Tuesday, March 10, 2015

First Grade Digital Citizens

Social media is a part of our world. Like everything online, we need to "take the bad with the good." This was the discussion I had with FIRST GRADERS today. I say this with hope that the future of the Internet will be a friendlier place. I say this with the hope that they will understand that their online choices WILL effect their future. Teaching students how to speak online and the concept of a "digital footprint" is essential...even with first graders.


I started with a discussion about my own digital footprint. I showed them my Twitter feed. I showed them the types of things I post. I showed them how other teachers help me because they post good ideas and ways to become a better teacher/tech-nerd. I'm not saying that my digital footprint has always been squeaky clean as we have all made at least a few mistakes here and there. As a technology integration specialist, I have to maintain a digital footprint that represents the good aspects of social media. I'm reminded of this each day as I work with students.

To give them practice, we used TodaysMeet because they do not need an account to participate. Students under 13 cannot participate in most social media realms. Providing them with safe avenues, like todaysmeet.com and kidblog.org, will give experience with sharing and collaborating online.

To get students going, I used the QR code feature in the "room tools". It is a great way to quickly get students on the site without having to worry about pushing a link or typing in a web address. That and the kids love to scan QR codes.

A great way to try out TodaysMeet is to treat it as a discussion point. Pose a question and have the students respond. To set the tone, I asked a couple questions in regards to their character.
  1. What makes a good friend?
  2. What is responsibility? (Character pillar of the month.)
Elementary teachers could use this discussion board as their anchor chart the next time they want to address the same topic. 

Feel free to check out the conversation that took place. I thought these first graders did a fantastic job of sharing their thinking online for their first time on TodaysMeet.