Woman in pink crew neck t shirt holding tablet computer

Keeping Up With The Kids


Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing well! Here is a little blog post on digital citizenship its importance, and how to get it into your classroom! Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments your thoughts! Can anyone else’s pre-teen/early-teen years relate to the photo of the girl below? I sure can.

Okay people, let’s be honest, 13-year-olds today do not look like us when we were 13… It seems that every year, the age of maturity gets younger. There isn’t that awkward blue eyeshadow and layered t-shirt phase anymore. They don’t have those oh so terribly amazing mirror selfie photos we would take of ourselves on a digital camera.

Little girl makeup Memes
All I think of when I say me as a 13 year old…. Retrieved from Google

Born in 2001, I was kind of right on the cusp of the changing era of technology. Try and think back to this time; Think of the learning curve we all had to undergo learning about the internet, cell phones, and wifi. For those of us who were born into this world, think of any time you had to learn something new…its tough and frustrating but also exciting. That being said, learning something new (something fresh off the market) comes with risks. Risks of the unknown.

To Put Things Into Perspective: Here is an analogy I thought of to help put this into perspective. Do you think that when cars were first made that they were worried about car accidents? No, they weren’t. First of all, they were not fast enough to do any deviating damage, and secondly, this was NEW, people were excited, and the last thing on their minds was anything negative. BUT, that being said, cars slowly got faster, smarter, and more accessible. Now, let’s look at this insight of our children growing up with phones. When we first saw the development of technology, it was slow and not very accessible. However, this too slowly started to get faster, smarter, and more accessible. These kiddos didn’t grow up learning with the technology, they were born into it. BUT unlike driving a car, there isn’t a course on technology safety, these kids are learning the hard way.

Voice Quality - iPhone 5 vs Antique Rotary Phone - YouTube
Retrieved from Google

With kids becoming older at a younger age, it is even more important to be educated about being safe online! As I said, there is no driver safety course for these kids, so I think that it should be integrated into our school systems starting right from grade one.

You may be wondering how to get this into the classroom? Here is where you can get started. Take a look at Ribbles nine elements of digital citizenship or read below for a short overview.

  1. Digital Access: Who has access/who does not/open access to those who don’t have access to
  2. Digital Commerce: this is the way of the future people! The tools and safeguards in place to assist those buying, selling, banking, or using money in any way in the digital space
  3. Digital Communication and Collaboration: how to use technology to express themselves and voice
  4. Digital Etiquette: making sure that we are thinking of others before posting
  5. Digital Fluency: understanding the purpose of technology/real news vs. fake news
  6. Digital Health and Welfare: refers to the physical and psychological well-being in a digital world/when it is appropriate
  7. Digital Law: electronic responsibility for actions and deeds 
  8. Digital Rights and Responsibility: Educators must help students understand that protecting others both online and in the real world is essential skills to have
  9. Digital Security and Privacy: Education viruses, worms and other bots can be passed along from one system to another just like an illness

Now, each of these elements opens up to a wide range of being safe online, and to comprehend some of these elements experience is needed. Imagine telling a student in grade one that there are bugs in their iPad… #TotalMelyDown. This is why each of these elements belongs in different grades.

First off we have Digital Access. This one I believe belongs in all grades. If students don’t have access to technology we as educators can not expect them to know how to use it. If technology is used in the classroom then all students K-12 should have access to it.

The second is Digital Commerce. For students to have a grasp on this element they will have to understand not only technology but currency as well to be sufficient in this. This could be used in grades eleven and twelve and could be integrated into the foundation’s math curriculum or accounting 30. Outcomes may look like FM30.1 Demonstrate understanding of financial decision making including analysis of renting, leasing, buying, credit, compound interest, and investment portfolios. Outcomes could look like the ability to use online baking (stimulation).

10 Famous Photographs That Are Actually Fake
Retrieved from Google

Moving into number 5 Digital Fluency I believe that this could be integrated into younger classrooms. Have you ever talked to a 5-7-year-old? They are g-u-l-l-i-b-l-e. This can be dangerous because click bate is CONVINCING! Not only that but photoshop is so crazy advanced now that people can make anything look real. It is important that our students know how to use their sleuthing brains when online. This could be integrated into a literacy unit where students are looking at photos. Adobe photoshop actually has a website that sets up a real vs fake quiz that is available for free. It isn’t quite as extreme as some fake photos or statements that I have seen but it gives the students an idea. They could be marked on the ability to decipher what is real and what is not.

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