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Digital Citizenship - An Essential 21st Century Skill

Guest post by David Higginson, Technology Coordinator at SCIS Hongqiao

With so much of our student’s communication happening online our responsibility as educators now extend beyond the classroom. Teaching students to navigate the web responsibly is an important part of helping them develop a healthy relationship with the world around them. As such, integrating digital citizenship into the classrooms is a vital part of this process.

 

Why is Digital Citizenship Important?

The first time our students go online they become a citizen of the digital world. A positive digital citizen is someone who interacts with any online community, in any way.

There are several aspects of digital citizenship that we cover at SCIS. These topics include digital empathy, social media, online interactions, screen time management, cyberbullying, cybersecurity, and media literacy. Students start to learn about these different areas as soon as they start posting in Seesaw. This foundational knowledge will help guide them in future years, to make better choices online.

 

As students progress up through each grade level, their use of technology increases. We encourage our students to do amazing things with technology, but we also emphasize the importance of finding the balance, between offline and online activities.

Integrating Digital Citizenship into the Classroom

Digital citizenship skills are intertwined into the curriculum. However, there are project-based activities once students move into our Upper School. For example, in December, Grade 9 & 10 students created digital citizenship learning products. These products would then be used to educate our Grade 6 students, who would begin their digital citizenship project in January; see below:

Grade 9 students were tasked with creating a short 1-minute video, highlighting the do’s and don'ts of creating positive digital identities. 

 

Whereas Grade 10 students collaborated in groups to produce an infographic highlighting 10 tips on positive online communication. 

 

Grade 6 students are currently participating in the online program DQ World. This virtual learning environment breaks up digital citizenship into 8 key areas. 

 

It delivers content through interactive stories, quizzes, games, and challenges. At the end of the program, students upload a video reflection to FlipGrid - highlighting their understanding of digital citizenship. From FlipGrid, students will be able to watch each other’s videos, further deepen their understanding of digital citizenship, and find out what their friends know.

The videos, and subsequent interactions, serve to enact the knowledge, skills, and understanding our students have learned through DQ World. 

 

Home Tip

The most useful tip I can share is to model good digital citizenship behavior for your children. This could be anything from how often you use your digital devices when you are around your children, to helping them find a healthy balance on how much screen time they should get. Encourage them to create their content, not to only consume it. 

SCIS. Caring Learners.

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