Week 6: Schools and Parents working together to create a digital citizen.

Digital Citizenship in Schools (Ribble, 2011) outlines 9 elements of digital citizenship.  These 9 elements are a great basis for schools to use to help guide them through the process of setting up a digital citizenship curriculum.  As I read through the 9 elements there is so much more involved in digital citizenship, for example, teaching digital commerce or digital health and wellness.  In fact, I believe those are values that parents should be teaching their children.  However, I also believe that schools can help parents do this by sharing resources.  Schools and parents should work together to create a moral digital citizen.  Just as in other aspects of education, parent involvement is essential, it will be even more important for parents to help schools teach students to be the best digital citizen they can be.

Schools can help parents with this process by sharing information that they can discuss and share with their children at home.  Many school districts that are incorporating Ribble’s 9 elements are sharing digital citizenship information with parents on their district website.  The Northshore School District in Washington uses the link http://webold.nsd.org/education/dept/dept.php?sectionid=5626  for parents to share website resources and Internet safety tips.  Schools can also help parents get involved by including them in their process of setting up digital citizenship guidelines and expectations as Ribble (2011) outlines.

In my classroom I can start by addressing the digital citizenship topics I feel my students need to know.  For example, in my class we have been using Google Docs to create projects and share them with each other.  I need to teach my student the importance of digital responsibility, etiquette, and communication.  I can also keep my student’s parents informed about what we are learning in class and how they can help their child be a safe digital citizen.  During my school staff meetings I can discuss the need for a digital citizenship lesson/curriculum in school.  I can also share what I am doing to help other teachers understand the importance of digital citizenship, so they can share similar information with their students about digital citizenship.


Digital citizenship -internet safety tips.  Retrieved February 22, 2014, from


 Ribble, M. 2011. Digital Citizenship in Schools. Eugene, OR: ISTE.


Week 4: The importance of creating a positive digital footprint.

What are the potential benefits of teaching children about digital citizenship at a young age?  Teaching students about digital footprints will benefit them throughout their life and will prepare them for future employment.  Thinking about and keeping our digital footprint in mind can feel very daunting because one may not want to share too much information or accidently share something online that is inappropriate.  Research shows more and more employers are using social media to research/recruit prospective candidates to hire, this just adds more pressure to make sure that what we put out on the web is our best.

For some of us our digital footprint starts before we are born.  For example, in the YouTube movie Digital Dossier Andy’s digital footprint started when his parents posted his sonogram picture.  For children growing up in the digital age it may seem overwhelming to think about and check what they are about to share or put online because what they do may be looked at closely.  It seems like a lot of pressure for students and adults.  But because anyone can view online posts it is important to make sure students learn at a young age how to manage their digital footprint.  To prepared students teachers, parents, and community leaders should discuss this with today’s youth.  In her YouTube video, Digital Citizenship from a Business Perspective, Dr. Pam Lloyd discusses the fact that employers are starting to use social media to recruit candidates before they even know there is a job available.  In a YouTube video posted by Steve Johnson, he reported that in June 2008 22% of employers used social networking sites to research prospective candidates and in 2009 it went up to 45%.  More and more employers are using the web to research candidates, making it important that what we are sharing online is positive and spotlights our accomplishments appropriately.  According to Careerbuilder.com (2013), employers who took a candidate out of the running for a job found:

50% posted an inappropriate photo

48% shared info about themselves drinking or using drugs.

30% had poor communication skills

28% made discriminatory comments related to ace, gender, religion, etc.

24% lied about qualifications

If there continues to be an increase in the use of social media to reduce candidate pools or recruit for jobs, it will be important to ensure students know how to portray themselves online.  Today there is an increasing need for digital citizenship classes with an emphasis on student’s digital footprint.  I believe this should be started at the elementary ages and continue throughout high school.   Students must understand and should continually be reminded of the importance of their footprint.  Due to increasing pressure for students to spotlight a positive digital footprint, there is a need for educators and parents to teach students this process and set the standards high.  When students have the knowledge about how digital footprints work, they can then make choices to reflect what they want their digital footprint to reveal.

I believe that this information is very useful for educators as it shows relevance to real world situations.  To better prepare for my students I will research websites and look for lesson plans online.  I will show my students videos that reflect the importance of what they do online and how it can affect them and others to help them think before they put something online.  I am currently creating a digital citizenship unit where I plan on spending time teaching my students about their digital footprints.


Careerbuilder.com (2013, June 27).  More employers finding reasons not to hire candidates on social media, finds careerbuilder survey.  Retrieved February 7, 2014, from http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=6%2F26%2F2013&id=pr766&ed=12%2F31%2F2013

Digitalnatives (2008, August 13).  Youth and media – digital dossier [Video file].  Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79IYZVYIVLA

Johnson, S. (2009, November 9).  Digital footprints your new first impression [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZjmrJvL_eg

Lloyd, P. (2013, February 3).  Digital citizenship from a business perspective [Video file].  Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiP2DLeyX3U&feature=youtu.be

Week 3: Character Education in a digital age. Creating a value based character education.

