Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tool # 10 Digital Citizenship

As Abraham Lincoln once said, "Don't trust everything you read on the Internet."
As the sergeant on Hill Street Blues said, "Hey! Hey! Hey! People, be careful out there!"

1. Discuss at least three things you would want to make sure your students understand about being good digital citizens.

First, I want my students to know that "publish" has the root of the word "public," that everything they create digitally, whether text, or picture, or email, or blog, or facebook, or tweet, is public. That their nightmare of standing naked in front of a classroom of people, whether figuratively or literally, could very well happen if they think that their digital information is private. A secret shared is no longer a secret. Their BFF could later get hacked-off at them and share their goodies with the world-wide web. Their BFF could be hacked in a different way, files stolen and distributed.

SecondI want my students to know that digital files are usually semi-permanent, and can become permanent (via backups and backups to the backups, or just some pack-rat person). That employers and prospective employers or colleges could ask for username and password to their social network accounts; what can you tell them? No? Sorry, we have no openings at this time! In addition, there is a legal word, discoverable, which means their files can be subpoenaed (demanded by a court or judge) for leagal proceedings, like the child pornography case for your picture of your under-aged significant other, or the cyber-bullying civil suit brought by your latest victim.

Third, I want my students to know that "knowledge is power" (who said that?) ,but that "there is a sucker born every minute" (okay, I know that was P.T. Barnum), and that many authors out there are like W.C. Fields, they "never give a sucker an even break." In addition, files you publish, including pictures, can be tampered with, or edited, probably in a not good way. Bad people publish bad stuff, and good stuff can be corrupted. If in doubt, see my first quote, above.

2. Share at least one of the resources mentioned above or on the Ed Tech website that you plan to use instructionally.

I like the Stephen Balkam videos. Short, sharp shocks. One minute each. One can be shown prior to each assignment using web tools. Repetition would not be a bad thing.

3. Explain briefly how you would "teach" the idea of digital citizenship to your students.

I think an extensive lesson on digital citizenship would be...counterproductive. Like teaching lab safety at the beginning of the year and then never mentioning it again. I address lab safety as and when necessary, prior to beginning a lab, hitting only the safety issues that apply immediately. And I repeat these lessons every time they are needed. Likewise, I think digital citizenship should be covered first with the district and school code of conduct, but then touched on again prior to digital assignments.

4. Explain briefly how you plan to share the idea of digital citizenship with your parents.

Sadly, both of my parents have "passed," and have not, so far, been able to share anything with me.

Oh. I see. You-all meant "my students' parents." Mainly through the SBISD and NHS codes of conduct, and the electronic media contract, which they must sign and return. In addition, if I see or hear of their offspring practicing unsafe digits, I will certainly call them.

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