As part of engaging in a conference learning experience, I began thinking about what topic I would like to explore in an online webinar. In a recent interview I completed with my Director of Technology for a Digital Readiness project I am doing in my graduate program, we discussed areas of growth our school could make in the area of digital citizenship. My school is in a transitional period, where we have a new Director of Technology, and so have been collaborating about resources to use to improve our digital citizenship instruction. After searching through the webinar database on edWeb.net, I came across a digital citizenship webinar presented by two presenters from Common Sense Media. In selecting this webinar, I also thought about the connection to Standard 7: Digital Citizen Advocate, of the ISTE Standards for Coaches. This digital citizenship webinar from Common Sense Media provides intentionally designed curriculum for educators to use to guide instruction with their students.
To begin the webinar, the two presenters from Common Sense Media, Kelly Mendoza and Eisha Buch, outlined the growing needs for intentional digital citizenship curriculum in our schools. Common Sense Media’s new digital curriculum has six focus topics that are addressed: Media Balance and Well-Being, Privacy and Security, Digital Footprint and Identity, Relationship and Communication, Cyberbullying, Digital Drama, and Hate Speech, and News and Media Literacy. In addition to developing these six focus topics, Common Sense Media designed this curriculum with digital dispositions, thinking routines, and authentic activities in mind. As an educator looking to find purposeful digital citizenship curriculum for my students, I appreciate that Common Sense Media has thought so intentionally about providing kids with opportunities to think, practice, and reflect.
One of the focus topics in this curriculum that I am excited to explore more with my students is the Media Balance and Well-Being lessons. In hearing Eisha and Kelly talk about this section, I thought about the lessons I learned from Howard Rheingold’s book Net Smart: How to Thrive Online. Rheingold (2012) discusses the importance of mindful practice when navigating online. I am pleased to see that Common Sense Media’s new digital citizenship curriculum recognizes this importance, and provides educators with resources on how to teach students healthy media choices. Eisha and Kelly also pointed out that in the K-2 curriculum, the majority of the focus is centered around this focus topic. I am excited to share the K-2 resources with my lower elementary colleagues, who are always looking for ways to connect digital citizenship to their students at an appropriate level.
What I also appreciate about the design of this curriculum is the flexibility for educators to modify and enhance the Google Slide presentation resources as they see fit. Giving teachers these resources, but also providing them the opportunity to make these changes, shows Common Sense Media’s intentionality in recognizing that teachers are all at different places in their comfort level in their digital citizenship instruction. In my 4/5 grade band our students are Google Classroom users, so I am looking forward to exploring the seamless transfer of these digital citizenship resources to my students. One of the biggest takeaways from the interview I had with my Director of Technology, was the importance of finding meaningful digital citizenship curriculum to enhance the work our teachers are doing with their students. This new Common Sense Media digital citizenship curriculum provides incredible resources for teachers to enhance that practice. I am excited to connect with my colleagues and support them in finding purposeful ways to integrate these resources into their instruction.
Buch, E., & Mendoza, K.(2019, August 22). All-New Digital Citizenship Curriculum. [Webinar]. Retrieved from https://home.edweb.net/webinar/commonsense20190822/.
Digital Citizenship Curriculum. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-citizenship/curriculum.
ISTE Standards for Coaches. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches