A highly respected education advocate, Kevin Honeycutt, once asked me if any of us from our generation (GenX and before), had ever made a mistake in puberty. He then asked if our mistakes are “Googleable.”
The reality is that our mistakes from puberty are not “Googleable”. But our students’ mistakes are. “They’re on the record you see, ” Kevin continued, “so if they’re gonna do it (live online) anyway, I think it behooves us as educators to help our students shape and build a positive legacy.”
I know that personally, I am the in-between of these two generations. For that reason, I believe I am more cognizant of what I say and post online. Students now, don't know anything other than this digital age. Students also don't realize that what they post now or today can effect them in the future. Even items that have been posted that the individual deletes (on many social network cites and even up in that ol' iCloud can still be accessed even if they appear deleted on the device). Linking with this idea, I looked a bit deeper into digital etiquette to help aid my students in the future.
As previously mentioned, I feel that I have great digital etiquette and always think before I post... anything. I know this is an area that students often forget or overlook- especially when they are in the heat of the moment. My 9th grade class (next term) will be using schoology and use the feature in which they have class discussions. I plan on using this guide with them before we begin posting. It contains a few reminders and etiquette tips that will, hopefully, help us avoid any confrontations as we are discussing texts. This guide is not on my current Face of the Classroom, but it will be going up on my next Face of the Classroom/ Schoology Account.
An aspect of digital citizenship my students often forget about is digital access. Most of my students have multiple computers in their home and high speed internet access. In my debate class, one of their first mini-debates was about online communication. One of the initial resources I gave them was an article that looked at the digital divide and the percentages of students who do not have a computer at home and/ or do not have internet access at home. Particularly, the student in our district tend to forget that their high school experience is drastically different from public school students just a few miles away (Southfield, Oak Park, Detroit). This article served a good reality check for students and helped stressed the relevance of the debate topic.