Teaching Responsibility in the Wild West of Cyberspace

Published: 
April 20, 2016

Source: DJLN - DigitalJLearning Network

 

Cyberbullying and digital warfare may seem far-removed, until something happens to you or your children. Seemingly innocuous jokes can quickly be perceived as threatening, and even bullying. Foolish comments, photos, or careless disclosures of personal information leave a digital footprint that may never fully fade. You may be surprised to learn that state and federal law hasn’t been quick to keep up with this digital boom. Laws regarding cyber-behavior either don’t exist or are so vague that often people may find no options in the way of legal recourse for actions that occur in the cyber domain.

This semester at my own school, Margolin Hebrew Academy, we began blazing our trail into the wild West of the Internet by implementing a Digital Citizenship curriculum developed by Common Sense Media. This excellent collection offers age-appropriate lessons, videos, games, and take-home activities all about digital ethics for children in grades K through 12. This course of study is recommended by Facing History and Ourselves and is utilized by many Jewish days schools and other independent schools around the country. The module for elementary school is called Digital Passport. Amanda White, our elementary librarian, and I have already started teaching our third through sixth graders about digital citizenship during their library time. We will continue using the curriculum with grades one through six next year in the elementary school. Additionally Upper School Principal, Rabbi Uriel Lubetski, and I will be implementing the high school module of this curriculum called Digital Compass during regularly scheduled Life Skills

Topics covered under the digital citizenship umbrella include Internet Safety, Cyberbullying/Digital Drama, Digital Footprints/Reputation, Information Literacy, and Creative Credit/Copyright. You can check out the detailed lesson topics and overviews here.

We encourage parents, as partners in the education and development of students, to speak with their children regularly about technology usage, the digital footprint they will be leaving online, and the information they will be sharing with the world.

If you wish to contact Allison for more details regarding lesson planning, usage of Common Sense online resources, lesson timing, etc., please feel free to leave comments at the end of this post.

Updated: Jun. 01, 2016
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