Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tool 10 of 11 Tools

Digital Citizenship is a big issue for me, so I introduce proper digital etiquette at the beginning of the year. Then, I remind the students and discuss any news events as they arise. My students know that I have a zero tolerance policy. I also let them know that 'Digital Citizenship' isn't just something you do in school. At the beginning of the school year, I also decline numerous requests to 'friend' me on Facebook. My answer is NO! I know that there are teachers who invite their students on to their Facebook page. I left my stupid pills at home that day, because that is a very dangerous game to play.
My students are kids and I  want to leave it that way.  The same is true with texting students.... How old are those teachers...12?  My students will be driving in a few short years. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be on the freeway with a 16 year old texting from the drivers seat.  Further, I do address the issue of sexting with my students.  These are middle school students, good God! If there isn't a standard at home, then I try to make it clear that there are standards in my class and that they are non-negotiable. I also send home a Digital Literacy Contract that the student and the parents both have to sign. I think that because I treat the issue so seriously my students follow protocol without question.
I enjoyed Wes Fryer's Moving at the Speed of Creativity. Everything he says is right on the money.
Finally, at the beginning of the year while schedules are being changed and the kids are settling in with a new teacher, I have the students discuss a relatively current article from the paper on sexting, texting in class, cyber-bullying or texting and driving....you name.  I want them to realize that digital  abuse happens and that it is wrong and, in some cases, illegal. Fortunately we get to study the Constitution in depth during the school year so Digital Citizenship fall right in with the duties of responsible citizens.

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