Does the idea of a 'footprint' go far in enough in digital literacy?
- To give students a better context for the permanence of the content they place online, the idea of a "digital footprint" is now often being replaced in digital citizenship lessons by that of a "digital tattoo," eSchool News reports.
- Florida's Gilchrist County School District, for example, are now beginning digital citizenship lessons as early as pre-K, and sources from school resource officers to district-led workshops educate students in later grades, as well as their families, on the importance of thoughtful internet use. Educators also use keyword lists and filtering and monitoring tools to help teach students what they shouldn't put out there.
- Best practices include clearly communicating the "why" of these lessons to students and families, getting parents directly involved in teaching them, finding the right programming approach for the district community, and giving teachers tools that keep them empowered amid 1:1 rollouts.
With all of the educational promise that 1:1 device programs have brought to classrooms, they've also brought plenty of potential headaches for educators. There are more exciting, interactive educational resources available at the fingertips of students and teachers than ever before, but digital citizenship lessons have also become mandatory in that environment so students are aware of how to safely and ethically use many of the tools, like social media, now available to them.
Perhaps the most frequently cited example is that the digital space has become the modern frontier of bullying due to the sense of anonymity and detachment from consequences that the internet and many apps provide. But those consequences remain, and empathy has only become more important as a result.
Along with respecting others in their actions, students must also learn to respect themselves by being aware that anything they post can stick around in one form or another and impact their reputation in the long term. Beginning those lessons as early as possible is key to ensuring they're prepared for that responsibility when they reach 1:1 device grades, especially when questions of school or district liability can come into play over cases of cyber misconduct.
- eSchool News Digital footprint? Try digital tattoo, experts say
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