Sunday, March 30, 2014

Thing 18: Digital Tattoo & Digital Citizenship

This is a topic I think about quite a bit - both in terms of my personal life as well as it relates to my professional life and my role as librarian.

I am proud to say that I have as tiny a digital tattoo as I think is possible in this day and age.  I searched for myself on Google, Spokeo, and 123People, and I'm delighted to say little more turned up than what can be found in public census records. 

The biggest reason for this, I believe, is that I have made a conscious effort to steer clear of the myriad of social networking tools so widely available.  This blog is about as digitally social as I am comfortable participating in, unless you count Edmodo.  Of course I participate in the Questar SLS listserv and a few groups, like GoodReads, but I am very deliberate in what I join and how I participate.

I liked the Common Sense Media video, and was already familiar with the Digital Citizenship curriculum they post on their site.  I heard about it last Fall at a Questar liaison meeting, and spent several hours wading through it and printing those aspects I hope to incorporate into my own lessons starting next year.  I had originally hoped to work parts of it in this year, but I was already tied to the content I identified in my SLO's, and feel I would rather not just insert a few lessons between units, but would prefer to take time this summer to develop and adapt the lessons to best match my learning objectives.

I read several of the articles, and saw that many of them reinforced what I learned at the Common Sense Media site - especially the article about the English teacher replicating blogging with paper and pencil before having the students participate online. 

There's a powerful message we need to instill in today's youth: that prudence is essential in the digital age.  That what you say/do today can and will effect you for potentially the rest of your life.

And I would argue that we need to help today's youth to frankly get over themselves.  I find it embarrassing that we live in a culture where people think it relevant to post updates about every aspect of their ordinary lives.  I understand that developmentally children and young adults do not have the gift of perspective, and that it takes time to live outside of their egocentric view, but is it not our role as educators to help teach them about cause & effect and consequences?

This is a topic that goes far beyond the classroom walls, though.  Cyber bullying, government monitoring, internet tracking - there's no end to the connections.  What an understatement to say we live in a very different world than our parents did!

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