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Addressing digital citizenship — educating students on online behavior as well as helping them to be global contributors — has become increasingly necessary for classroom teachers, with edubloggers left and right offering their thoughts. But with all the opinions about best practices out there, how do you go about singling out the sagest advice?
At EdSurge, a news source focused on edtech and innovation, we let our readers decide what floats to the top of our “best practices” jar.
Since 2015, several K-12 teachers and administrators have offered recommendations related to digital citizenship instruction. Here are five tips from the posts that have resonated most with EdSurge readers.
Tip #1: Make digital citizenship a core piece of your curriculum — not an elective.
“As teachers, it is our responsibility to lead by example when it comes to sound digital citizenship practices. As soon as children have devices in their hands, they should be educated about digital citizenship and their digital footprint,” she wrote. “Think about this: Even before babies are born, they have a digital shadow, because pictures and other media are shared about them via various social media outlets.”
Tip #2: Know what resources are available to you — and share them!
Tip #3: Teach students how to create and produce content for a global audience
In “A Guide to Producing Student Digital Storytellers,” Los Angeles teacher Michael Hernandez explains how to teach students to become digital storytellers using video, audio, social media, blogging and other online tools. In addition to creating, he expects his students to contribute by engaging with the work of their classmates.
“Require [students] to comment on others’ work and develop etiquette for online posts and feedback,” he wrote. “Rather than being afraid of the internet, embrace it to teach digital citizenship.”
Tip #4: Model good digital citizenship when communicating with students, parents — and fellow educators.
“Personal devices offer us adults immediate connection to our colleagues, either through email, messenger services or texting. While this form of digital citizenship is a skill set we may not feel comfortable developing in our students, it is one that working adults depend upon for collaboration,” she writes. “We can fight it or leverage it.”
Tip #5: Demonstrate consistently how social media can be used for good.
Davison advises teachers to encourage students to use social media for good — to showcase their thinking, take risks and share, and to become reflective about their learning. In turn, students will see that good replicated. “When others comment on our ideas, my students engage in conversation and feel great that someone outside of our classroom is noticing what we are doing and giving us compliments and comments.”
Mary Jo is the director of audience development at EdSurge. Previously, she was a middle school STEM teacher and administrator in Texas and California. Most recently, she was on the Forbes "30 Under 30" list for the education category.