I gotta admit that sometimes I feel like a lone voice shouting into the void with this digital citizenship thing I always go on about. I feel like I’ve been that little whack-a-mole person popping up annoyingly to say, “Yoo-hoo, over here – digital citizenship is important, remember? Don’t forget to talk to your kids about it!” for years now. Maybe some of you have experienced this before; you’re super passionate about something and want the world to know why they should care too – but you feel like you’re the only one on the planet with your level of enthusiasm.
But a few things have happened recently in my district that make me think my efforts are starting to pay off. And I have to tell you, that feels pretty good.
Exhibit A: At least two campuses last year kicked off school-wide digital citizenship initiatives (here is a presentation about one school’s year-long plan). And we had a strong emphasis on digital citizenship at this year’s ETSI (our district’s Ed Tech Success Initiative), so I know many other teachers and campuses have a greater awareness about digital citizenship and have created personal and school-wide goals that focus on growing digital citizens.
Exhibit B: A couple of weeks ago, I heard from a teacher in my district who had attended the keynote session I presented at the back-to-school professional development for secondary teachers. In his email he wrote, “I really loved your speech at inservice and I think teaching the kids #digcit is very important!” And as if that one line weren’t enough to fill my bucket for a year or two, he sent me a link to a rap that he and one of his co-workers created:
I have watched it about a gazillion times already, and it still makes me smile every time! (Shoutout to @rareorionscienc – seriously, how fun is that video?!) I am hoping that other schools will be challenged to create something similar and will also get their students involved in creating, too!
Exhibit C. On Friday I heard from another teacher in my district. Kim Durall teaches 7th grade ELA and has been a great proponent of the #digcit cause for quite a while now. She had first connected with an author online:
And then she sent me a DM with some additional info:
“DigCit is a state of mind and not a lesson” is a message I’ve been trying to convey for several years now. I often recommend using “#digcit teachable moments” and “#digcit life lessons” – as opposed to a stand-alone lesson or curriculum – as the best way to teach and model what digital citizenship looks like in real life, so I was especially pleased to see that Kim took advantage of that teachable moment to point out how important “tone and relevance” are in digital spaces.
It’s so exciting to me to see these pockets of digital citizenship education continuing to grow and develop! What about YOU? How are your efforts in #DigCit coming along? I’d love to know about what’s working for you; feel free to comment here or reach out to me on Twitter (@nancywtech). Have a great week, everyone!