One of the hottest topics in education today focuses on digital citizenship, or what it means to be a member of the connected world we live in.
According to the ISTE Standards for Students, digital citizens understand the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical. They also leverage the power of digital media to work toward social justice and equity.
Every educator wants to help students address this standard. The struggle is where to start.
Rachelle Poth, foreign language and STEAM teacher at Riverview Junior Senior High School in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, says the tools are out there. It’s a matter of leveraging them to meet the various indicators of the Digital Citizen standard. The tools she recommends help teachers and students establish or reinforce their online presence.
“These tools will enable students to create, collaborate, share ideas – all aspects of being a digital citizen,” Poth says. And if educators start out by creating a lesson that demonstrates responsible digital citizenship using each tool and then “teach them through it,” it makes it easy for students to emulate the proper behavior.
Here are her top three tools to get started:
Twitter. Create a class account or start a chat on this social media platform, even with young learners. That way teachers can model how to post, respond to posts and cite information. “There’s so much potential for learning with Twitter,” Poth says.
Nearpod. Nearpod is an interactive presentation and assessment tool that, among other things, allows students to respond during a live lesson, providing an opportunity for teachers to point out responsible digital citizenship behaviors.
“For early learners, this may be the first time they are interacting with a tool that’s showing the power of technology and how to collaborate online because users can see what others are doing and learn to post responsibly,” Poth explains.
Plus teachers can app smash Nearpod by embedding a Twitter feed.
Buncee. This creation and presentation tool lets educators and students design interactive content like multimedia index cards, flash cards, lesson plans, slide presentations and posters so learners can visualize concepts and communicate creatively. Poth says this tool is helpful in meeting all of the Student Standards. When it comes to the Digital Citizen standard, students are creating and sharing from the app, opening the door to more lessons about the responsible use aspect of digital citizenship.
Julie Phillips Randles is a freelance writer and editor with 30 years of experience writing about education policy, leadership, curriculum and edtech.
This is an updated version of a post that published on Feb. 23, 2018.