In Chapter 10 of Digital Community Digital Citizenship (2010),  Jason Ohler writes about character education and how it relates to our digital needs.  This chapter highlights a school board working together to ensure students are prepared and understand what is expected of them in this day and age.  If school boards can start the planning process and involve the teacher, parents and students the outcome could be a really great emphasis on relevant character education.


Whether school boards, educators, parents or students are ready or not there is a need for character education that embodies digital policies.  In fact, “character education happens whether we intend to or not.  Therefore, it needs to be deliberately planned and developed.  Otherwise, it will not produce the results that the school community wants” (Ohler, 2010, p.188).  Parents and students need to become part of the process.  If the community becomes involved it will allow the school to incorporate a set of standards that will help guide the development of character education and digital policies that the community is willing to support.

Parent and student involvement also creates a greater awareness of policies and expectations.  I work harder if I believe that what I am doing has valued purpose and believe the majority of parents and students that participate would also.  By getting parents and students involved in the process of creating valuable character education they will feel there is a purpose or reason.  Just as educators take students input at the beginning of the school year to create and decide on class rules, the same concept should maybe apply for creating and implementing a technology policy.


On page 197, I saw great importance of the section in the chapter where the school board was using values that they wanted students to walk away with as their driving force for character education.  I believe the school board was looking at students as a whole person not just making sure they implemented a character education program.  The values in the book I thought were important were: “balance safety for yourself and others, knowing when to unplug, and working in diverse teams”(Ohler, 2010, p. 197).  It’s important that students understand and think about not just themselves but others.  Students need to also realize how their actions can affect other people in their communities.  It’s also important to know when to unplug.  In this day and age where everything is at our fingertips there are times when we don’t need technology.  Lastly, in the real world people need to work together/collaborate, if we can teach students at a young age how to do this they will be better prepared for when they grow up. The school board used the values to guide the type of students they wanted to help grow and mold as local, digital, and global citizens.


What should educators do if they see a need for a more digitally focused character education?  How can educators get their school board members to also embrace the importance?  As an educator I know I can make change in my classroom.  I can discuss character education with in my room with my students and get their input on what they believe good values of character education are.  Starting small can sometimes create big change.


Ohler, J. B. (2010). Digital community, digital citizen. SAGE Publications.

Week 2: 3 Communities One World. Digital citizenship in our local, digital, and global communities.

In Chapter 2 Digital Community Digital Citizenship (2010),  Jason Ohler referenced three communities: digital, local, and global.  Educators and parents need to help children prepare and engage in these communities.  In the past educators only had to worry about preparing students for their local community making sure they were good citizens and well rounded individuals, citizens that someone would want to be neighbors with or could be hired locally.  But now our lives reach so much further.  So at what age should students be learning about these different communities and how to be a good digital citizen, in Kindergarten, middle school, or high school.

With keeping the three communities in mind it will be important for educators and parents to help children find their way through the communities.  It can be difficult for adults to manage and interact in the communities, so how can we expect children to know how to behave and know appropriate things to do in these communities.  If kids are digital natives and they grow up using technology day in and day out,  we need to make sure they know how to navigate the communities that they will encounter as a result of the technology.  In my district we have technology teachers who come into classrooms to model technology lesson plans for teachers and students.  The tech teacher at my school came into my classroom to do a digital citizenship lesson for my students, a requirement if I wanted my students to be able to use Googledocs in the classroom.  The tech teacher asked my students if they had ever experienced online bullying or inappropriate behavior online.  One of my students raised his hand and then told us all about how he plays Call of Duty on his PlayStation and he can play with other people online.  The game system is connected to the Internet and he wears headphones with a microphone, so he can interact with his team members.  He continued to tell us that one time when he accidently killed the wrong guy in the game one of the guys on his team swore at him using the “F” word and called him stupid.  I was shocked; my first thought is why is a third grade student playing video games with people he doesn’t know online?  Then of course I was wondering why is my student playing that game at all?  According to Ohler (2010), there is a need to teach students about strangers in the digital world.  Students need to understand that not all strangers mean danger.  Many of the people we may communicate with may be strangers, but that does not mean we can’t learn and interact with each other.  Educators and parents will need to help their children navigate their child’s digital worlds, it’s great that we live in a world where we can be more connected without actually being in the same town, state, or country.  But children don’t grow up knowing how to appropriately use and communicate through these communities.  Those skills need to be taught and modeled.

I believe in the future there will need to be a push for more education with digital citizenship and helping students learn to navigate their local, digital, and global communities, to ensure we have citizens that we would want to associate and interact with.  As an educator I have decided to research ideas and ways to teach my third graders more about the importance of being a good digital citizen.  In the other course I am taking this semester: Instructional Design in Technology we are required to create a unit using Grant Wiggins Understanding by Design (UbD).  I have decided to create my UbD unit on the topic of Digital Citizenship, in the hopes that my students better understand their role in their local, digital and global communities.


Ohler, J. B. (2010). Digital community, digital citizen. SAGE Publications.