Educators inspire students to positively contribute to and responsibly participate in the digital world.
- 3a. Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.
- 3b. Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.
- 3c. Mentor students in safe, legal and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property.
- 3d. Model and promote management of personal data and digital identity and protect student data privacy.
Educators facilitate learning with technology to support student achievement of the ISTE Standards for Students.
- 6a. Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
- 6b. Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.
- 6c. Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
- 6d. Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.
How can teachers pass more agency to inspire younger students to lead student-centered learning with digital technology and foster their digital citizenship in the learning process?
To be Warriors without Worries
In our school, we pilot BYOD initiate in K-5. Since we extend this program down to Elementary and Kindergarten, the most concern from both teachers and parents is how to protect students from the negative sides of digital technologies, such as potential harmful online resources, the risks of low self-regulation and low self-efficiency. Instead of worries, we need to seek appropriate approaches to equip younger students with critical thinking, and digital competencies in authentic ways to practice these skills and develop a mature mindset for the 21st century. Teachers should scaffold and motivate younger students to leverage digital technology to lead student-centered learning independently or collaboratively and foster digital citizenship authentically rather than abstractly which will benefit students to be lifelong learners and good citizens in the digital world.
Safe Environment- A Shield in Digital World; Digital Competency- Being Equipped
Mini-Lessons to Teach How to Search Online Through A Safe Engine and Foster Digital Citizenship
How to search online will be the essential skills and the threshold for younger students to lead empowered learning using digital tools and is also a sign for teachers to pass more or less agency depending on whether students master and improve the ability. Teachers can break down the research skills into small acceptable, practical mini-lessons integrated into regular classes to lead authentic learning and build students confidence at the same time. For the younger students, they cannot grasp solid skills until they connect the knowledge with the real world and practice by small steps. The kid-friendly search engine will be the best starting, which is designed for children as a firewall protects students from inappropriate content. Like Kidzsearch, it is powered by Google that emphasizes safety for kids and provides videos, and image sections, which are a handy tool to provide younger students with a safe environment.
Get Ready to Search with Five Steps
This is a brainstorming step which needs students to think what information they want to look for in their searches. Teachers can have students discuss keywords, alternative phrases, and generating questions.
This is a practice step which needs students to transfer their ideas into reality. Students will see different search terms cause different results and find out which are closer to their expectation to foster computational thinking.
In this step, teachers need to have students delve whether the results are reliable or not from the URL. Also, have students to build a good habit to verify the sources before open the links.
The flowchart provided by www.kathleenamorris.com explains this step.
It always is excited that students find what they need from thousands of results for their work. Now we need to bring up the copyright and plagiarism. This is also an essential step to foster digital citizenship from a young age. Students need to understand and respect the rights of using and sharing others’ work. Kathy Schrock’s PDF document can give ideas on how to progressively teach citation from grades 1 to 6 (and beyond). It provides some clear examples that you could adapt for classroom use.
When the teachers provide mini-lessons on research online, they also can embed Digital Passport into regular classes to foster digital citizenship, which is provided by Common Sense.
The mini-lessons as a win-win mode will help students to build good habits and mature mindset when they explore online information for learning goals and also can be integrated into classes seamlessly. Students will improve the digital skills and digital citizenship from authentic learning by small steps and make connections between the digital world and the real world to develop brain growth to transfer cognition. The mini-lessons are paving the path for teachers to pass more agency to younger students on empowered learning.
Kidblog-A Safe Platform to Track Students Growth and Build Self-Regulation
Kidblog is a safe digital space for younger students to foster digital citizenship and build confidence in student-centered learning under the teacher’s scaffolding. It allows younger students to blog with various formats such as videos, images, and audios to reflect learning outcomes which will be posted privately only visible by teachers firstly. Students will grow their audience sharing work after get approved by the teacher with classmates, other classes, or across the world and learn from others. It is the same process as the comments with which students will foster digital citizenship and learn how to contribute and give credit to others to build a healthy digital community. The built-in portfolios as the showcase help to track self-regulation and digital citizenship growth for each student to inspire and motivate them to have a high level of self-efficiency on learning with digital tools.
For the younger students, the necessary digital skills and safe environment tools are paving the path for them to achieve learning outcomes through digital technology when they get empowered. But in the process, the teacher’s role as supervisor and facilitator are also crucial for keeping younger students on the track to be good citizens in the digital world and develop digital competencies and cognition. As educators for younger students, we need to seek age-appropriate ways to equip them. Since younger students have limited ability to handle the concept of abstracts, the teacher needs to provide more opportunities and agency to practice digital citizenship and skills in authentic and tangible ways.
Ferlazzo, L. (2016, September 24). Response: ‘Freedom to Fail’ Creates a Positive Learning Environment. Retrieved from http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/classroom_qa_with_larry_ferlazzo/2016/09/response_freedom_to_fail_creates_a_positive_learning_environment.html
Morris, K. (2018, February 23). 5 Tips For Teaching Students How To Research Online And Filter Information (Free eBook And Posters). Retrieved from http://www.kathleenamorris.com/2018/02/23/research-filter/
Poth, R. (2018, April 18). A better way to track growth and promote reflection. Retrieved from https://kidblog.org/home/a-better-way-to-track-growth-and-promote-reflection/
Fingal, D. (2017, December 14). Infographic: Citizenship in the digital age. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=192