Digital Citizenship

Thinking about our internet safety curriculum…like so many others, I don’t like the emphasis on “safety” that this title entails. To me, “internet safety” implies that the internet is so frought with dangers that we must go to great lengths to innoculate our kids! As I believe Nancy Willard’s work suggests, our students don’t set out to do dangerous things on the internet, and child predators are not victimizing huge masses of children engaged in everyday activities. As mentioned on EdTech Weekly this week (was it John Schinker who said it?) bad stuff happens on the internet to people who engage in dumb (or risky) behavior.

I think our focus needs to be on giving students the tools to act responsibly when they’re using any technology. Prevention, training and making wise choices should be at the root of our message. “Internet safety” leaves out the most vital concept of the curriculum: citizenship!

So, in that mindset, I’ve decided to minimize my use of the term as I work with my students. I’m going to emphasize citizenship. Great message on this historical election day, eh?

Here’s a wordle I came up with to use:

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