Tag Archives: #digcit

Charlie Brown on Digital Citizenship


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Poor Charlie Brown doesn’t get the respect he deserves. Generations have coined him as just a blockhead, but to me, he has always been so much more than just the underdog. Charlie Brown is my hero.

I would pick Charlie Brown as my 12th player a million times over any MVP.  He is the student I’d want in my classroom and the friend I’d want by my side every day of the week. Why? He is kind all the time, he’s principled and doesn’t just follow the crowd, he’s a problem solver and regardless of how many times he might come up short, he never, ever gives up.

Which begs the question: How would Charlie Brown be in the 21st century? What would happen if Charlie Brown had a device and was on social media? Charlie Brown would be exactly the same online as he is offline.

Charlie Brown is the model digital citizen.

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Here’s the ultimate Charlie Brown lessons on digital citizenship:

Choose kind, every time. Regardless if Charlie Brown is on the baseball field, at school or directing a play, he is kind to everyone he meets. If Charlie Brown was online he would be part of the solution and not part of the problem. If he saw something mean or humiliating, he would not retweet or repost it. Just like Charlie Brown fills other people’s buckets with kindness, he’d fill their cyber buckets too.

Focus on your character. What you do when you think others are watching you is all about your reputation. What you do when you think nobody’s watching you is all about your character. Just like Charlie Brown, don’t just follow the crowd. Focus on your character. Don’t just do something because everyone is doing it. Instead, be more like Charlie Brown. Be loyal and consistent and regardless if you are on an anonymous site or you think your SnapChat will disappear, be socially responsible all the time.  

Solve problems, create solutions. In 2016, Charlie Brown would be a MakerEd maker, a TEDxYouth speaker, and a Genius Hour genius. He’d make guest appearances on a KidPresident video because just like solving problems offline, he’d be busy connecting and collaborating with a global network to make the world better.

Committed to changing his own community for the better, Charlie Brown not only reminds us all the about the true meaning of Christmas, he reminds us all what it means to be part of the human race.

Charlie Brown with digital access would change global communities using a variety of social media tools and if I were Charlie Brown’s teacher, I’d use #BeMoreLikeCharlieBrown as our class hashtag (or maybe I’d shorten it to #BMLCB).

Never, ever give up. This is Charlie Brown’s mantra. Although Lucy always moves the football the second he is about to kick it, Charlie Brown never gives up hope that he’ll get to kick the football. Every single time, he backs up and charges the football with such focus and clarity. Every time he approaches that football he believes that this is the time he’ll kick it.

Charlie Brown would most definitely apply this approach to being online and he would work on that blog post or that coding assignment until he had it just right. Just like students who understand the power of social media, Charlie Brown would constantly work on his online identity. He’d build up his digital portfolio and would stand out from his peers because he understands the importance of transparency and the need to humanize the person next to you, as well as across the screen.

So, the next time someone says, “Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest,” know that you just received the highest digital citizenship stamp of approval you could ever possibly receive.

Now go out there and be more like Charlie Brown.

What’s your digital constitution?


What’s your digital constitution?

One of my graduate students created this digital constitution with her sixth grade class last semester and as I write this post, I hope more teachers and classrooms will be encouraged to do the same.

I’ve become more aware that teachers are unsure how to teach digital citizenship. Teaching a lesson or a unit is not the answer.  We need to model and engage our students in this critical conversation on a daily basis and I can’t think of a better way than to create a digital constitution for your classroom, school and community!

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Great reminder: We are the world!


After yesterday’s s shooting in Ohio, I was immediately brought back to my early years of teaching in the 90’s when we spent more mornings with a moment of silence for a school shooting than I care to remember.  By 1999 and the massacre at Columbine High School, fear permeated through our schools, our hallways and our classrooms.  Fast forward to 2012 and I find myself professionally grounded in all things surrounded and related to digital citizenship.

Last night I kept waking up and I found myself singing We Are The World.  I began writing this post in my head.  Why does the color of our skin, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual identity and gender define us?  We all feel love, pain and loss no matter where we live, the language we speak or our family dynamics.  In our humanity we can find more things that make us the same than different.  Why don’t we recognize and celebrate this more?

Today I read this quote by Jodee Blanco and it says it all, “Bullying is about kids needing compassion and my perspective is the bully and the victim are the flipside of the same coin. They both need compassion.  Bullying isn’t just the mean things you do, it’s all the nice things you never do.”  The lyrics that played in my head all night support this:

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And its time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of Gods great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
Its true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

What are you going to do today to celebrate our humanity, model and teach empathy and make a difference to all the students that are in your classroom and your school?  Our world need us to make this a priority!

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What I’ve learned from blogging this year…


A year ago today, I launched the Dyslexic Professor with some apprehension and today I want to take some time to share what I’ve learned this year.  Here are a few of my favorite posts: I Carry Your HeartLearning From our Mistakes: The Art of an ApologyWriting My WrongsThe Utter Joy of CuriosityAround the Rotary: The Roundabout of LearningA Letter to My Son on Father’s Day and Total Trust.

My “coming out” to the online community permanently as the dyslexic professor has been an empowering experience.  My first post on February 23, 2011, Modeling Being a Risk Taker EDUC 536 stated:

Ok, here I go walking the walk and talking the talk and trying something new.  A little nervous, a little anxious, but excited to take the risk!  It’ s Wednesday morning and I’m creating my first WordPress blog before class tonight.  It’s a new format and I’m used to navigating through my Weebly and Ning accounts.  Plus, I’m very aware that my words and feelings are now public and I find myself typing, deleting and retyping to make sure I’m as accurate as possible.  We’ve been safe in our own PLN in our class Ning, but now our boundaries are expanding.  Are you ready to jump in with me?  In class tonight, let’s take time to try something new.  Get comfortable with the uncomfortable and embrace being a change agent!

