Teq’s Wednesday Webinar Series recently featured the extremely important topic of teaching digital citizenship to students. With the growing importance of having a digital presence and the ability to navigate the vast resources on the Internet, teaching digital citizenship is necessary to prepare students for jobs in the 21st century workplace.
An example I use for this is my own job; while I was in school, social media, blogging, and access to the internet were not exactly part of people’s everyday lives. This was NOT something I learned in high school, simply because these skills were not needed for jobs at the time. Now, as a part of the TeqPD team, maintaining a positive digital presence and curating online content with a variety of digital tools is a big part of my career.
Preparing students for the 21st century workplace is one of the most important jobs of a teacher today. With the integration of the internet and social media into our everyday lives, students have access to more information now than ever before. This means teaching students proper digital citizenship is at a premium in our classrooms.
During the webinar we broke down digital citizenship into 3 main parts: digital communication, digital literacy and digital etiquette.
Social Media and other outlets have created a possibility of constant communication with people all over the globe with a simple click of a mouse and typing on a keyboard. Here are some of the best practices we discussed during the webinar
- Use Social Media. It is here to stay so using it to connect with students, share content, and respond to feedback is just as important for making your students feel like individuals as it is to prepare them for jobs that harness this skill.
- Create a classroom blog with website like www.kidblogger.com that the students can manage and maintain.
There is so much information on the internet it can be overwhelming at times. Just because information can be found on the internet does not mean it is true. Students must be able to find relevant and useful information when researching on the internet.
- Create a website evaluation protocol for your students, train them when looking at a website for it’s validity and reliability.
- Use methods like www.radcab.com to evaluate websites.
- Use spoof websites like http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/ to show students that even though a website looks great, this does not mean the information is at all accurate.
We broke up digital etiquette into two major categories: teaching students to appropriately interact with others on Social Media platforms and giving credit where credit is due by correctly citing their sources.
- The best way to teach digital etiquette in Social Media is to model it for students. Create a classroom or teacher account and post positively to become a role model for students so they see what proper digital etiquette is.
- Do role playing exercises as best practices when certain situations could arise using various Social Media platforms. Let students discuss the wrong and the right way to handle different and possibly difficult situations.
- Just because students found a picture or content on the internet does not mean it is usable. Show students how to do advanced Google searches to find creative common or open source content that is meant to be shared or modified. Stress the importance of not stealing other people’s images and passing them off as your own and students will be able to take this skill to the 21st century workforce.
- Using www.citelighter.com, students are able to organize their research from the internet into projects and help with executive functioning skills. Each citation will become a part of their project in citelighter and give them the correct form of citation to their choosing. No more time wasted trying to perfectly cite a resource and more time focusing on the usefulness of that resource. http://www.teq.com/blog/2012/12/citelighter/
Overall digital citizenship is a necessary topic to cover with students as we prepare them for the 21st century workplace. Do not let this topic go unnoticed.
Of course check out how we covered this topic in our Digital Citizenship Webinar.