone, students turn them on when they exit the campus gates. The school is responsible for a student’s well-being from the time the student enters school doors in the morning until the time he/she arrives home. This regulation has created some stir with administrators, but as I like to say, “It is what it is.” We know that as soon as our students end their school day, and exit campus, they “power-up” their devices. This mere fact is rather difficult to ignore. For that reason alone it is important to teach responsible Digital Citizenship to prevent inappropriate usage. It has now become another objective in our job description as educations: To teach students how to use digital devices for their benefit (rather than to their detriment). Digital Citizenship is defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use. Today this is important as technology is a major factor in 21st Century Learning.
Below are “borrowed” lesson plans for teaching Digital Citizenship to school aged students:
- Computer Applications-Pensacola Catholic High School
- BRAINPOP EDUCATORS-Digital Citizen Spotlight Lesson Plans
- Becoming a digital sleuth, managing digital footprints, and identifying online tricks and scams
- 10 Interactive Lessons by Google On Digital Citizenship