Tag Archives: socially responsible

#digcit chat: a defining moment


Last night was a defining moment for me as I watched an idea become a reality. Last May I began planning how to teach my first First Year Seminar at our college.  I hoped the seminar would define their college experience.  The course was called, Pleased to Tweet You: Are You a Socially Responsible Digital Citizen? I wrote a post looking to collaborate, High School Skype and Twitter Project Request.  Many people responded with interest, but only Beth Sanders made it happen.

We met later face to face at ISTE in June and really started to plan our #fys11 #icitizen project, but even as the semester began, I was not sure how we would really get to a final product.  A constructivist approach to teaching and learning plus a little help from Skype, Twitter, Schoology, Posterous, Prezi and YouTube made it all possible.  College freshmen from Connecticut collaborating with high school juniors from Alabama – what I had wanted to be a defining moment for my college freshmen became a defining moment for me.  Students separated by geography defining What does it means to be a citizen nationally, globally and digitally?  Amazing! What was the best part of being part of a collaborative project?

Last night was beyond fantastic!  @MsSandersTHS and her students co-hosted #digcit, a chat dedicated to empowering students, educators, parents and policy makers to integrate empathy into 21st century learning.  As I’ve read over the archives a few times today, I’m so proud of @MsSandersTHS students and I’m not the only one saying it:

I hope others were inspired and co-host another #digcit chat with their students. Change happens within.  We need to engage more students into this critical conversation.  Please sign up to co-host #digcit chat every Wednesday @ 7pm EST.

As the students said so eloquently last night:

A special thanks to all for supporting #digcit and @MsSandersTHS and her students!  We had 81 contributors last night!  Woo Hoo!

*Posts written during our collaborative project: Local. National. GlobalI care Jamey Rodemeyer;  What is your responsibility – legally and morally?Students as Change Agents;  A Million Reasons and More; A Teachable Moment in Line Waiting for Santa; Thirteen Reasons Why


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Drop a Pebble in the Water


My friend Barbara is planning on reading this poem at Grace Academy on Thursday in celebration of poetry month.  The poem goes hand in hand with the courses I’ve been teaching this semester.  What does it mean to be a socially responsible 21st century citizen in and out of the classroom?  Ho do we treat each other in person and online?  How do our actions today influence others in the future?  What kind of pebble did you drop in the water today?

Drop a pebble in the water:
just a splash, and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples
Circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center,
flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling
where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water:
in a minute you forget,
But there’s little waves a-flowing,
and there’s ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing
to a great big wave have grown;
You’ve disturbed a mighty river
just by dropping in a stone.

Drop an unkind word, or careless:
in a minute it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples
circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading
from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them,
once you’ve started them to flow.

Drop an unkind word, or careless:
in a minute you forget;
But there’s little waves a-flowing,
and there’s ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart
a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy
ere you dropped that unkind word.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness:
just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples
circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort
on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume
of the one kind word you gave.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness:
in a minute you forget;
But there’s gladness still a-swelling,
and there’s joy circling yet,
And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort
whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water
just by dropping one kind word.

~By James W. Foley~

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How do You Model What it Means to be a Socially Responsible Digital Citizen?


“Surviving adolescence is no small matter; neither is surviving adolescents.
It’s a hard age to be and to teach.

The worst thing that ever happened to anyone happens everyday.”
Nancy Atwell

Young adolescents rotate the same three questions day in and day out: Who am I?  How do others view me? Where do I fit in?  It’s a difficult age to be, to teach and to parent.  As a middle school teacher, I witnessed young adolescents try on different personas each day as they were desperately trying to figure out the answers to these three questions.

Times have changed since I first started teaching in early 1990’s.  The landscape now includes digital media which makes our young adolescents on patrol 24/7. They are now circulating those same three questions online using multiple platforms to figure out the answers.  It is our civic responsibility to help them learn now to navigate through social media.  If we are not integrating it into our classrooms and schools, we are certainly responsible for some of the awful things that are happening all over the Internet.  Take for example the recent story about the “Smut List” circulating on Facebook.

Am I naive?  Could things have been different if social media had been integrated into the curriculum?  Would students have stopped and questioned how this list would have hurt and humiliated others on a global level? Would they have realized that the list included names that could have been their own?  Those names are someone’s daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, neighbor and friend.

We need to constantly model what it means to be a digital citizen in the 21st century.  What digital footprint are we leaving behind by the comments, pictures and videos that we post?  Students need the opportunity to talk about this and figure it out as part of a classroom community.  Please take the time to think about your responsibility to positively influence how children and adolescents treat each other in today’s digital world.

I am committed to changing the climate of how we treat others.  I’m currently conducting research with one of my colleagues.  Our website, Gone Virtual has more information and we would welcome your involvement and participation in our research.

 

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