Jul 04

I Don’t Teach Digital Citizenship

Sylvia Duckworth @sylviaduckworth

Sylvia Duckworth @sylviaduckworth

Yes, I admit it, I don’t teach digital citizenship. Well, not directly anyway. I do not teach direct digital citizenship lessons, I just haven’t had the need. I’ve looked into resources such as Common Sense Media and they have some great lessons. I’ve even set them aside and planned to use them. I just never saw the need based on how my students were using their edtech classroom accounts (and I have them use quite a few online resources!).

Now that’s not to say that my students don’t make mistakes or don’t stumble into sticky situations, they do. And when they do, we talk about it and learn from it. So I guess you could argue that I do teach digital citizenship, I just do it as needed. I don’t want to teach kids things they already know so I watch to see what they don’t know, and that’s what I focus on.

I’ve had students using technology in my Science classes for years, and many of those years in a 1:1 environment. I have kids blog, use discussion forums, we’ve done chats, created shared websites and google slides, use shared Google Docs, played Kahoot games, I’ve used Google Forms, different LMS, I’ve used Google Classroom, kids have made videos and uploaded them to Youtube, and I’ve even had my kids play games including multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft! My kids are online and sometimes interacting with other kids and yet I have not used any digital citizenship lessons to directly teach digital citizenship. Still, my kids have been safe and responsible users of all of the aforementioned technologies!

So am I “teaching” my students how to be safe and responsible digital citizens or am I hoping they come to me as safe and responsible citizens?? I think teaching lessons just in time as or needed still constitutes teaching. And I hope it’s more relevant since it is exactly what they need.

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