These are my notes from Alice Barr’s breakout session, “Digital Citizenship for our Schools” at the the 2010 Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference in Manchester, NH on 30 Nov 2010. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. Track conference conversations using the Twitter hash tag #cmtc10. Alice is the Instructional Technology Integrator at Yarmouth High School in Yarmouth, Maine. She is @alicebarr on Twitter. I’m recording this session with Alice’s permission and will share it later as an audio podcast. Alice is a member of the Seedlings, who share a regular, free, international webcast online. The official conference description for this session was:

Are you prepared for the digital citizen in your classroom? Many of our students are tech savvy and comfortable using a multitude of tools, but are they using them appropriately? Do students recognize the responsibility that comes with using technology? What kind of Digital Footprint do they leave behind? Join Alice to hear how one Maine Learning Technology (MLTI) school is working on appropriate technology use. Alice has participated in the one-to-one laptop (MLTI) Initiative for the past 5 years and brings many “lessons learned” to NH educators.

Webkins allow students to form relationships online
- kids have to login
- it is very obvious for them to know what to do after they login

We see kids move on from Lego to Club Penguin, eventually move to Facebook
- they are often pretty saavy user

Stat 2 years ago: “A quarter of 8-12 year olds have a social networking profile on Facebook, Bebo, or MySpace despite the sites having minimum age limit of 13.”

“The Children’s Media Literacy audit revealed….”

Many kids see their online and face to face worlds as interconnected

Pew 2 years ago: “Teens continue to be avid users of social networking websites, as of Sept 2009, 73% of online American teens ages 12 to 17 used an online social network website, a statistic that has continued to climb upwards from 55% in November 2006 and 65% in February 2008.”

“While more than 4 in 5 (82%) online teens ages 14-17 use online social networks, just a bit more than half of online teens ages 12-13 say they use the sites.”

danah boyd in “Impact of the Internet on Society | Antisocial Social Networking – disorder of the future generation?

Social media has created an interesting rupture in the landscape. Youth turn to it to reclaim unstructured social encounters, to create a public space that allows them to simply hang out with their friends, peers, and cohort. The flirting, gossiping, and joking around that takes place is not proof that social media is useless, but proof that it’s extremely valuable. Without other spaces in which to gather, youth have developed their own. They want to be social, but we also need them to develop social skills. What’s fascinating is that they’re learning to do so in a mediated landscape, developing norms that will persist through adulthood. It’s not like all social encounters between adults are face-to-face; learning how to interpret a Facebook post is a great skill to have when entering an email-centric corporation.

Facebook would be the 5th largest country in the world if it was a country

World map of social networks

Gary’s Social Media Count (Oct 2010)
- available as a 99¢ iPad app now from iTunes

Our district goals are focused on student engagement and learning, not about technology
- we do much more project-based and inquiry-based assignments
- we have more assignments where the student chooses the tool

Example job: Social Media Director for IBM in Jericho, NY
- we have a student who graduated from our school, who is the social media director for “Teen Vogue” in New York

We do know kids will be collaborating globally, creating content with people living in other countries
- students need to understand how to

Our definition of digital citizenship: The first time a person signs up for an email account, signs up for an online account, purchases something online, or participates in some kind of digital activity that person is a digital citizen

Showing “Digital Dossier” video

This video is from John Palfrey’s group at the Harvard Law School

Born digital: understanding the first generation of digital natives By John Palfrey, Urs Gasser

What does the word “citizen” mean in your school?

We’ve realized we need to partner with parents
- we are doing a lot more parent education than we ever have before
- we run a Facebook class for parents, we share this presentation with parents, we meet in small groups and discuss it
- parents WANT help

I think of Maria Knee’s students Skyping with students in Australia as kindergardeners, 9 year olds can create VoiceThreads

Digital literacy is essential to be a citizen

- must have the skill and knowledge to interact safely with digital and electronic tools and media

Vicki Davis: Digital Citizenship has the student in the center, around: Literacy, Safety, Learning Strategies, and Etiquette

We are struggling the most now with pushing out student work: My collaborative inquiry project right now is around how are we going to organize, distribute and archive student work digitally online?

My seniors realize they need to figure out how they can stand out in the crowd
- it’s not enough to have just had a laptop
- they are focusing on learning, all the things they have done with and as a result of the technology access they’ve enjoyed

If Twitter or Facebook are too overwhelming at first, try Classroom 2.0 first

Alec Couros: Are You a Networked Teacher?

You need to have a very robust network. 2 years ago we had a disaster, and everyone stopped using most Internet tools. We’ve rebuilt our infrastructure

Our tech dept: 3 integrators, 1 webmaster, 1 repair manager
- no tech director
- we meet weekly as a team of 5
- we meet monthly with our superintendent

Our superintendent is very clear about what our roles

We took our core values, and focus on these in our conversations about digital citizenship: Honesty, citizenship, trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, integrity

We have a lot of visitors to our school, the students are teh tour guides
- they (students) do the rollout each September of the laptops
- the Student Senate is the group re-writing the laptop guidelines (old ones say “no videos,” but of course that is ridiculous now because all watch YouTube)
- games and cell phones are the big issues, students are wrestling with this now and how they will present this to faculty to change some of the rules

I always tell parents: We wouldn’t hand the keys to the car to our kids and tell them to go drive without a lot of advance conversations and preparation – The same should go for technology as digital citizens

keys to your kingdom

Recommended Resources:

Digital Citizenship Resources from Common Sense Media

Net Cetera Chatting with Kids about Being Online: English Guidebook

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  • http://twitter.com/butwait Shelley

    Wes, thanks so much for these detailed notes… the next best thing to being there! Looks like Alice rocked the house again…

  • Susan Rice

    Wonderful! I am getting ready to do my first parent training in digital citizenship for students–what they need to know, and I will use it to help me with my presentation. Thanks!

  • Alice Barr

    Again Thank you! I so appreciate your notes!

  • http://changingtheirminds.blogspot.com Jeff Richardson

    Great presentation! We are in the middle of stepping up our digital citizenship focus and education in our district and I can echo all of what Alice is saying. We started with large “town hall” style meetings for the community-had about 500 attend 3 different meetings. Now we are doing similar presentations for our middle schoolers and using tech coaches in the elementary schools to teach digital citizenship. Everyone seems eager to learn and by reaching out to the community, I think we are building a common vocabulary that will at least help foster the conversation. I just wish this would become a larger focus for more districts. I know in our area, very few are touching the subject.

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