Implementing SeeSaw — one of the apps I am exploring for my major project — in my classroom has allowed both myself and my students to examine and understand many of Ribble’s 9 elements of digital citizenship. Now for a cheesy Valentine’s pun: they seem to go hand in hand.
After spending some time viewing my classmates content catalyst screencasts and reading some of the course material I started to think about how my major project relates to the elements of digital citizenship. In class last week we discussed Mike Ribble’s 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship that are briefly outlined here and described in more detail in this excerpt from his book “Digital Citizenship in Schools” (2007). Ribble separates these nine elements into three categories of respect, educate and protect (aka REP). In this article, Ribble explains that “respect, educate and protect are key principles in both the digital and real world. Recognizing similarities and differences helps us better understand the world on both sides of the device”. As the binary of online and offline self become increasingly fluid, Ribble’s elements of digital citizenship are becoming part of citizenship education (do we really need to call it “digital” citizenship?).
After all, citizenship is described in the Oxford dictionary as “the qualities that a person is expected to have as a responsible member of a community”. As members of the digital community, members are expected to be aware of and act on Ribble’s 9 elements of digital citizenship. After reading Alec and Katia’s post on (Digital) Identity in a World That Never Forgets, it is increasingly clear of the importance of digital citizenship education.
In fact, Edmonton Public Schools has a rubric to assist students on their digital citizenship journey. You can also find a digital citizenship continuum throughout K-12 in the Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools document as well as a significant amount of information and tools about Ribble’s 9 elements of digital citizenship.
I recently posted an update of my major project here. You can check it out to see how things are coming along so far! To recap, my project is a personal journey into media, described here. In particular, I think my major project focuses specifically on three of Ribble’s elements: digital communication, digital literacy and digital etiquette.
At the start up of this year I signed up for Remind as a tool to communicate with parents. While this is a useful tool, I really haven’t used it to it’s full potential and I wanted to try SeeSaw after hearing about it from other teachers in our school division. I foresee myself replacing Remind with SeeSaw in the coming fall. Many of my parents are used to Remind and it might be a little tricky convincing them to switch over to a new app. But we will see what happens!
Having only used SeeSaw for a few weeks, I am already feeling like a like it more as a tool for communication for the student-parent-school connection as students create online digital portfolios to showcase what they are learning at school.
(One hurdle still to jump over is making sure media release forms are signed! After all, digital safety & security is VERY important!)
Further, using SeeSaw I am seeing students understanding of digital literacy expand as they use the various tools available on the app (drawing, typing, audio, video, photos, etc.) to demonstrate their learning. As students develop their digital portfolio, I am eager to open this up to parents in the coming weeks and examine how the connection (digital communication) becomes even stronger with parents having the ability to see, respond and comment on their child’s work at school. Digital access will certainly be something I watch out for as not all students/parents have access to devices at home so I am interested to see how the app will be interacted with outside the classroom. I will keep you updated!
As for digital etiquette, students are having to use the devices in our room in a equitable way and are seeing them more as a tool for demonstrating learning rather than a tool to simply practice (as they typically use it to practice reading on RAZ Kids or math practice on Mathletics). With this new use of our classroom devices, I have been using digital citizenship lessons from Common Sense Media and Google’s Be Internet Awesome curriculum to teach about digital citizenship. These resources allow us to explore almost all of Ribble’s elements as they relate to our use of SeeSaw and personal device use outside of the classroom. The students are learning about empathy (Digital Health & Wellness could be included here!) and digital etiquette as they learn how to comment, view and interact with the work of their fellow digital classmates. We have this poster hanging in our classroom with sentence starters on how to make positive and engaging comments:
The journey continues for my crew of learners and our interaction with SeeSaw. That is all for now, but please stay tuned as we continue to dig deeper into our digital citizenship education.
While I only mentioned three major elements of Ribble’s digital citizenship model in relation to my major project, I made reference to many others. There is some serious (and I’m sure, intentional) overlap in what Ribble is proposing. It is easy for me to see how my work with SeeSaw can fit into nearly all of Ribble’s 9 elements. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought it fitting to title the post in the way I did. They fit together perfectly!