“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” —Bill Gates

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Digital Citizenship & Parents

Last year, as part of my job as tech trainer, I became involved with training parents too.

Early in the school year, parents were asked to respond to a general survey asking them about their tech interests. The majority mentioned wanting to learn how to help their children with security and safety, cyber-bullying, digital footprints, etc. At the same time, at the elementary campus, from K-5, we applied short surveys to students to see how much they already knew about digital citizenship topics. Results from K-1, like the ones below, raised some red flags. We were sure that we needed to bring the parents on board in order to make our digital citizenship program initiative a successful one.
So I took upon this huge task and started to look for the best way to approach this. In my search I gathered a large collection of online resources. I created a chart to categorize the resources according to the grade level, and developed a scope & sequence chart for the digital citizenship curriculum. (Which is still a work in progress.) One of the best resources I found is Common Sense Media. (http://www.commonsensemedia.org) I highly recommend it. It includes valuable information for all of us: teachers, parents, and students. It has up-to-date information, hundreds of videos, reviews, and even lesson plans.
To better prepare myself, I enrolled in ISTE's Digital Citizenship Online Professional development Course. (http://www.iste.org/store/product?id=2302). From one of the lessons, I confirmed the notion that parent education is key to a solid DC program, and the importance of having a school web site dedicated to this important topic.

I am proud of the time and effort I put forth into building our very own Digital Citizenship web site at school. Take a look, I am sharing the link to the site. I hope you find it useful. I am open to any comments you may have. http://www.asfm.edu.mx/parents/tools/digital-citizenship

Much of the content and framework included in this site comes from Common Sense Media, to whom I am very grateful, plus bits and pieces from other sources, and another chunk from my own experience. Additionally, I am running weekly hands-on workshops with parents. I truly enjoy meeting with parents and getting to know their points of view and experiences, and we all learn together!


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