‘Twas The End of The Semester…

thank you

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Wow!  Where did this semester go??  This moment is bitter sweet as I am looking forward to a short little break to recharge my brain, but sad that this class is now finished.  I have learned so much once again from Alec and Katia!  I want to thank both of them as am so grateful for all the learning experiences they provided for myself and my classmates.  My brain has once again been filled with so much knowledge from the readings and viewings they have shared.  I also want to thank my #eci832 classmates as I have learned a great wealth of knowledge from reading your blog posts on the blog hub and the resources everyone shared each week.  As I began to create my Summary of Learning I realized just how much we accomplished and learned in just a couple of months!

For my Summary of Learning project I went on quite the little journey at first…My initial idea was to use Prezi again for my assignment as I enjoyed learning and using that tool last year when I created my EC&I831 Summary of Learning. I was at first leaning towards using that tool because I already had an understanding of what I needed to do and I also know that I would not have as much of time since I have been busy with my Major Digital Project, coaching curling, and directing drama.  But, I like a challenge so I decided to try first Video Scribe.  I really liked this tool and I can see myself using it in the future; however, since I was very new to using it I was getting worried about the time.  I have been really excited about Christmas this year so  decided to use it as inspiration!  I created my own version of the book A Visit from St. Nicholas or better known as ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.  I created ‘Twas The End of The Semester!  It was a lot of fun to use the rhyme and rhythm of many of the lines from the story.  Recreating this story forced me not to babble on and on as I am known to be very long winded.  I chose to do a hard copy instead of creating the book online so I could explore using different mediums.  (I am hoping in the future to do a project using video scribe.)  In the New Year I am going to have my students create their own story to showcase their learning so I thought this would be a good model for them.  Today I read ‘Twas The End of The Semester to my grade two students and they were very excited to see work that I created for class.  My grade two students think it is pretty cool that their teacher is going to school. To stick with the Christmas theme I also recreated a song using the music from Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer!  For the music I used music from a karaoke version so I did not have to sing by myself as that would have been scary.  Then I used Screencast so I could tie my pictures and lyrics together to create the video.  I had a lot of fun putting this assignment together minus a few technical sound glitches that I ran into along the way.  I also can not believe that this is my 50th post that I have created on my Word Press blog! 🙂

Here Are My Summary of Learning Project Credits:

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer karaoke – modern Christmas karaoke videos   Music Credit: Parenting Extra

A Visit from St. Nicholas (`Twas the Night Before Christmas) Story Credit: Clement Clark Moore

Light Bulb Picture Photo Credit: Kapitall Screenshots via Compfight cc

Sand foot print Photo Credit: Marisjuh via Compfight cc

Lady Wearing Sun Glasses Photo Credit: Pia_C via Compfight cc

Dog Wearing Glasses Photo Credit: NatiLady via Compfight cc ;

Three Students Photo Credit: YWAM Orlando via Compfight cc

Online Games  Photo Credit: vickyjohn via Compfight cc

Numeral 9 Photo Credit: chrisinplymouth via Compfight cc

Thought Bubble  Photo Credit: polphin764 via Compfight cc

Important Picture Photo Credit: Enokson via Compfight cc

Class on Computers Photo Credit: Stanley High School Online via Compfight cc

Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship Photo Credit: Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools

I am a digital citizen Photo Credit: Venspired

Ready to Learn Photo Credit: Memegenerator

21st Century Photo Credit: Frau Susi

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of my story and song!

Thanks for another great semester everyone!  I look forward to continuing to learn and connect with everyone online!

Feliz Navead




Photo Credit: Elgrunch via Compfight cc



Wishing you a merry christmas



 Photo Credit: Asif A. Ali via Compfight cc



One Last Thought:

*Late last night I realized that my `Twas The End of the Semester video was not full screen when you view it on YouTube.  When I watched it back on my iPad before I posted onto YouTube it was full screen, but I did not realize that it would not be when I posted it.  Since I am a perfectionist I created another video so my story would appear full screen on YouTube.  Here it is!


It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year…I’m Done My Major Project!

 “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” -Lau Tzu

Jump For Joy

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 I am so excited to announce that I have completed my EC&I832 Major Digital Project!  I am so happy with how my project came together and what I was able to accomplish in just one semester.  I decided to create a screencast for my final post about my project and to take everyone on a tour of my personal blog and my classroom blog to highlight some key posts.  In the screencast I will also explain my project and discuss the integrated unit plans that I created for my grade two classroom.

