Why teach digital citizenship?

Shouldn’t students be focused on math, science and reading? How can you take class time to teach a fuzzy concept like digital citizenship?

Lest you have any concern over time spent focused on the digital literacy, rights and responsibility, take a look at the following blog comment received today:

Dear Mr. De Haan,

We love the post with the interview of Mrs. Yollis.  Mrs. Yollis is capable of many things, and she teaches us most of them. She is an enthusiastic, passionate teacher who is very interested in how kids learn.

One of the reasons that we love Mrs. Yollis is because she teaches us a lot of blogging skills including these things:

1. Give attribution if you use someone’s work. Be sure you have their permission!
2. Read through the recent comments so you don’t repeat what someone else just said.
3. Proofread your comments before publishing so people will understand what you mean.
4. She taught us how to read the post before writing the comment, so your comment is not out-of-the-blue or off-topic.
5. Never publish a comment that is not checked by a parent.

We have done so many different things that we did not do in second grade like blogging on the computer. We used to just use a paper and pencil instead of the Internet or Word.

We love Mrs. Yollis so much!

Lindsay, Grace, and Iman

P.S. We did this comment in Word, and our readability statistic was 6.3.

As an educator, I have to take a moment to study this writing…

Complete sentences
Organized structure
Proofed for spelling
Correct & varied punctuation
Audience awareness
Bonus points – readability testing, ordered list, correct capitalization of the word “Internet.”
Points deducted – calling me “Mr.”

Overall, I’d give it about an A++++++++, not that these students need a letter to validate the work they are doing.

Oh, did I mention that these students ARE IN THE THIRD GRADE? The awareness of digital etiquette is exemplary, the comment is informed and provides added value to the original post. They even go as far as to practice the steps they outline.

Thank you Lindsay, Grace and Iman. Your insightful and personal comment reflects the best of online communities and digital communication.

2 thoughts on “Why teach digital citizenship?

  1. Dear Jac,

    Thanks for publishing my students’ comment and bringing awareness to the value of digital citizenship.

    When you published the profile of me on this blog last year, I shared it with my third graders. I wanted them to see that there are many types of blogs on the Internet, and that teachers are sharing and learning from one another via this medium as well as children.

    Immediately, my students were interested in commenting. I told them that it was a professional blog for teachers, but if they had something to contribute…they could comment. They sat in groups of two or three and decided what would be valuable to add and how their thoughts could best be expressed. To be perfectly honest, I was blown away with what they came up with! To watch it unfold, so effortlessly and without prompting on my part…it was one of those special gifts that teachers are given.

    I am passionate about blogging and teaching quality commenting skills. I’m thrilled to see that the dedicated class time we spend reading, evaluating, and writing comments really pays off.

    Linda Yollis

  2. Pingback: Digital Identities and the Youth | sociallymediaed

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