A lot of wonderful things happened to me once I started blogging.

  1. First, I learned the difference between a RT, MT and #FF as I began to develop my PLN through Twitter.  In a year, I’ve sent a little  over 7,500 tweets and made some amazing connections with teacher educators all over the world.  Here are a few of my Twitter posts: A Little Like Casablanca; What Took Me So Long?I Applaud You and Thank You PLN for Changing Teacher Preparation.
  2. I was fortunate to have Nick Howley (@nhowley) as a graduate student in my Educational Psychology course last spring semester.  His research on LGBT teens, The Social Education of LGBT Teens has greatly influenced me as a parent and as a teacher educator.  Many of my posts this year have focused on changing how we treat others both face to face and online.  Here are a few of my favorite posts on this topic: Dinosaurs of Tiaras: Facing Intolerances; I Care Jamey Rodemeyer and A Million Reasons and More.
  3. I attended my first EdCamp in Boston, went to ISTE for the first time and helped plan the first EdCampCT.  These experiences have inspired me to submit a proposal to ISTE (I’m presenting in June) and host an unconference on our campus this May, Dialogue 21.
  4. With my colleague, Tracy Mercier (@vr2ltch) we launched a weekly #digcit chat on Twitter.  There were times in the beginning that I was unsure if the chat would catch on, but am so pleased that there are so many dedicated educators committed to modeling and teaching digital citizenship in their classrooms.
  5. I taught my first First Year Seminar, Pleased to Tweet You: Are You a Socially Responsible Digital Citizen? This authentic learning experience was a defining moment for me as a learner and teacher educator.  In May, I blogged hoping to collaborate with high school students: High School Skype and Twitter Project Request and this post was my first introduction to Beth Sanders (@MsSandersTHS).  We met at ISTE a month later and our collaborative iCitizen project became a reality, What Does it Mean to be a Citizen: Nationally, Globally, Digitally?  As a result @MsSandersTHS and her students hosted #digcit chat, #digcit Chat: A Defining Moment and also inspired planning the iCitizenship Town Hall Meeting  which focused on creating positive school climate and engaging others in a conversation  about what it means to be a socially responsible iCitizen in the 21st century: #iCit21: iCitizenship Town Hall Meeting on 2/9.

And all of this was captured on my blog!  The more I wrote, the more I learned. Connections were made through Twitter and I was able to provide virtual mentors to my preservice teachers.  As a result of blogging, I’ve become a better learner and writer.  I’ve become more reflective and as a result my teaching has changed.  As I write this reflective anniversary post, I marvel at all the things I’ve learned, unlearned and relearned in just three hundred and sixty-five days.  I continue to be inspired by my family, my students, my colleagues and my PLN.

*An extra special thanks and #youmatter to Lisa Sandstrom @scram_socrates @ThomasRiddle_II @JoAnnJacobs68 @ncarroll24 @yourkidsteacher @francesblo @MrMusselman @Grade1 @tsocko @engaginged @hmfryan7 @vivimat78 @K_Rose201  for your constant support and encouragement this year!  You have been invaluable to my own professional development and for this I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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A million reasons and more


Turning the corner on the final week of the semester and a graduate student sends me this tweet:

I was shattered after watching Jonah Mawry describe Whats going on...

This is exactly why I wanted to teach Pleased to Tweet You: Are You a Socially Responsible Digital Citizen? as a First Year Seminar this year.  I’ve blogged and tweeted about it all semester using the #digcit, #fys11 and #icitizen hash tags.  My freshmen have engaged elementary, middle and high school students in conversation about what it means to be socially responsible in the 21st century both on and off line.  We have focused on empathy and asked K-12 students to join us on our crusade to be the generation that views and treats all human beings as equals.  Our final multimedia projects will be shared and posted on Twitter this Thursday.

To Jonah Mawry – thank you for sharing your story with us!  Your courage has provided me a million reasons and more to continue to engage others in this conversation!

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A teachable moment in line waiting to see Santa


Yesterday, we were waiting in line to see Santa.  A girl behind us, maybe six or seven years old said to her dad, “I don’t want to see Santa.”  When her dad asked why she responded, “Santa was mean to Rudolph.”  As we waited, her comment lingered and began to weigh heavy on me.  Was Santa mean to Rudolph?  I quickly retold the story to myself in my mind.

Here is what I can remember, Rudolph was different and his father was embarrassed and tried to make him look and act like the other reindeer.  His friends made fun of him, called him names and wouldn’t let him play.  The reindeer teacher, Coach Comet sent Rudolph home because he was different and poor Rudolph left home in a storm because he felt as if he didn’t belong.  On his journey, he met Hermey the Elf and Yokon Cornelius and they end up at the Island of Misfit Toys.  Oh no, I thought to myself, this is too familiar.  I’ve been talking about this all semester with my students.

But, was Santa mean to Rudolph?  What was his role in the story?  Had he been a bystander and allowed this to happen?  After much thought and deliberation, I finally decided that Santa was not mean-spirited towards Rudolph.  How could he be?  He’s just a jolly old soul!  He probably could have done more in the beginning and perhaps he could have engaged the young reindeer and the teacher into a conversation on what it means to be socially responsible, but Santa was not intentionally mean to Rudolph.  I’m just glad that the rest of the reindeer figured out how wrong they were about Rudolph and I thank that young girl in line waiting to meet Santa yesterday for providing me a time to reflect on this teachable moment.

As one of my college freshmen said it best last week, “If you’re not the solution; you are part of the problem.”  Here’s to engaging more people into the conversation so no one feels like Rudolph, Hermey, Yokon, Bumble or the other toys on the Island of Misfit Toys.  As we embrace the spirit of the season, make sure we take the time to be part of the solution!

 

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