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!
You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything…affects everything.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
When you post an embarrassing photograph or video of someone else or you forward an inappropriate email or you continue adding to the rumor, think twice. As one of my undergraduates said it best last semester, “If you’re not part of the solution; you are part of the problem.”
Props to Jay Asher for writing such a powerful story about the consequences of our actions in Thirteen Reasons Why. It is required reading for one of my undergraduate technology courses next semester and I strongly suggest that you add it to your must-read list too.
What are your you engage, model and teach empathy and perspective early and often in our classrooms?