No where to go but Up!

Digital citizenship or social media was never an interest of mine, mostly because I possess minimal knowledge with technology, but I finally took the plunge, thanks to my EC&I 832 class, and joined Face Book.  Everyone who knows me is shocked that I connected in their digital frenzy, but I do think this is important to become a digital citizen and be aware of our digital society.  I am tired of my two teen-aged children and most of my Gen Y colleagues getting frustrated with me with my limited knowledge of the digital world.  Most of my kindergarten students, know more about technology than I do! So I have decided to do my final project on becoming a digital citizen and using more technology.

A few weeks ago, the new principal at the school I work at challenged all teachers to make an “Up Goal” for themselves that would help them to be a more effective educator this year.   She wants us to share this goal with her along with the reasons for choosing our goal.   My “Up Goal” is to increase my knowledge using technology in the classroom and to effectively use online portfolios: Seesaw.  Seesaw allows parents and families to see their child’s activities, pictures and classroom information in our classroom.  It can be used as an effective communication tool between teacher and parent.  My final project will focus on my journey in becoming digitally literate and the use of Online Portfolios: Seesaw in my classroom.  Within this project, I will include information about digital citizenship.

I am beginning to learn what it means to be digital literate and the nine elements of digital citizenship.  I really like the comment in the article Digital Citizenship: The Critical Call to Educate and Prepare 21st-Century Learners (Robyn D. Shulman) where it states that, “Education institutions, parents, community programs and youth organizations must make digital citizenship a priority to ensure our young leaders are on solid ground for a positive future. The call for teaching digital citizenship must no longer remain in question; it is a critical priority for youth, our communities and the nation.”  Shulman goes on to say that, “Digital Citizenship is more than just a curriculum to be taught in a classroom; it is an ongoing process to prepare youth for a society immersed in technology, personally and professionally.”  I believe I need to become a digital citizen in order for me to teach my kindergarten students about our digital world.

This article encouraged me how important it is for me to be more knowledgeable about technology and to learn more about digital citizenship in order to teach and prepare my students in a digital society.  Teaching kindergarten students about digital citizenship will not be an easy task for me, but I will try to build on my own learning journey about being a digital citizen and share this with my students.

In my quest to learn about digital citizenship, I want to focus on two elements in  Ribble’s 9 elements.  The first element is digital communication, which is needed in order to develop effective communication with families in Seesaw.  The second element of digital citizenship I want to focus on is digital health and wellness and I desire to share the information regarding this with my students and their families.  In my final project, I will pole my kindergarten students about what they know about digital citizenship and what the students do online at their home.  I hope to create a survey to parents that asks more specifics about digital citizenship and it they have talked about digital safety with their children.  I desire to share information about digital health and wellness with my families but I will need conduct more research about what would be appropriate to send home.  If you have any comments or ideas about this, please provide.

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