Action Words that Describe Digital World Learning

digital-citizenship Can we teach pre-adolescents and teens to reflect on what’s happening as they use digital world tools and  interact with online content? Can we help them understand more about what they are doing when they work and play online?

Educators often provide a checklist or rubric for students to use as they work on assignments or projects. A rubric usually contains editing specifications, project requirements, resource documentation, and expectations — all for students to consider while completing the work.

Now I’ve discovered that Mia MacMeekin over at the An Ethical Island blog offers what I think of as a digital learning graphical rubric. The easy-to-understand graphic features World Wide Web nouns and action verbs that describe the ways people  encounter, process, and use online information. MacMeekin thinks of her infographic as a digital citizenship tool, but it’s much more than that. The chart offers educators with opportunities to ask questions as they teach, and more importantly, expect students to answer them.         

Question: What are you creating or using when you work on this project?

Answer: You are creating information with voice (or credibility, respect, references).

Question: How are you creating this information and what actions are you taking?

Answer: In the connected world you seek, engage, and sift through information. You participate in discussions, discover and use references, and more.

Individuals — parents, teachers, students, and anyone learning or working — can refer to this infographic to explain how they are organizing, classifying, and processing digital information. Educators, no matter what subject they teach, can specify, as a part of an assignment rubric, exactly how they expect students to handle online content and, better yet, require learners to explain and reflect on what they are doing with digital information. It’s all right there on the chart.

Educators and parents who worry about students’ digital citizenship skills will discover how MacMeekin’s chart helps them address the all-important connected world behavior, specifically when it comes to helping kids understand that expectations for civil discourse are no different online or off.

Posted in a prominent place at home and school, the graphic can refocus the “what are you doing online?” digital parenting conversations. Oh, and these conversations just may occur at times when nothing is wrong, allowing valuable time to exchange ideas and consider online activities more thoughtfully.

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