Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Digital Citizenship: Set the bar high

I was in a meeting today and was comforted when a member of the team remarked that what was expected was not good enough.  We are a school district that expects the best.  Make sure that we set the bar high.
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I couldn't agree more, but then I started to think about digital citizenship.  Are we setting the bar high?  Think about your implementation, are you implementing digital citizenship to make sure students stay safe and don't plagiarize or is the goal to empower students to create and innovate?

I do not think that there is a school district out there that merely hopes that their students don't get into trouble.  I have taught in several areas, some good and some REALLY bad, but I expected that my students did more than just... not bad.  If your district is one who believes, as it should, that your students are the future, that your students are the next generation of entrepreneurs, creators, innovators, decision makers, and leaders, then that is what your digital citizenship curriculum should show.

Rather than just having students learn the digital citizenship standards, empower them to create the world they want to lead.

In a recent meeting with Sue Thotz, of, I began to rethink digital citizenship.  If you think of digital citizenship as citizenship, then it is merely making the right decisions.  However, integrating SAMR with citizenship, how can technology redefine the way that we look at actions (both online and physical actions)?  Rather than make a good decision, how can technology amplify that decision to change a school culture, start a movement in the school, trend positivity, and encourage others to do the same?

There is so much more to digital citizenship than just a set of rules.

  • don't plagiarize
  • don't cyber-bully
  • etc.
Rather than "don't plagiarism", are we teaching students the rights that they have when they create something.  Have we shown them how to assign creative common rights to their work?

Rather than "don't cyber-bully", have we shown them how to make a movement public through the use of social media and to create the world that they want to live in?  If we rope in collaboration, then students are communicating, collaborating, thinking critically, and creating a movement.  That's the 4C's in case you were looking for a connection to standards.

I feel that the rest of the curriculum is shifting from a teach students content to teach students how to create with the use of the information embedded in the standards.  Why not take the same approach and, rather than just having students learn the digital citizenship standards, empower them to create the world they want to lead?

If we are truly teaching the future leaders of tomorrow, why not teach them to lead a world they helped create.  This is done through the ethical use of technology, through the use of digital citizenship.  By setting the bar high, we are expecting this rather than hoping that it may happen.

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