Tag Archives: Life Skills

6th grade #DigitalCitizenship lesson in #LifeSkills with @DenaeMSisco:

Below are the slides Denae Sisco (@DenaeMSisco) used to introduce a quick unit on Digital Citizenship. Sometimes, I like to drop the “digital” and just call this a Citizenship unit to reinforce that we should be good citizens online and offline…

After discussing the content of the slides and answering questions as they arose, students were split into groups of three and assigned a social media site to explore: Facebook , InstagramTumblrSnapchatYouTubeWikipediaOovooGoogle+kik, ask.fm. The groups were tasked with reading their site’s Terms of Service and answering the following questions into a shared Google Spreadsheet (see below for a screenshot):

  • How old do you need to be in order to use this site/app?
  • How can you use this site in positive ways?
  • What are some concerns about this site (either your concerns or the site’s policies)?
  • Who owns the content?
  • Can you adjust the privacy settings?
  • How would you contact the site to ask questions or express concerns?
  • What are some actions that would cause profiles to be deleted or blocked?

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In 6th grade Life Skills, making digital profiles on our in-house @elgg social network

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I worked closely with Meredith Bonacci, PhD, our middle school psychologist, and the rest of the Socio-Emotional Learning liaisons, to revamp our Digital Citizenship and Online Safety unit for 6th grade Life Skills. Topics include understanding lack of online privacy, developing your digital character, reviewing Terms of Service for a variety of social networks, building an online profile, cyberbullying, and self-advocacy.

Today we talked about how to craft an online digital profile on our in-house social network, The Social Network, powered by @Elgg. (Thank you to our server manager, Cristina Martinez, for her help every year!) I reinforced that a social network is NOTHING until you freely and willingly populate it with information about who you are, who are your friends, and what do you do. To demonstrate this, we start every school year with a blank social network after archiving the previous year’s work. I reinforce that everything posted online is either public or less public, so if you want something to be private, you should never upload it.

We discussed:
Should you use an avatar or photo. What is an appropriate photo? Real photo or manga?
What to include in the bio? How do you want to represent yourself online?
What do you want people to know about you?
What type of information will you share? What should you never share?
Should you fill in every cell?
What privacy settings should you use? Who sees what?
Who should you connect with? Who has access to the information?

For further reading, I shared links to these articles:

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6th graders making PSAs about Digital Character in Life Skills

I worked with Dr. Sam Tuttle, the Middle Division’s Social and Emotional Learning Liaison, to design a lesson that corresponds with their Digital Character unit in 6th Grade Life Skills. The Life Skills curriculum encompasses Street Smarts, Hygiene Basics, Nutrition, Digital Character, and Gender-Sex Education. While the teachers and I reinforce responsible use of technology all the time, this Digital Character Unit specifically offers an overview of internet safety and cyber-bullying and what to do to prevent (and respond to) a situation.

During the lessons, students watched and discussed a series of videos from Common Sense Media, NetSmartz, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Additionally, they examined the OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program:

Think Before You Post 1 reinforces that everything you post online is public and permanent.

Think Before You Post 2 reinforces that everything you post is public and traceable.

Tracking Teresa reinforces that everything you post is traceable.

Stacy’s Story highlights one girl’s experience being cyber-bullied.

After, we asked students to make their own PSAs (Public Service Announcements). These were the parameters for the project:

  • Create your video PSA using Photo Booth.
  • Drag your movie to your desktop and rename it KarenPSA (use your own name and no spaces).
  • Upload your video to our in-house video server using these tags: PSA, 2012-2013, class_2019, Life Skills, Digital Character
  • Include your name and a link to your PSA on the shared Google Doc embedded on the Life Skills site.

We offered students possible PSA Topics:
1. What are the three most important things a 5th Grader should know about Digital Character Development?
2. What do parents need to know about Digital Character Development?
3. What was something that surprised you about this topic?
4. What steps should you take to better craft your digital character?
5. What advice would you give to a friend if you knew they were taking unsafe risks online?
6. What could you do if you find yourself witnessing a cyberbullying incident as a bystander?

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