OK, so maybe waiting until the last minute to do this final Thing was serendipitous. I started off with the article at the beginning of this post, Skills We Can’t Teach: Facilitating Authentic Experiences with Digital Citizenship and made my way to BIE resources where I discovered a wealth of material that I will be able to use for a hoped for summer curriculum project with a 7th grade social studies teacher and a special education teacher. The 3 of us are hoping to get together to develop a new project using the new Social Studies Framework and the ideas for me were still pretty hazy. The resources on the BIE page are really going to be helpful guides as we try to come up with some firm ideas. I think we will be able to come up with something really great that addresses citizenship both from a historical perspective as well as from the digital viewpoint.
George Couros’ article Is your school’s “digital citizenship” practice a pass or fail? brought up for me an issue I’ve been wrestling with for a while – how much of a social media presence should my middle school library have? The culture in our school currently is one of fear when it comes to students using social media. We have, as a building, had several issues with poor digital citizenship among our students. Some of them even involving the legal system. In this atmosphere of fear it is hard to move forward with opening up to the use of social media, especially given my very limited contact with students (and staff). When I do have the opportunity to work with students and teachers in a collaborative way, it is often difficult to convince teachers to give up any instructional time for addressing digital citizenship. This year I pushed really hard for students to use appropriately licensed images and music for their projects (if I was involved with them), but I could really tell that neither the teachers nor students really thought it was important. We currently do not have a Digital Citizenship curriculum. After reading this article, as well as some of the other posted on Polly’s post, I really think I’m going to use a different approach next year. I’m going to talk to my building principal about giving me a consistent time at every faculty meeting (even if its only 5 minutes) during which I can talk to the teachers about not only the importance of incorporating Digital Citizenship into their projects, but also simple ways that they (with or without my help) can actually go about doing that. I loved the Sincere Compliments video and I think I’m going to try to start an after school club that attempts to do the same thing. We may have to start off non-digitally but hopefully we can move to some type social media format.
Polly, as always, I’ve have learned a lot from you! Thanks for putting together this class!