Sometimes, as teachers, we make assumptions that kids ethical limits are commensurate with the amount of technology they have available. In most cases, this is not close to the truth- especially at the younger grades. In my 6th grade classes, 75% of the students have a cell phone, and these phones allow them to at least text. Roughly half have a facebook, but less than a quarter have parents with their facebook password. Only 28% of them are monitored while online at home.
Not surprisingly, we’ve had some issues with ethical digital use. Our options? Lock down the computers, discipline the major players, take away the technology. The problem? None of that really works to TEACH kids how to become good digital citizens.
To that end, we’ve decided to work on a Digital Code of Conduct. Most classrooms have one for regular behavior- this one focuses on technology use. Not just in the classroom- it’s designed to address ALL of the technology kids use in their daily lives.
Here’s how we started. We took a quick survey that had kids answer three questions:
1. What does it mean to be a responsible digital citizen
2. What does it mean to be a respectful digital citizen
3. How does a good collaborator work in a digital group?
I took the responses and put them into a wordle document. This showed them the major ideas that came out of their suggestions. This one shows what they came up with for Responsibility.