When working on creating policies that addressed the nine components of digital citizenship, there were a lot of things that I knew about as a parent, but never really considered as an educator. I mean, we all talk about the need to use proper etiquette and other obvious items in the classroom and beyond, but I don’t think I have ever thought about addressing health and wellness as it relates to students’ use of technology. I guess this is because each child is very different when it comes to these things. My own children were very different when it came to technology. My youngest is a YouTube partner who creates and uploads videos. My middle son spends all of his time on the golf course and only uses technology for school or for relaxing at home. My oldest loved games when he was younger, but is really only interested in social networking or spending time on YouTube. However, the idea that children need to get out and spend more time out of doors got me to thinking about the need for exercise. I decided to address the particular aspect with a lesson aimed at just that.
I guess the one area that I was unsure about when it came to the nine components of digital citizenship was the idea of digital commerce. I don’t know of any circumstances where a student would make purchases when using a school’s computer, so I do not even know why this had to be addressed, really. The only thing I could think of was that teacher’s needed to make students aware that this was not allowed.
Having developed my policy, I knew right away that I would want to explore as many uses of social media as I could for the classroom. Students are familiar with this type of service, and it only makes sense to begin the process in the classroom as a way of addressing the good and bad aspects of such sites. Since I teach third grade, I felt it was a good place to talk about what is appropriate and what wasn’t.
I also understand after having developed a policy for my own classroom that this is something I really want to share with my colleagues. It is important to put into student-friendly language what is expected of students in the classroom. Once they and/or their parents sign the usage agreement, none of them think twice about their rights and responsibilities.