Throughout this project I have referred back to the Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Scope and Sequence and all the lesson plans numerous times.  This website has been a huge resource for me as I have been teaching digital citizenship in my classroom as it filled with great resources.  I have accounts for many great educational websites and I was very excited that I did not have to pay to access all of the lesson plans and resources that Common Sense Media have on their website.  Educators just need to make sure they register for the website so they can access to all of the documents and downloads offered on the website!  By registering it also allows Common Sense to show the groups that fund their website how many educators have been accessing the resources and lessons. Near the end of November I also completed the Elementary School Curriculum Training that took one hour.  The video walks you through the resources and a few of the lessons.  It has training for middle years and for high school as well.   I wish I would have completed the training earlier in the semester, but it was good to listen to what they had to say.  During this semester I have also been referring to the  Digital Citizenship Education in Schools and the Government of Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve documents constantly!

Often people know the importance of teaching students about safety when teaching  digital citizenship in the classroom, but there are so many other areas that students need to know.  Students need to be taught lessons that cover all Ribble’s Nine Elements to support students learning digital citizenship.  I think the Common Sense does a good job covering most of the elements, but it does not touch on the eighth element- Digital Health and Wellness.  As an educator I would make sure I teach my students about this element while students are taking part in lessons that have students use technology.  For example, I have had my students complete body breaks and discuss the importance of take a break and moving our bodies around and stretching.  I have also talked to my students about keeping their eyes healthy and that their eyes need a break from looking at screens too.  I would spend a bit more time on teaching Digital Law and Digital Rights and Responsibilities.   There were not as many lessons in the Common Sense units that connect to those elements.  I know I will be able to connect those elements to social studies outcomes when my students learn and explore  explore rights and responsibilities and decision making in the new year! 

Here are the three integrate units that I created using Common Sense Media lesson scope and sequence: 

EC&I832 Major Project Unit One

EC&I832 Major Project Unit Two

EC&I832 Major Project Unit Three


I am looking forward to continuing my journey and educating my students on how to be good citizens!

In the new year I am excited to teach my students all the lessons from unit two and three so we can continue to have good discussions about digital citizenship.  My students have learned so many skills from blogging over the last three months and often my class tells me their favourite part of the week is when we blog.  My students amaze me every day and I know I will continue to see tremendous growth in the second half of our school year.  Please continue to explore our classroom blog!!  Last week I started talking to Ms. Ryan a grade three teacher from northern California! In the new year our classrooms our going to begin to explore each other’s classroom blogs and respond back to each other’s blog posts!  I know it will be a fabulous learning experience for my students as they will get to ask questions to students who live in a different country.  Thanks Jeannine for introducing me to  Student-to-students Blog Connect #S2SBC on Twitter!  It is a tool that allows teachers to connect and find other teachers to allow for students to have peer audiences comment on their blogs.  All you have to do is fill in this form that allows for teachers to contact you and you are also able to can see the list of classrooms so you can contact teachers as well!

I would appreciate any kind of feedback because even though my project it complete I believe lessons are always a work in progress.  There is always room for growth and I love learning about new resources I can use to help me become a better teacher for my students.  I hope my unit plans are helpful and that educators can adapt my lessons to fit their grade levels.  If any one wants a copy of the template that I used to create my lessons please leave me a comment on my blog or send me a message on Twitter @JNSteph87.  Also check out my EC&I832 classmate’s projects!  Everyone has done a great job so make sure you take the time to read their blog posts reflecting on their learning, discussing their projectd, and explore the resources that they have created!

journey quote picture

  Photo Credit: Justine Stephanson-Kyle

(I painted this picture when I was in the Early Learning Summer Institute and I just added in the quote using a photo app.)

Unit One….Complete!

“Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss you miss, you’ll land in the stars.”  Les Brown


Photo Credit: princer7 via Compfight cc

These last two weeks my class has been busy learning more about digital citizenship through completing more lessons created by Common Sense Media.  My class have worked on the two remaining lessons from unit one.  The first lesson we completed was called Keep It Private.  The big ideas and concepts for the students to learn about were privacy, safety, knowing what personal information is, and how to create a username.  The essential question for the lesson was, “What kinds of information should I keep to myself when I use the Internet?”  As a class we  had a conversation and we brainstormed ideas about personal information and what they thought personal information was.  Later on we discussed why it was important not to share our personal information with people we do not know when we are talking to someone online and in person.

I also showed my students two videos that talks about Internet safety and personal information.  For the second video called “What is Personal Information?” I found a Kindergarten to Grade Three version and a Grade Four to Grade Six version.

Here are the videos that my students watched:

*Internet Safety for Kids K-3 Video- This video talks about the Internet safety and about keeping personal information private.

*NetSafe Episode 2: What is Personal Information? (Grades K-3)-This video discusses how a person has personal information and tells the viewers what personal information is.

*NetSafe Episode 6: What is Personal Information? (Grades 4-6)-This video explains what personal information is your private property and why it is important to keep personal information to yourself.

