Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Students and their Digital Footprints

As my own district considers cutting school librarians to half time at the middle schools, I find myself thinking of ways to make sure the school board, parents and community knows what a great, fully staffed library and information technology program can do. One of the best ways is to let them know what we teacher-librarians are doing to ensure the students are prepared for the digital world they live and work in. In my quest for balance, a number of my posts will of course be about the job I love.

Last Friday I spent the day in 7th grade math classes teaching about digital footprints after their teacher began using Twitter as a tool for sharing lessons, resources and engaging students in social media correspondence. Perfect time for me to point out the benefits and consequences of their online behavior. I went to Common Sense Media for ideas and videos  and we used Wall Wisher for a brainstorming activity about the good and bad about social media. Twice I was thrilled by the kids' level of engagement (wheels were visibly turning): when I asked them if they ask permission to post friends' pictures online and then when we discussed whether or not parents have the right to read their son's blog even though he didn't tell them about it and used a fake name. They were digging it! On Monday their math teacher had them write (Yes! Writing in math class!) about any changes they made or think they will make to their digital footprint as a result of their lesson on Friday. One of my favorite lessons, and relevant and current...even in math class.

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