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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Cool Kindergarten Blog!

Wow! It’s been over a month since I posted! I’m wondering if I’m cut out for this! I have just been swamped and I’ve gotten out of the habit of posting. Hmmm..

Anyway, today I was listening to EdTechWeekly, which is one of my favorite edtech podcasts, and I went to their website to see host Jennifer Maddrell’s graduation picture (just earned her PhD–impressive!).

One of the congrats posts was from Maria Knee, whose kindergarten blog is here. What a fantastic blog! She’s used all sorts of web2.0 tools, like Slideshare, VoiceThread, Bubbleshare, YackPack, etc. to share what her kids are doing with the world. It’s just an excellent example of what can be done to connect kids to the world and to let parents/grandparents/community members into their children’s learning. Very exciting. And kudos to her school district for allowing use of those tools. Most of these are blocked in my district–and many, many other districts, to state it fairly!

Bottom line: this is a fantastic web site to share with teachers to show just what kinds of projects even the youngest of students can don that take advantage of the technology that we have available. I certainly think the students in Ms Knee’s classes/school will remember their kindergarten experiences. What fun they seem to be having learning!

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