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Digital Citizenship Action Plan

Digital Citizenship Action Plan

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Published by: Janine Roberge Daggett on Feb 20, 2012
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Janine P.

Daggett W531 02/18/2012 Planting The Seeds For Strong Digital Citizenship In Kindergarten
A Plan To Create Good Digital Citizens At Our School Audience: Elementary Administrators, Teachers, and Parents

Digital Citizenship can be defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use. ("Digital

citizenship," ) As a society we invest a great deal of time into advertising
the amazing benefits of technology usage. Our students are bombarded with information about the latest and greatest technology from apps to online gaming. Although we do a great job of educating our children to be tech savvy, we fail when it comes to educating them about the potential risks and hazards of being a digital consumer. Before we can expect our children to be good digital citizens, we must educate them on what it means to be safe, respectful, and responsible online. Digital Citizenship cites the following ´Nine Themes of Digital Citizenshipµ that are vital to the creation of responsible Digital Citizens: 1. Digital Access: full electronic participation in society. 2. Digital Commerce: electronic buying and selling of goods. 3. Digital Communication: electronic exchange of information. 4. Digital Literacy: process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology.

5. Digital Etiquette: electronic standards of conduct or procedure. 6. Digital Law: electronic responsibility for actions and deeds 7. Digital Rights & Responsibilities: those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world. 8. Digital Health & Wellness: physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world. 9. Digital Security (self-protection): electronic precautions to guarantee safety. ("Digital citizenship," )

THE ISSUE TO BE ADDRESSED: As a school we do an excellent job of making sure our students are digitally literate (Themes 1, 3, and 4). We offer the latest in technology and use it daily. In addition to classroom instruction, the students are receiving direct computer instruction two times a week during specials classes. At the Kindergarten level, children are learning how to use the computer equipment correctly and how to perform basic computer functions and use pre-selected websites. As the year progresses, the children do more work with using Word to publish stories, creating art work using pre-selected programs or websites, and viewing digital information presented daily by their teacher. Our children are gaining lots of experience and skills and become independent rather quickly. However, at this level, and with our internet security features, they are not given much opportunity to peruse the internet freely on their own for information and therefore do not have much exposure to things that could potentially be dangerous. So, the issue of online safety has never been explicitly

taught. In order to prepare our students for increased independence, we must teach them about using good judgment when it comes to ³surfing the web´. Embedding these ideals of good citizenship in our students at a young age and continuously re-teaching these ideals, will prove beneficial in the future when they are exposed to more technological freedom.

GOAL: My goal is to create a brief unit to teach our students what is means to be a good Digital Citizen and the importance of online safety.

ACTION PLAN: Brainstorming: The unit will begin by brainstorming with students and creating an idea map of what our responsibilities are when it comes to being good digital learners. (At this level, some answers I would expect to see are: taking turns at the computer, being gentle with the mouse, not pulling out any cords, only using the programs/websites that the teachers tell us to, ³X´ing out of a program so the computer will be ready for the next person.) The children would also brainstorm what kinds of media we use in our school everyday. (see attached worksheet) Afterwards, I would expand their knowledge of ³being

good Digital Learners´ by discussing some of the key concepts of Digital Citizenship. During our first discussion, I would provide a basic overview of what it means to be responsible on the computer. We would discuss things like: never saying anything mean about someone and not using websites or programs without their parent¶s permission. The children would learn what ³cyberspace´ means through a demonstration on how we use email to transfer messages from one computer to another. (see attached worksheet) Once the children have a basic understanding of the responsibility of being a good Digital Citizen, I would move on to more explicit lessons.

Explicit Teaching: Over the next few days the children will be involved with lessons regarding good Digital Citizenship and online safety. To prepare them for this new learning, I will show them some video clips from Brainpop on Cyber bullying and Online Safety. Both videos explain the dangers of technology in a kid friendly way.

("Brainpop," ) In addition, the

students will participate in the following lessons:

1. How can I be safe while I am on the internet? In this lesson, students will learn about the importance of using websites with permission from their teachers and their parents.

Cyberspace is a big place, and not one to be navigated carelessly. Children will learn that while a website may not necessarily be dangerous, it may be inappropriate for their age. Children will learn how, once they are on a website, to make smart choices. Many websites contain ads that they click on to be taken to a new site. Children will be shown what these cleverly disguised ads often look like and how to avoid them. Many of these ads are simply a well for

companies to try to advertise and sell new items. While not dangerous, children need to be aware of the purpose of these ads, as part of becoming educated Digital Citizens.

2. What is a Cyberbully and what can I do about it? Although the majority of the children at this age are not (and should not) be texting, facebooking, or instant messaging, it is still important to begin teaching them now about being responsible with their words and actions. At this age, children are deeply affected when someone calls them a name, so this is the perfect time to start teaching them about cyber bullying. Making them aware of this at a young age, helps them to internalize the right choices when it comes to their actions and words. For them, it is natural to be kind and nice to everyone. The thought of writing something mean about someone else is appalling to them. We must expand this knowledge to their

computer/internet activities while we have a captive audience. Children who learn from an early age about the effects of cyber bullying will be more likely to carry these lessons with them into adolescence. Wrap-Up: The children will be asked to sign a pledge, promising to be good Digital Citizens. They will pledge to follow the rules at school and at home regarding the use of the computer and the internet, they will pledge to be kind and never say mean things about others through writings on the computer, and they will pledge to take care of their computer equipment. The children will bring home a contract for their parents to sign, pledging to be good role models for their children and also to monitor their child¶s computer and internet usage.

Summary: The goal of this Digital Citizenship plan is to create learners who, from the earliest years of schooling, are responsible digital consumers. We want our children to reap all of the benefits of our digital age, while remaining safe and being respectful of others. As the children move through the grades, the Digital Citizenship lessons will become more in depth and detailed, offering children more information about online hazards and cyber bullying. Our goal in Kindergarten is to make our

students aware of these things, so that they can begin to self-monitor and work towards making good digital choices in the future.

RESOURCES: Contracts for Parents and Students can be found at the following sites: Family Contract for Digital Citizenship-Parent Pledge http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/uploads/ParentContract.pdf

Family Contract for Digital Citizenship-Child Pledge http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/uploads/KidPledge1.pdf


Digital citizenship. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/ Common sense media. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cybersmartcurriculum.org/digitalcitizenship/lessons/ Dr. patricia fioriello consultants. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://drpfconsults.com/creating-a-successful-school-digitalcitizenship-plan/ Brainpop. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.brainpop.com/spotlight/digitalcitizenship/

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