Sunday, 19 October 2014

Digital Learners

Technology is everywhere. Homes, schools and out in public. I think it is very important that we teach our students how to be responsible while using technology. I feel very strongly about this as I have had my own issues with people abusing technology and it's something that no one should have to go through or put up with.

So here are three resources that can be used to help teach students about the safe and responsible use of technology :)

Resource 1 - Internet Safety

This resource covers the topics of;
1) What is the Internet and what is it used for?
2) What is Cyberbullying? What can you do about it?
3) What is Cyberharassment? What can you do about it?
4) Tips for Internet safety
5) Permanency of things posted online
6) Police involvement

I think there are some people out there who think that because things are done online, it's not as serious as it is not "real life". The thing is, technology has now become such a big part of everyday life, that things done online are in fact done in "real life". To use the excuse that "it doesn't matter because it's online" is ignorant and a pretty weak way to try and justify bad behaviour. It doesn't matter whether it's done in person or online; if it's wrong, it's wrong. No excuses. If you know you would get intro trouble for doing it offline, you can get in trouble for doing it online.

I also think that people are unaware of the fact that they can seek help from the police over cyber issues. I know for a fact that in Australia, the police can and will get involved over issues such as Cyberbullying and Cyberstalking. People may assume that the police have bigger issues to deal with, but the reality is that they are there to help us whether the issue be big or small. 

The issue of permanency is also a big one. I think this stems from a lack of understanding about what the Internet is and what it's made up of. Perhaps a good way of demonstrating this, would be to use two iPads and send a message between them. Have one person delete the message from one of the iPads and make a point about how it is still on the other iPad. Then show how the message can then be sent and uploaded to anyone.

Resource 2 - Digital Citizens

We are all digital citizens and the notion of Digital Citizenship is an issue that we come across in our classrooms when implementing online learning environments. We want our students to use technology effectively, so we must teach them how to use it effectively. 

This resource covers the topics of;
1) What is a Digital Citizen and how can you be a good Digital Citizen?
2) Don't be a Digital Pest (bad Digital Citizen)
3) Digital Footprints and how they can convey information about you

This resource would be perfect to use when setting up a class blog or Edmodo group.

Resource 3 - Cyberbullying

This is also a pretty big issue. Once again, I think people assume that because things are done online it's not as serious and they can get away with it.  

Included in this resource;
1) What is Cyberbullying? What are some examples of Cyberbullying?
2) What can you do about it?
3) Perspectives of a victim and a bully 

With this resource I wanted to get students thinking about the two perspectives; from the victim and the bully. So included in this resource are two stories. One from the victim of cyberbullying and one from a cyberbully. There are discussion questions which look at the feelings, actions and reasoning behind the actions. This also opens up a discussion about what students can do. 

By educating and making students aware of these issues, we can help prevent technology from being used in an abusive and negative way.

You can check out these resources by clicking here.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!