Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tool # 10: Underneath it All-Digital Citizenship

Plagiarism and copyright are two huge conversation pieces in education these days.  Smartboards, digitally created products, attaching music files…how long can an image be used in a lesson and still be considered “fair use”?  There are time limits as to how long you can hold onto a videotape of a program you recorded from the TV to use in the classroom!!  ARGH!  Probably one of the most problematic of these is students (and teachers) copy and pasting images from the internet for use in projects and lessons.  We’ve learned about flickr and using creative commons and such, but there is a way to use some images from Google.  When you click on images, also click on the gear icon for advanced search.  Towards the bottom of the advanced search screen, there is a category for “usage rights”.  Click and choose the appropriate choice for your  project! 
Eh, it’s just one little thing, but it’s important to teach students they can’t just go ripping off whatever pictures they want off of the internet. 

Three things that I want my students to understand about being good digital citizens:
(ideas are from Mike Ribble, director of technology at Manhattan-Ogden Unified School District in Manhattan, Kansas)
  •   Etiquette:  Text unto others as you would have them text unto you (or blog, or Facebook, or whatever other social online activity they are taking part of).  Just because a student is online doesn’t mean it’s a faceless being out there, they are interacting with other human beings that think and feel as well. 
  • Law:  Online ethics such as downloading illegal music, plagiarizing, and copyright.  Students need to know that there are laws regarding online activities that have legal ramifications.  I don’t think it is appropriate to have a conversation with my class about sexting, but it definitely could be something that middle school teachers have to deal with.  Other conversations need to be had about damaging other people’s identity or work online is also a crime. 
  •   Security:  Students should not be using each others logins, sharing passwords, or using their full names on the internet.  Also included in this is giving away identifying information such as school, city, sports team names, and family information (mom works until 5 PM).  Under this label, Riddle also refers to antivirus programs, surge protectors and data backups.  2nd graders need to know that these are things that the district takes care of for our school computers, but they are things they need to talk about with their parents at home, to ensure safety of their home devices. 

2. Share at least one of the resources mentioned above or on the Ed Tech website that you plan to use instructionally.
I like to use the Brainpop jr and Brainpop videos about digital citizenship and online safety.  The script writers for this site use friendly vocabulary and scenarios that are familiar to my students.  While we watch these videos, I pause it after segments and we discuss what was said and other ways it applies to our online activities, and I talk about what kinds of activities we do in the classroom where they would need to be careful (such as recording a podcast, they don’t say their full name).

Another resource I found was was a game involving CyberPigs.
There are some interactive games that teach the kids how some of the online games they like to do can get them to fill out forms at the promise of a contest or to get more privileges. 

3. Explain briefly how you would "teach" the idea of digital citizenship to your students.
We talk about being good classroom citizens, so on a different day I would connect it to being a good digital citizen.  We would talk about what citizen means, and we would talk about what digital means.  We role play scenarios (such as you found student A’s folder with his login information, what do you do?) and we talk about what the right thing to do is, and we talk about some other choices that might be made that are a common thing to happen, but it’s not the right thing (such as clicking onto a website with inappropriate content.  We SHOULD minimize the screen and talk to the teacher, but sometimes a student’s first reaction might be to show this to the friends sitting by them).  We also talk about integrity, and that sometimes people do the wrong thing and don’t get caught (like people speeding in their cars), but you should always do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.

4. Explain briefly how you plan to share the idea of digital citizenship with your parents.
I think it is important that I as the classroom teacher communicate with the parents what kinds of online behaviors I am teaching the students, just as I communicate with them what kinds of other academic things are happening.  If there is a common language being used between home and school, it makes that much more of an impact on a student.  I also need to stress to the parents that they shouldn’t be afraid to let their 2nd graders be on the computer, but they shouldn’t be doing it in their rooms where they cannot be easily monitored.  Just as parents have responsibility to keep their kids safe around the pool, they need to help guide their children as to how to be safe on the computer.  Parents need to keep up with the new technology coming out, don’t just give it to the kids and not give them any guidance.  We don’t just give them $50 to go do whatever with it, nor should we do the same with technology.  We all need to help students learn how to use it effectively.

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