The last update on my major project had my students following a “3 C’s and a Q” model for commenting on their classmates’ posts on Seesaw. They were really excited to explore what their peers had posted and to compliment, comment, connect, and question them on their thinking. This past week, students then returned to their own Seesaw journals to view the comments on their profiles and to respond back; to thank them for their words and to answer their questions. A couple of examples of their work can be seen below.
Something that I wasn’t expecting to happen, was to have parents engage in dialogue with their children and their work. I’ve had a few parents write comments on their children’s posts, and now, after having the students explore these comments, we’ve started a conversation. What a great way to provide additional opportunities for students to share their knowledge and for parents to engage with their learning.
In addition to exploring commenting on Seesaw and practicing digital etiquette, we have also been discussing aspects of digital literacy and digital citizenship. We explored what a digital footprint was, how it is created, and how it doesn’t wash away with ocean waves or melting snow. I showed my class the Common Sense Media video “Your Digital Footprint” found on YouTube .
After viewing this video, we discussed how the things that we put online don’t disappear, the things we search on google are tracked, and videos that we watch on YouTube are catalogued so similar videos can be recommended for us. I demonstrated these concepts by googling my name and explaining what came up, showing my google search history, and the recommended videos that come up when logging into YouTube. My class was quick to notice that the YouTube videos that came up were Arthur cartoons and Religion videos like the ones we had previously watched in class. They were able to connect this to Netflix and the shows that it recommends for you based on what you have already watched.
We discussed why it is important to think about the places you go on the internet, who you interact with on the internet, and what you put on the internet. We watched a video to remind us of some internet safety tips, and talked about our online habits.
I was surprised by how many different ways that my Grade 2/3 students used the internet, and how many of them interact with others online. They use YouTube, Musical.ly, MineCraft, Roblox, and even Facebook. Many of them said they need to have their parents’ permission to use the computer, aren’t allowed to put pictures or videos online, and that even though they are on sites where you can interact with others, they aren’t allowed to talk with other people. Some of them however, are posting videos and talking to strangers. A few have even had negative interactions with others. This just reinforced in me the importance of teaching digital literacy and digital etiquette skills to students regardless of their age. In fact, the earlier we can teach them these skills, the better. Then, when they are faced with issues online, they will have the tools that they need to understand what is happening and deal with it appropriately.
I taught them the ‘STOP’ approach from the Common Sense Media video “Power of Words” and we discussed what you should do if someone is talking with you online and saying things that are inappropriate or make you feel uncomfortable.
I was really impressed with the level of engagement that my students had with our conversation and with the questions that they asked. They wanted to know if the ways they were using the internet were safe and if their responses to their interactions with others were appropriate. They were looking for validation of their choices and their habits. They were being very responsible and looking to ensure they were acting as positive digital citizens. Hopefully these qualities will stay with them as they grow, and help to shape their digital habits as they explore the digital world in greater detail and with greater freedom.