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!
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!
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 Heart; Learning From our Mistakes: The Art of an Apology; Writing My Wrongs; The Utter Joy of Curiosity; Around the Rotary: The Roundabout of Learning; A 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!