5 Digital Citizenship Moments: Adult Conversational Digressions for Kids
Posted by Marti Weston on March 19, 2013
You have just shared several websites and take a moment to comment to children about digital footprints. Or perhaps you sent an e-mail that you wish you had not sent and you mention that it’s not possible to get something back once it’s sent out electronically. Maybe you open a website of poor quality and point out one or two things that could be improved.
These are moments, each probably less than a minute of conversational digression, that reinforce the digital citizenship habits of children. These comments can be incorporated into any discussion or lesson.
Each time adults comment on digital citizenship issues in the context of daily lessons and classroom life, we model a kind of digital intelligence that students can emulate and embrace, whether they are working or playing.
When educators and parents make time for digital digressions, moments of digital citizenship addressing crucial issues, they informally incorporate behavioral values that are a part of 21st Century connected learning. More importantly, these moments allow children to observe that just about every digital activity incorporates time-tested values such as careful evaluation, respect, collaboration, and inclusiveness.
Five Digital Citizenship Moments to Incorporate into Any Conversation
1. Pause for a moment whenever you use a web site, and explain one or two things that you like about it (or don’t like). Or explain just how you found the website.
2. Share an irritating or inconsiderate e-mail or cell phone moment — telling your students how it feels and why.
3. Remind your students about online library databases and why they can find resources that are much high quality than Google search. Maybe take an occasional moment or two search one of the databases with your students.
4. Comment a bit about the digital footprints you just left behind during an evening’s work on the computer or after a few cell phone calls.
5. Observe how digital communication is largely text and why it lacks the human cues that we depend on for information when we speak face-to-face with another person.
Can you suggest other digital citizenship moments? This post from the blog WhatEdSaid, What is Digital Citizenship? offers some other insights.