How I Begin To Explore Becoming A Digital Citizen In Kindergarten!

During our first hour together the week prior to Kindergarten starting I began taking photographs of what my new students were exploring in Kindergarten. I found myself naturally asking students to cover their name tag when I took their picture. One of my students asked why and I explained that we need to be safe when sharing with the world. One way we do this is by not displaying our real name. As I took more photographs I watched this student follow me and tell other students to cover up their name too! Wow! This was amazing to see and so easy. Right away students understand safety when sharing. It is really important to be transparent in our thinking and our actions when we are with our students and their families.

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On our 2nd day together and already my students are beginning to experience “how to” use Skype as a way to connect and have conversations with others. I am so fortunate that parents are willing to try Skype as a way to say hello. For me this idea has really been amazing for my students. Everyone begins to use technology in a safe, kind and responsible way with people they are familiar with.


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This is important because I want to build on these experiences when we Skype with others we meet through our connections. Not only are my students and parents using technology in a meaningful way, but we are experiencing together the very beginning stages of “how to” be a kind and responsible digital citizen. Later on as my students meet other Kindergarteners outside of our classroom they will know what to expect and “how to” use Skype in a meaningful way. By exploring this in the beginning weeks of Kindergarten is a perfect time because we are all learning about each other and our daily routines. Why not build Skype in as one of those daily routines! It doesn’t take long and it is part of our class culture, not a distraction.

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As I started to introduce twitter another surprise for me happened! I had some blue paper twitter birds in a pile, next to the bird we use when we tweet. One of my students asked if she could have one. So now I begin to add another explicit, concrete object to my tool bag when using and introducing social media in Kindergarten! Every time we tweet, my students hold the blue bird, I type the tweet, they press the blue button that says tweet and then they get a paper twitter bird to take home! We had a conversation afterwards about what they might say to someone who asked about the paper bird. This is what I heard;”We get these when we twitter, it means I tweeted, I got to tweet, I got to share something”. Wow! This was my first 2 days of Kindergarten. Really amazing!

Self Portraits are lots of fun to do at the beginning of school. We created ours using iPads to take our photo and then my students discovered that their photo stays so they can draw what they see! Again, when I introduce iPads I always begin with the video and the camera because I want my students to begin to use the iPad as a tool that helps enhance and enrich ideas we are exploring. iPads become a part of our culture that is for everyone!photo (51)

These are just a few of the ways that I begin to experience responsible digital citizenship with my students. As an educator of young children I have lots of opportunities to model this idea of being a safe, kind and responsible digital citizen with not only my students, but their parents too. This is vital and important if I want to be successful when using digital tools to enrich, connect and collaborate with my students and others who are interested in what and how we are learning. I am thinking of how important it is to be explicit, share and connect on prior experiences and understandings when introducing new ideas. If possible show your students what it might look like. This helps support them when they are exploring. Looking forward to next week and what we might be discovering in Kindergarten!

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17 responses to “How I Begin To Explore Becoming A Digital Citizen In Kindergarten!

  1. Explicitly teaching how to be a responsible digital citizen is so important. I love how you weave it so naturally into your day with KKids. Look how they already feel the importance and share their learning with others. What an important post Sharon. Thanks for sharing your learning.

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  2. Great job, Sharon!

    Love, Dad

    Robert E. Dedmon MD MPH FACP FACOEM FFTM RCPSG Theda Clark Medical Center, Thedacare, Neenah WI 54956 Clinical Professor Global Health/MPH Programs (Retired) Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 53226 Editorial advisory board, Asian Biomedicine, CHULALONGKORN University, Bangkok Thailand Board Member Global Alliance for Rabies Control (Retired) drbobred123@gmail.com or drbobred@aol.com Sent from my iPad

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  3. Sharon,

    Great post as a refresher to our summer collaborating on how to get started. I am ready for Tuesday. It’s the first day of a new school year! Have a great year with new kids. Looking forward to connecting our classes soon.

    Patty

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  4. You may want to keep in mind two very popular social media websites: Webkins and Penguin World. Your students may already be engaging in the social media world.

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  5. Pingback: New Goals for a New School Year! | Margaret A. Powers

  6. Great post! I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama and I love your passion that can be seen by reading your blog. I have a 6 year old daughter and I would of loved for her teacher to do some of the ideas that you presented. I look forward to keeping up with your blog for further implementation techniques that keep kids in touch with the future and now.

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  7. Dear Sharon
    We read about your creative use of technology to engage your students. What stood out for us is your use of Shelfari to track the reading. BiblioNasium, Where kids flex their Reading Muscles, is a safe COPPA compliant version of Shelfari that is especially designed for young readers to catalogue and track their reading, share and exchange book recommendations and win virtual rewards.We won an award for Best Websites 2013 for Teaching and Learning from the AASL. Please take a look at our platform. We think you will find it useful for your young readers.
    https://www.biblionasium.com/
    Warm Regards
    Marjan Ghara
    Founder, CEO
    BilbioNasium

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  8. Lauren Patterson

    I loved your post ! As a mom and a future educator, I think your ideas for the first week of school were amazing. You didn’t just present an activity to the students, you showed them the responsible and resourceful way to use the new components. In addition, you included their #1 fans, their parents. Especially as kindergartners, it had to be refreshing to see a familiar face. I look forward to reading more posts from you.

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  9. I loved your practice of Digital Citizenship in Kinder. I am currently going to begin planning lessons with teachers with tech integration. I would love to pick your brain and skype if you have time.

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  10. Pingback: Digital Citizenship and PBIS | reflectionsonedtech

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