Coming into this final project I knew that I would have some challenging moments that I would have to tackle. Little did I know that something that I perceived to be an easy task would challenge me like it did. For my final project I have set out to use the Ministry’s Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools and Ribble’s Nine Elements of digital citizenship to help educate myself and my students on how to become better digital citizens. The first task that I tackled was getting to know what my students were doing online and how long they spent online (Which I documented on my last blog post). This first step was fairly straight forward. Next, after reading through the Ministry’s document I came across the idea of creating a Digital Citizenship Policy for my classroom. It seemed easy enough…man was I wrong.
When approaching this task I thought “this will be easy, all I have to set up is the do’s and don’ts of technology use”. Little did I know that this was not seen as the appropriate way to set up a ‘digital citizenship policy’, but that this was an ‘acceptable use policy’ which no longer is the right way to go about it. Instead of using restrictive and punitive language, it has become more effective to use language that increases the responsibility of the student which has moved us to a ‘responsible use policy’.
When first setting up my policy I took input from my students and discussed what they believed to be fair and appropriate rules for technology use in the classroom. Once I gathered all of my information I put together a policy that was full of what you cannot do with technology in our classroom and consequences for improper use of technology in the classroom. I looked over the policy that I created and something was amiss. My policy seemed to make technology seem like it was something that should be feared in the classroom and this is not at all what I wanted to create. I decided to look through the Ministry’s document and found out that I tackled this in the wrong way. I went back to the drawing board. I wanted to approach my policy in more of a “responsible use policy’
According to the policy a “Responsible use Policy”:
- Is presented in the format of what the student ‘should do’
- Increased student responsibility for use of technology to support learning
- Developed with the students to create common understanding of the responsibility of accessing online technologies as part of the learning process
- Can contain clear expectations regarding the use of technology in the classroom
After rereading the Ministry document, I wanted to set out to accomplish this. I went back to my class and we started over. We attempted to draw out all aspects of the ‘responsible use policy’. After identifying what we thought would work as a class, I wrote up a policy and brought it forth. The students once again read it and made suggestions. After a few edits we settled on the document Digital policy.