I am excited to be teaching Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship curriculum to all of our students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Our plan is to teach two lessons to each grade level in September, January, and April. Common Sense Education is working to update all of their digital citizenship lessons, and so far has released new lessons for grades 3-5. We will be piloting a couple of the new 8th grade lessons during October, and the new 6th-8th lessons are scheduled to be released in January. The new K-2nd lessons are planned for release at the end of the summer, so they will be available to use for next school year.
Here are some of the things the students have learned about so far this year in each grade level:
Three rules for staying safe online:
1. Ask your parents first
2. Only talk to people you know
3. Stick to websites that are just right for you
Website Traffic Light:
Green websites: GOOD! Just right for you– appropriate and fitting
Yellow websites: CAUTION— be careful– ask an adult for help
Red websites: STOP! Do not stay on this site! Close the site and tell an adult about it.
1. Include at least 8 letters, numbers, and symbols in your password.
2. Do not include private identity information in your password, like your name, address, or phone number.
3. Only share passwords with parents or guardians, not with friends.
The Rings of Responsibility
What responsibilities do you have to yourself?
What responsibilities do you have to your community?
Do not share private information: Information about you that can be used to identify you because it’s unique to you (e.g., your full name or your address)
You can carefully share personal information: information about you that cannot be used to identify you because it is also true for many other people (e.g., your hair color or the city you live in)
Three questions to ask to make healthy media choices:
1. What? What are the media you’re consuming (or creating)? What platforms are you using to consume the media (i.e., a streaming platform like Netflix)? What device(s) are you using to consume (or create) the media?
2. When? When are you consuming (or creating) the media? What time of day? What day of the week? What else is happening at this time (i.e., is it during dinnertime, right before bed, etc.)?
3. How much? How much media are you consuming? How long are you spending with the media at one time?How often are you consuming the media?
Students were asked to consider the following items:
Types of digital media you use; Actions you take with digital media; Your feelings about digital media; Adults’ (parents/teachers) feelings about digital media
Are digital media a small, medium, or big part of your life? What kind of impact does digital media have on you (a little, some, a lot)? What are your favorite and least favorite things to do with digital media? Do you connect with others or create things with digital media?
They were then asked to write a simile about their media life by completing this statement: My media life is like __________ because __________.
Here are some examples of similes written by the 6th graders:
My media life is like a field trip because I explore new things.
My media life is like the ocean because you can easily get lost in it.
My media life is like Christmas Day because I find a ton of new things every day.
My media life is like a balloon because it can be fun, but you have to be careful with it.
My media life is like a miner ‘49er finding gold in the Gold Rush because it happens, but not a lot.
My media life is like going to Target because when you think you need a basket, you really need three carts.
My media life is like double-stuff Oreos because you say you’ll only eat one, but then you keep eating and eating.
My media life is like space because it never ends.
Students were asked to keep these questions in mind as they worked with a partner to examine some scenarios with online interactions to see if they were safe, possibly unsafe, or definitely unsafe situations:
Has this person asked me to keep any information secret?
Has this person flirted with me, or asked me anything inappropriate?
Has this person asked me about anything private?
Have I felt pressured by this person to do anything?
Do I feel untrue to myself– like I’m not sticking to my values– when I talk to this person?
Students were encouraged to listen to their gut, and not continue in any conversation that made them uncomfortable for any reason. They were given this advice when faced with something that doesn’t seem right:
Change it up: Try changing the subject, making a joke or saying you want to talk about something else. If that doesn’t work, take further action.
Log off or quit: It’s okay to stop playing or chatting anytime you start to feel uncomfortable. You can also block a person who is bothering you.
Accept your feelings: It’s normal and okay to be embarrassed or confused when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.
Talk to someone: Tell someone a trusted adult –parent, teacher, coach — or a friend. You won’t get in trouble.
Students worked in groups to examine two people’s online profiles in order to determine who would be the best host for a new TV show. In trying to figure out who to hire, based on which person was honest and worked well with others, the students discovered that each candidate had some concerning information in their profiles, and ultimately decided that neither candidate should be hired based on their online profiles.
Each mod of students went on to have great discussions about how their digital footprint gets formed by both what they post and what gets posted about them, and why it’s important to have a positive digital footprint and to be sure to contribute positively to others’ footprints.
Permission slips for students in grades 5-8 who are interested in joining Coding Club were given out this week. Please return them by Wed., Aug. 29. The permission can be found at http://bit.ly/2MI8I6D if you need a copy. All 5th-8th grade students are welcome to join us for Coding Club on Monday afternoons from 3:30-4:40–no previous experience necessary! The first meeting will be after Labor Day.
One of our eighth graders who is a founding member of the SPSL Coding Club has requested that we get t-shirts this year. That sounds like a great idea. We’ll get working on them, and send information home when a design is ready.
I am so excited to start the school year! This year we will be implementing Common Sense Media‘s Digital Citizenship curriculum for all of our kindergarten through eighth grade students. Another fun change for our youngest students is that they will now have Google accounts for creating different kinds of projects. Stay tuned for more information about the digital citizenship lessons and new Google activities.
Hello. I am Terri Preston, and this is my 26th year at St. Pius X / St. Leo School. I love teaching in the computer lab because I get to know all of our PreK-8th grade students, and it is such a joy to see them grow in their abilities throughout their time at SPSL. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, and a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Educational Technology. I became a Level 1 Google Certified Educator in October of 2016, and a Level 2 Google Certified Educator in July of 2017. I am currently working toward a Master of Science in Educational Leadership at Creighton University.