This morning I had a conversation with my Kindergarten students about digital citizenship week. I was so impressed by what my students had to say. They understand that when you are a digital citizen, you are kind, helpful, work with others, responsible, Skype, give “buzzies”, tweet and are nice to people. We created a video. As we watched the video together my students reflected on what they saw and then added other ideas.
During our conversation I was thinking about how my students might be thinking about this idea of digital citizenship and what it means to them. It is just like being safe, kind and responsible. So I decided to be a little more explicit. I shared that we can be all of these things that we brainstormed, but when we share our ideas in a digital way, we are experiencing what it means to be a digital citizen because we are using digital tools. Got it!
As a class we thought about all the ways we share our learning with each other and the world. Tomorrow we will look at past tweets which displayed how we are connected and how our connections help us develop kind, safe and responsible relationships. Again because we have established a culture which has “open doors” and a variety of tools that encourages conversations, my students and their families begin to interact and experience how important it is to be a digital citizen.
2 months of Kindergarten and my students have connected with people in Spain, Paris, New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Virginia and Vermont. Through daily modeling and promoting the idea of how important it is to share what we are learning, we develop connections with others who are interested and inspired to reach out and connect.
Now as an educator I continue to model and explore this new idea using the technologies we have in place like twitter, Skype, kidblog, voicethread, etc. I found myself being very explicit and saying this is another way we are experiencing what it means to be a digital citizen every time we use these tools to share our learning.
As an educator I want learning to be rich and interactive. I want my students to love to learn and to be comfortable sharing as well as being reflective about how they are learning how to learn.
Digital citizenship week is an opportunity to explore, connect and enrich learning opportunities.I look forward to having another conversation with my students tomorrow about their ideas and what we will create next!