Each time teachers comment on digital citizenship issues in the context of daily lessons and classroom life, they model, as all adults should, a digital intelligence — just what we want our students to embrace, whether they are working or playing in the today’s world.
As educators pay increasing attention to these digital digressions throughout the school day, they demonstrate critical values of 21st Century learning — and life — in a networked world. But more importantly, our students observe that just about every learning activity these days, whether digital or not so digital, incorporates time-tested values such as thoughtful evaluation, respect, collaboration, inclusiveness, and acceptance.
Five Digital Citizenship Minutes to Incorporate into Any Lesson
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.
Readers will be able to suggest many other ideas, but every lesson in a classroom should incorporate at least one digital citizenship minute.