From watching the two short videos my students were able to compare their answers and see if the ideas they wrote down were similar to what the video said about personal information.  After my students understood what personal information was and why they need to keep their personal information private we talked about what to do if a game asked you to create a username.  We discussed that they needed to create a username that did not include their personal information such as their name, age, phone number, or where they live.   We became detectives and read different usernames!  Together we decided if the usernames told personal information or not!  After my students created and brainstormed three usernames that we could use that did not include personal information along with their learning buddies.

You can see my student’s work on our classroom blog, Keeping Your Identity Private.  On the blog post I explained what my students learned about in the lesson and at the end of the post you can see pictures of all of my students username ideas.  After they were done creating their usernames my students wrote a blog post explaining what they know about personal information and how to stay safe.  I encourage you read my student’s reflections!   Secret Agent #5’s wrote a post called No Sharing Your StuffSecret Agent #15 wrote about staying safe and Secret Agent #15 talked about safety as well.  All of my students did a fantastic job!  Teaching this lesson I was able to cover quite a few outcomes from the curriculum while teaching my students about digital citizenship.

ELA Outcome: CR2.3

Listen and retell (with support from the text) the key literal and inferential ideas (messages) and important details heard in small- and large-group activities, and follow oral directions and demonstrations.

  • Listen courteously during discussions and while working in pairs and small groups to share ideas, obtain information, solve problems, and ask and respond to relevant questions.

ELA Outcome: CC2.4

Write stories, poems, friendly letters, reports, and observations using appropriate and relevant details in clear and complete sentences and paragraphs of at least six sentences.

  • Write a response with supporting details.

ELA Outcome: AR2.1

Reflect on and assess their viewing, listening, reading, speaking, writing, and other representing experiences and strategies by participating in discussions and relating work to a set of criteria (e.g., “What did I learn?”).

  • Explain strategies used and why they were used.

Health Outcome: USC2.5

Recognize potential safety risks in community “play areas” and determine safe practices/behaviours to identify, assess, and reduce the risks.

  • Examine expected behaviours and general safety rules in community “play areas”
  • Discuss how safety rules/guidelines are established to reduce risks.

Health Outcome: DM2.1

Demonstrate how, why, and when to ask for help and/or advice when discovering healthy connections related to thoughts-feelings-actions, healthy snacking, affects of illness/disease, respect, safety, and diversity.

  • Determine safety supports (e.g., teachers, peers, elder, bus driver, significant and trusted adults) in the community.
  • Practice asking for help in appropriate situations and recognize possible consequences of not asking for help.

Social Studies Outcome: PA2.3

Analyze rights and responsibilities of citizens in the school and local community.

  • Differentiate between the nature of the rights of children and of adult citizens in the community.
email pic

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I also taught my students another Common Sense Media lesson called Sending Email.  I was very happy with how the lesson went so I made sure we talked about the lesson on our classroom blog.  My class and I had a really good discussion after I asked m the essential question “how do you connect with others through email?”  My students talked about sending family and friends emails.  They also told me about their parents sending emails for work.  We had a good conversation about how people are able to send emails on the computer, on a tablet, and on a phone.  As a class we discussed why people send messages and talked about mailing letters.  We also watched a video that gives students tips on how to show etiquette when emailing others.

In ELA my students have been learning how to write letters so this lesson was perfect for my students.  We reviewed all of the important parts of a letter that need to be included and then the whole class wrote a letter together.  After each student was assigned to write a letter to their classmate.  As a class we brainstormed some ideas on what they could write about in their letter and questions they could ask their classmates.  Finally my students were able to start writing their own letter!  They are beginning to improve in their writing skills and are starting to understand how a letter is formatted.  I know we will be continuing to work on this form of writing.  During recess I scanned all of my student’s letters and posted their work onto their individual blogs since I have not taught my students on how to insert photos and other media into their post.  This week we have been working on replying back to our classmate’s letters and setting criteria on what a good response should look like.  We have also been working on the “3C + Q Model” for commenting on blog posts that Jennifer Stewart-Mitchell @jstewiestewie shared with me!  We decided to follow the same type of format for writing a personal letter.  I am very grateful for all of the resources and tips that Jennifer has shared with me this semester and for helping me last year when I took EC&I831.  For this particular lesson I was also able to link grade two Saskatchewan curriculum outcomes from different subject areas to this lesson:

ELA Outcome: CR2.4

Read and demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate literary and informational texts read silently and orally by relating and retelling key events and ideas in sequence with specific details and discussing how, why, and what if questions.

  • Understand and apply the appropriate cues and conventions (pragmatic, textual, syntactical, semantic/lexical/morphological, graphophonic, and other) to construct and confirm meaning when reading.
  • Follow written instructions.

ELA Outcome: CC2.4

Write stories, poems, friendly letters, reports, and observations using appropriate and relevant details in clear and complete sentences and paragraphs of at least six sentences.

  • Write a friendly letter complete with date, salutation, body, closing, and signature.

