Being a good digital citizen requires a student to be able to make appropriate decisions for his or her own safety as well as others. Since students will be using many different devices often without direct supervision it is very important that each student be aware of the dangers as well as the appropriate way to use these tools.
The three things I would most want them to understand and practice are:
- Keeping personal information just that personal. I would include proper use of messaging and emailing here because sometimes we give out personal information inadvertently such as telling the name of our school.
- Discussion of ethics and etiquette and then practicing and monitoring such values. These practices should be incorporated in the class rules and discussed as part of the school district's acceptable use policy.
- Students also need to learn to be responsible for posting and creating appropriate material to share with others and also using technology appropriately and productively. This includes proper citing of information as well as researching using reliable resources.
Showing the video and then having classroom discussions would be the best way to start. I also think the class should create a set of Cyber Rules to be used and discussed regularly.
Back to School Night would be a good time to begin informing parents about our new devices and their child's venture into digital citizenship as well as the possibilities it presents. This will get them excited about their child's upcoming year. Keeping them updated through newsletters throughout the year will also be helpful.