After our EC&I lecture on Digital Citizenship, Harmony McMillian and I decided that we needed to reach out to our parents at the school where we both teach.  We needed to share the information that we learned from class to help them raise connected caring citizens.  We decided to host a parent engagement night and present some of the good and some of the not so good.

Originally for this project, I had wanted to make books for the K-2 level about The Best Digital Me I Can Be.  I haven’t given this up.  I am still writing the books and want to get them published on paper, not digital form.  There are already tons of great digital resources but not as much in print.  If a parent is uncomfortable with online activity these books may educate them and give them a push.

With that being said, I still want to create something useful for parents.  I am searching for and creating activities for parents to do with their kids to encourage positive online activity.  My questions for you are:

What positive experiences do you have with your kids online?

What ways to you teach them be a positive digital citizen?

How to you share your rules and expectations about online behaviour?

If you don’t have children, what ways could you see all of the above looking like in a home?

Thank you in advance for sharing your expertise and experiences at home!


10 thoughts on “Update

  1. Hi Shannon and Harmony,
    Here are some answers for you,
    1. My biggest positive with online learning has to be the amount of participation. Utilizing our online resources has helped foster a willing and capable attitude within my ENTIRE class that I did not have prior to our blended class design.
    2. The digital citizen conversation has both been a designed lesson that connects with what a real world citizen and a digital citizen looks like with a compare and contrast lesson along with impromptu individual conversations with students in both situations of making the good and poor decisions.
    3. Our Online Rules and Expectations has developed into a Google Doc that we are able to add or change our wording when needed. It is something that we refer to when we have those impromptu conversations about digital citizenship.
    4. I do not have kids but I would see myself encouraging my children to explore freely (with parental settings) and ask them questions as much as possible about what they are doing and finding. I would certainly have similar conversations about citizenship in both realms and the online rules and expectations would be very similar to our house rules (which will be if you can’t talk to your grandmother about it should you be doing it).
    I hope this helps. Also I posted earlier about an online source in Our Students Digital Identity and Our Connections With Them I talked about a webpage http://www.21things4students.com Check it out you might find a few things useful.

  2. What ways to you teach them be a positive digital citizen?
    My son is seven
    You must have permission to take someones picture.
    You never post picture of your body parts.
    You must use facetime with people that we know. You must be in the living room or kitchen. Facetime is not allowed in the bedrooms or bathroom.
    We talk about what type of comments he might get when we post videos or pictures online. We talk about what we would do if someone makes us feel uncomfortable anywhere – at school, online. (Sometime he brings it up without me prompting).
    We control the apps. etc. that are put on the ipad. We monitor where he is going when he is on the web. We talk about why he cannot watch a certain video – if it contains swearing etc.

    How to you share your rules and expectations about online behaviour?
    We talk.
    We model.
    We share the rules with anyone who looks after him.

    I think it is like teaching your kids how to cross the street or go to the park by themselves. A slow release of responsibility with check ins.

    • Thank you Jackie! You have some great rules and guidelines at your house. I like the one about no Facetime in the bedrooms and bathroom. Simple but must be stated and understood. I also like the rule about getting peoples permission to take their pictures and videos. I was at a gathering last night and their child kept sneaking in and videoing our conversations. It was frustrating!

  3. I don’t have kids, but I would be more than encouraging when it came to interacting with the digital environment. I think being digitally literate is incredibly important for any individual. That being said, certain rules or “social norms” come into play when you’re interacting in a digital environment. I’ve taught kids before and I try to explain that putting something is online is like putting it in a newspaper; anyone might be able to find it and read it.

    I’m constantly surprised at how avid kids are with the digital world. Many of the kids I know seem to have a pretty good grasp on the consequences of posting certain digital content. I do still believe that digital literacy should be taught in schools and if parents are able, at home.

    Thanks for your great post!


  4. Hi Shannon and Harmony!
    I LOVE that you are focusing on the K-2 age group. It is SO important that we start with our youngest learners, and develop good habits, awareness, and critical thinking before they are exposed to the more challenging digital environments.
    My own children are young adults now. It was simpler when they were young. Our only computer was in the kitchen, where we could supervise, and we had agreements with them that we could look at their online activity anytime. They did not have smartphones or iPads. And there simply was not the AMOUNT to do online that there is now.

    My oldest granddaughter is 3. I watch the language her dad uses with her and it impresses me. They talk about “people daddy knows” as he shows her his Facebook page. She Facetimes with us and other family members, but when she goes to make a call she will say “I can do this ’cause they are my family, right daddy?” As she gets older and has more interaction with friends at school these conversations will change to include how to make passwords, and what permissions mom and dad may have to “supervise” online activity.
    I look forward to hearing what others say on this important topic!

    • I agree that we must start with our youngest learners. I have heard that the iphone is the new rattle. We put these devices in our kids hands and we must remember to teach them good habits and awareness. Thank you for sharing your experience with your granddaughter.

  5. I agree with Kyle about the participation piece. Students are so engaged with learning using technology. I have less behavioral issues with students when they are can complete tasks independently using an iPad or laptop versus a paper and pencil task.

  6. Shannon, the iphone/ipad is totally the new rattle. My two year old has a incomprehensible addiction to our spare ipod. It’s not even like she gets to play with it very often, but every morning she asks for it, either to look at pictures or to watch Mickey Mouse. Which, by the way, she can navigate to youtube as well as back and forth between search screens and videos. How does she know this? I would love for you to share what you shared with your parents. I teach grade 8, but I think much of this information is generalizable. Also, if you do get the print copy of The Best Digital Me I Can Be completed could you post it somewhere or share through email? I would love to see it. When reading Jackie’s comment about no Facetime in the bedrooms or bathroom I felt a little bad that sometimes we Facetime with my sister who lives in Texas while Emmerson is in the bathtub, however we keep the shots north of the border. Thanks for the post!

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