A few weeks ago now, I hosted the first ever #DigCitSummitEDU, and we had approximately 300 students gathered for the live event, and several more teachers and students participated in the event online. Coach D was the morning keynote speaker, and he set the stage for getting students to think about their online behaviors, and Matt Murrie, from the What if organization was there to lead the students through a design thinking exercise known as What If? What happened that day has led me to creating a series of shows all about Digital Citizenship.
Digital Citizenship Backstory
At the conclusion of the #DigCitSummitEDU event, one of the advisors said, “Well, we were really hoping for more information about cyber bullying and avoiding sexting. We just had an incident in our school recently that tells me these kids need that information.” I could go on a rant about how ridiculous that person is, but the truth is when we got the feedback forms back, there was a clear message from the adults and the students. Its interesting though because the message both groups were sending was not the same message. The adults agreed with that person who wanted more on cyber-bullying and avoiding sexting. The adults thought the design thinking challenge was chaotic and unorganized and messy. It was by design chaotic, unorganized, and messy.
On the other hand, the student feedback raved about the opportunity to talk about using social media to do good. Many said they were going to think about their behavior online and strive to use the spaces for more than sarcastic comments and pointless funny pictures. They’ll keep those things, but they may add a link to a poem they wrote in class or pictures of their science experiment. They enjoyed connecting with the people online and sharing with them how they used social media.
Conflicting feedback leads to my own What If questions
The conflicting feedback led me to do the What If design challenge a few days later. The design challenge involves the 3Ds:
Brain Dump – In this particular part of the design challenge, I put all my thoughts down on paper. It was not neat and tidy. I also layered the sticky notes with feedback from the students on this paper too.
Discuss – I discussed the day on a two or three twitter chats that week, and I called Marialice Curran and David Polgar, founders of the #digcitsummit and my partners from afar for the #DigCitSummitEDU. I discussed everything I could about digital citizenship with anyone who was willing to discuss the topic. This discussion started with What If questions.
What if people knew dig cit involved far more than cyberbullying and sexting?
What if people were less afraid considered and shared the good that can happen on social media?
What if people thought teaching digital citizenship meant teaching learners what to do online instead of what not to do?
What if I knew more about snapchat? What if people knew about closed social media spaces. What if people knew where they could go to learn more about dig cit? What if I helped people understand?
Design – All of that brain dumping and discussing has led me to designing the Digital Citizenship series for On The Vendor Floor. It actually kicked off in the previous show where Janel Maitland talked about her brand new, closed social media platform for coaches and teachers and parents called Frienedy. Definitely go check it out. I also talked about University of Kentucky’s Digital Drivers License in a previous show. If you haven’t listened to that, definitely check it out. The Digital Drivers License is a 100% FREE tool for schools and districts. Those shows were just the beginning of the this madness. I’m going to spend the next few weeks taking you on a deep dive into Digital Citizenship. It’s my passion!
Lets Do Digital Citizenship
My friend Marialice Curran has been saying, “Let’s stop talking about dig cit; lets do it.” In addition to the podcast series on digital citizenship, I’m taking Burlington High School’s Help Desk Challenge. I’m going to embrace snapchat to show you all that I don’t just talk dig cit. I’m going to make dig cit a verb in April. You can add me as a friend on snap chat. I’m simply Melissa Emler in that space too.
Coming up on the next show, I chat with Alan from Social Assurity. Together we’ll explore some courses to help bring everyone up to speed on learning about social media. Following Alan, it will be just you and me talking about the 8 pillars of digital citizenship. That will take us a couple of shows, hang with me. This is going to be a GREAT series.