ISTE 5 explores digital citizenship, specifically focusing on how students can practice digital citizenship through their understanding of human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology as well as practicing legal and ethical behavior when using technology. Although there are many important elements to this standard, I chose to look into the ethical use of technology. The resource I found overviews many of the “crimes” students are often unknowingly committing because they have not been explicitly taught the right and wrong ways to use technology. Just like learning what is right and wrong in the real world, students need to learn what is right and wrong in the digital world. One of my favorite suggestions in the article was the ways to incorporate cyber ethics into the school culture (Starr, 2011). One example Starr provides is drawing parallels between the real world and the electronic world by making direct comparisons between what students do on the Internet and how they behave in their daily lives. This directly relates to the standard because it provides tools for teaching digital citizenship and how to make students leaders in this effort. It also emphasizes responsibility and ethics when using technology.
One of my classmates drew my attention to an excellent resource for teaching digital citizenship called common sense education. This resource provides a scope and sequence for addressing digital literacy in the classroom by grade level. Lessons have already been created for teachers to implement in their own classroom and content areas. The curriculum itself covers a wide variety of topics over the course of 4 units including but not limited to the role of media in our world, how students present themselves online, sharing personal information and retouching photographs. Essentially each lesson covers one or more of the following topics: self-image and identity, relationships and communication, digital footprint and reputation, cyberbullying and digital drama, information literacy, internet safety, privacy and security, and creative credit and copyright. Not only is this an excellent resource for students and teachers, it is designed to include parents as well. And as we all know, parents are their student’s first teachers so it is important to educate them and bring digital literacy and awareness into the household to ensure that technology is being used appropriately and ethically from at all vantage points in a student’s life. This curriculum truly informs students and parents of the human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology as well as practicing legal and ethical behavior when using technology as mentioned in ISTE 5.
Lastly, I chose to look into preventing cyberbullying as it truly is one of my main concerns for my students. The nature of bullying has changed with technology since so much can be said and done to another person without actually having to say it to their face and experience their response in person. I found a variety of teacher resources on Canada’s Centre for Digital and Medial Literacy (CCDML) “Media Smarts” website. One in particular that stood out to me was a lesson for teaching ethics online. The lesson itself has students develop rules for when they are online which are specifically concerned with avoiding, dealing with, and speaking out against cyberbullying (CCDML).It provides a suggested code of conduct that can be adapted to any grade level and suggestions on what to do if cyberbullying is happening. This could be an excellent resource for teachers to use at the beginning of the school year as students begin to use the internet in class. The rules that students generate can be posted in the classroom and revisited throughout the year to refresh and remind students of the importance of using technology ethically and with respect for their peers. This too embraces all aspects of ISTE 5 and the formation of responsible digital citizens.
Starr, Linda. (2011). Tools for Teaching Cyber Ethics. Education World: Connecting educators to what works. Retrieved from: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech055.shtml
Digital Citizenship Scope and Sequence (2015). Common Sense Education. Retrieved from: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/scope-and-sequence
Media Smarts: Canada’s Center for Digital and Media Literacy. A Word About (N)ethics. Retrieved from: http://mediasmarts.ca/backgrounder/word-about-nethics