Thing 18: Digital Citizenship

Sites like Spokeo and Pipl really bother me as a non-digital native especially when I see a picture of my home associated with my name. I do my best to keep my life private and these websites show me how much information is available publicly. But when speaking with the 20-something year old Tech guy at work who is a digital native, he isn’t bothered at all by these websites. It is a part of the Internet and he accepts it as the norm. I’m not sure I will ever get to this level of comfort and to be honest, I’m not sure I should.

New York state requires that all children in K-12 are taught Internet Safety so as part of my curriculum, I teach it to my students regardless of whether or not their teacher also teaches it. I mostly use lesson from NetSmartz but I also incorporate some ideas from Common Sense Media. My lessons vary from what are good websites to visit versus websites that might not be good with my early elementary students to cyberbullying and what is appropriate/inappropriate to post online for upper elementary students. Many curriculum attempt to scare children away from using the Internet and I avoid those lessons. Instead, I try to teach students how to responsibly use the Internet. 

Since I only see students once a week, it is difficult to provide the number of in-depth lessons needed to truly have them understand Digital Citizenship. After reviewing all of the materials for this week, I realize that I haven’t done enough and will expand what I teach next year to include more lessons on copyright and fair use — something many people have difficulty understanding.


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