This podcast from National Public Radio’s Planet Money explains how women were early programmers and why their numbers dropped off as the digital age progressed. The podcast was originally broadcast in 2014, but I just discovered it when it was rebroadcast. Also, check out the graph that goes with the program.
Women in programming and computer science are ongoing topics of interest on this blog.
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.
A year ago I asked my fifth-graders to write podcast scripts. They wrote about teasing, cyberbullying, gossip, intention vs. consequence, advertising, digital footprints, and the lack of facial cues in electronic communication. Working mostly in collaborative groups, my students recorded complete “’casts” in our informal laptop studio.
As always when it comes to 21st Century learning, a few students improved upon my lesson plan and asked to write podcasts for their other teachers. The resulting efforts helped students refine their digital citizenship perspectives. One student noted, “When an electronic problem [like cyberbullying] becomes a ‘big problem,’ teachers talk about it at school. How come we don’t talk about these things when they aren’t [big] problems?”