Throughout the week I have been stressing about what I want to tackle for my major project dealing with digital citizenship for my EC&I 832 course. Teaching a group of grade 7/8 students it has become quite apparent that most of the communication between adolescents takes place on a social forum. Unfortunately I am not fluent in the ways of social media….hence the taking of this course. I often feel that once I have a grasp of an app or technology my students are using they are done with it and are on to the next social media app. This often leaves me feeling like I am taking one step forward and two steps back.
Another issue that I have continuously ran into with my students is the impact that social media has had on relationships within the classroom. Often issues stemming from improper social media use are brought into the classroom creating a wedge between students. With this in mind I wanted to find a way that I could educate my kids on Digital Citizenship as well as incorporating proper etiquette within my classroom. The idea for my project came to me while talking to a principal that was from another school division. He told me that his school was having a digital citizenship initiative at his school and using the ministry document as their guiding document. This got me interested and I looked into the document Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools. Upon further investigation I found out that one of the authors of the document was none other than our professor Dr Alec Couros . It became quickly apparent that I could use this document to help guide some of the principles within my classroom regarding digital citizenship and educate my students in the process. On top of this it will help me learn to be a better digital citizen as well.
After posing my idea to Alec, he explained to me that the document was grounded largely in Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship. I have decided to focus on 3 of Ribble’s elements and teach them to the students within my class. Those three being; Digital etiquette, Digital Law, and Digital rights and responsibilities. After a short review these three appear to focus on the issues that have been growing in my class. I will also create a Digital Citizenship Policy within my class that allows my students to have an input. Throughout this process I will be blogging my journey as well as the growth within my students. I am excited to get this journey started.