The Internet is an important tool that is becoming a vital part of a student’s education, but it can be used for many other things; sometimes the wrong things. As more and more of our students have access to this tool, it is our responsibility that they are acting responsibly on the Internet. Teaching students about Digital Citizenship and the appropriate use of the Internet needs to begin sooner than later.
This year, I was invited by the Walton Elementary School Fourth Grade Teachers to speak to some students about Digital Citizenship, and the importance of using devices appropriately. The fourth graders were taught to take care of their online resources and respect each other’s online work. Together, the fourth graders and I had a discussion about how different phrases can be interpreted in several ways, and to be careful how they say things on the internet.
Students were shown several different phrases, and asked how they could be interpreted. Through this activity, students realized that words can be read differently and sometimes misunderstood. Here are some phrases the students were shown:
Following this activity, students were reminded about how they should think about what they say on the internet. Below is an image students were shown regarding this:
After going through all this in detail, students made a social contract. Each student added a statement about how they will interact and behave in their online classroom. Students used their Chromebooks and Google Documents to do this. Click here to view the 4th Grader’s Social Contract.
Digital Citizenship is an important skill to have, especially when technology is being used a lot in our district. The Internet is an instrument that we can use to enhance our education, but using it appropriately is important. All students should learn the importance of the internet and should learn to treat their online resources with care.
Senila Yasmin is a senior at Wakefield Memorial High School. She was a founding member of WHSConnect, the student-led technology team at WMHS. She manages the WHSConnect Twitter... follow her at @whsconnect.