I have been involved in teaching digital citizenship to primary students for some time and I felt that as an ICT educator I was providing my students with guidelines about how to behave online. I was content. I was complacent without even realising it.
It took a presentation by The Couros Brothers at the MYSA Travelling Scholars seminar at Hampton Senior High School on August 8, to challenge my complacency.
The sessions that dealt with taking control of your Digital Footprint and Digital Leadership inspired me.
I was encouraged to take charge of my professional footprint on the Internet. Googling your own name is a useful and enlightening exercise. How will the world see you? I learnt about a website called About Me which gives me a professional space to state who I am and what I do, to be proactive about my digital footprint. You can view mine here on my blog.
I thought about the children in my school and how many of them already have a social media presence and wondered if their mistakes would follow them around their whole lives? How fortunate was I to grow up in a non digital age and make mostly anonymous mistakes (embarrassing year book photos aside). The solution for these kids? It was suggested that they could flood their accounts with positive stuff so that it is this which is the overwhelming image of who they are.
If Digital Leadership is the ability to inspire, guide and lead change in the digital world, then I should be modelling this behaviour and encouraging my students to actively participate in their world. I started my effort by being involved with the year 6 blog created by one of our fabulous teachers for her class. I am now an adminstrator and add videos and comments, polls and questions for my ICT classes. They use it in all sorts of ways. You can view it here.
I am now using Edmodo with my Year 4 ICT class and love being able to interact with the students outside of our lesson, finding a valid reason to add in cyber safety lessons and put up pictures, assignments and surveys.
My Year 2 class is participating in a global classroom project run by Mrs Karen Stadler (@ICT_Integrator) that was brought to my attention through Twitter and will be an exciting new way for our students to find out about other students in the world and let them know about us. You can find the project here.
I am also in the process of thinking of ways to enlarge the audience and voice for some of my other classes. With my Year 7 digital photography competition, should I put it online and get a global perspective or judge? Would signing up to google docs be a good way to get a You Tube channel for my Year 6 stop start animations?
All of these are such big steps for me and hopefully positive ones for the students in my classes. I am a work in progress. Thanks Alec and George!