Developing better (digital) Citizens

My answer to question 1 can be found on twitter – I needed more characters to better reflect on these questions.

Question 2: How do we model modern approaches to copyright and creativity, where the rights of both creators and consumers are balanced and respected?

When dealing with the ‘balance’ of copyright and creativity, the importance lies in teaching students to give credit where credit is due.  If it’s not yours and you didn’t create it, you can’t claim it as yours.  Teachers need to model citing information, giving credit when using resources from another – and we need to show students how to find information that has been posted with creative commons.  To me, as a teacher, it’s my job to highlight and teach students about the consequences (good and bad) that can potentially come with utilizing things on the internet without asking permission or giving credit.  We need to teach students how to make informed choices, and then trust them to make the ‘right’ choice. 

As far as ‘mash-ups’ and other creative projects/videos go, we need to stress the importance once again, of acknowledging the bits and pieces used – and we need to allow them the freedom to be informed when they are making these choices!  It should never be about stifling the creative process – it should be about informing it!

Question 3: How do we help students develop positive digital identities? What activities/assignments/projects can we integrate into our teaching to help our learners build their digital footprints? And Question 4: How do we help our students to become kind and caring citizens who act with integrity in all spaces, including digital ones?

When considering how to develop a positive digital identity, I’m at somewhat of a loss. How is it different than what we work to teach kids about being good citizens? When I compare the two- there are many things that overlap.

Treat others the way you want to be treated, teaching them about community and illustrating how individuals and their choices create and affect the community. It’s also important to instil in students that unlike actions/choices in life that positive or negative fade with time, the things that are posted online may always be there, may come back throughout your life causing current or future consequences in some cases.

As far as activities/assignments go, I really think an inquiry/social justice project that ties in to social media could illustrate the potential viral ability of the internet. Things as simple as getting a class twitter account could also illustrate how quickly things can spread on the internet.

Question 5: What is the role of schools in terms of developing student activism? How might we encourage and support students to use online spaces and social media to contribute positively to our world?


I think schools need to work to be open and honest with students, and we need to start at a young age! My two year old can -to an extent use an ipad, kids have access to technology at an increasingly young age, and as teachers, we need to be prepared to teach students about their digital identities accordingly. If we keep putting it off until they reach middle years, we’re doing them a great disservice!

As we teach students that possibilities are indeed endless when we incorporate technology, and we highlight different avenues available for helping others, I believe any social justice projects, that are student driven, will make connections and bids at utilizing the tools available to them.

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