Health Outcome: USC2.4

Examine social and personal meanings of “respect” and establish ways to show respect for self, persons, living things, possessions, and the environment.

  • Illustrate what respect looks like, sounds like, and feels like.

Arts Education Outcome: CP2.4

Contribute ideas when engaged in a variety of drama strategies (e.g., role, parallel play, journeys, meetings) and during periods of reflection.

  • Contribute to drama discussions with stories of own experience

I am very happy that I have worked through the first unit developed by Common Sense Media!  My students are beginning to learn important concepts about emails, online safety, protecting their personal information, how to search using the alphabet, and understanding their digital footprint.  I look forward to continue on this journey and teaching the other two units that Common Sense Media has created.  It is rewarding knowing that I am helping my students become good citizens by teaching them valuable lessons!

I Teach

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I’m Almost Finished My Major Project!

thumbs up

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I am so excited that I am getting very close to completing my EC&I832 Major Digital Project.  I have been working very hard at putting this assignment together.  I have the introduction and the first unit completely finished!  I wanted to share the first unit with everyone and get feedback on what everyone thinks of formatting before I post the rest of my assignment.  I was originally thinking about all the different possibilities of spaces that I could have used to create my assignment, but collecting all the of information took me longer than I have anticipated so I decided to create the document using publisher.  To upload the assignment into my blog I converted the file into a PDF.  Click the link below to view my assignment:

Major Project For EC&I832 Unit One

Reflecting On My Learning Journey In EC&I832..What Is My Role Now?

New media literacy

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These last few months I have been on a wonderful learning journey while completing my EC&I832 Media Literacy class.  If someone could look into my brain right now they would be able to see that it has a large amount of tabs open at this moment!!!  Where do I even begin??  How can I showcase all the knowledge that I have gained over this past semester while being a part of an amazing network learning community?  First of all Katia and Alec helped set up a fantastic environment for myself and my classmates to learn in.  Reflecting on the structure of our class I can make a lot of connections to the readings and videos I have watched while learning about Rhizomatic Learning.  Rhizomatic Learning allows for students to decide on the goal instead of the instructor or teacher giving the students the learning goals or outcomes.  Dave Cormier also suggests that “Rhizomatic Learning is a means by which learners develop problem-solving skills for complex domains” and that “the community is the curriculum.”  For all of our assignments we were given choices so we could decide on the project that we were interested in and what we wanted to continue to learn more about.  Our class did drive a lot of the curriculum as we shared resources, articles, and videos through blogging, tweeting, and sharing on our Google Plus community that went along with topics that we were learning about.

In my previous post I explored similarities between Rhizomatic Learning and the Reggio Emilia Approach as well.  Both approaches to learning allows for students to explore their interests, understand the world around them, and it allows each student to take control of his or her learning.  My classmates and I were able to create our own personal learning environments just like the girl did in the My PLE video we watched in class.  I was able to interact with my classmates using tools like Google+, Zoom, Twitter, and blogging platforms.  During this journey I began to wonder…How can I structure my own classroom so my grade two student’s are able to connect and learn from their classmates and people outside of our classroom?  What is my role now as an educator after learning about media literacy and digital citizenship?  How will I teach my students about digital citizenship and how does it fit into the grade two curriculum?

 I sat staring at my computer wondering how to begin to answer my questions so I decided to explore my classmates blog posts to spark my direction.  Branelle’s latest blog post Initiate, Inform, Inspire…ignited the spark that I needed.  She wrote a very thoughtful piece and I really liked the way she formatted her reflection.  Branelle’s piece inspired me to organize my thoughts using headings and at the end I am going to make connections to the Reggio Emilia fundamental principles.  Many aspects of those principles go along with my teaching philosophy and I believe those principles connect to teaching my students about digital identity, digital citizenship while modeling to my students on how to be good digital citizens. First I need to educate!

I need to educate my colleagues:

I believe teachers need to start planning differently for our 21st century learners in our classroom.  But, first teachers need to begin to understand how technology is shaping and changing the way our students learn and communicate with other.  I have come across many teachers who say all of the texting, tweeting, and participating on devices in the different spaces is effecting their students literacy skills in a negative way. Now I can direct those teachers to listen David Crystal’s message in Texts and Tweets: myths and realties’ as  he made valid points in showcasing that technology is not causing a decline in our student’s literacy.  Students need to be literate to text people and to create Tweets or create posts on other forms of social media.  Many adults are fast to criticize how youth are constantly texting or posting on different forms of social media, but with all the daily practice their reading and writing skills are improving as they interact with each other by using the different tools. It can also lead our students to become more creative!  Students become motivated when they are able to use their devices to interact with others.  Educators could implement bring your own device to school (BYOD) to provide new learning opportunities for students.  But, they must have some prior knowledge about technology and how to effectively use technology in the classroom to promote learning opportunities.

digital footprint with words

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It is important for educators to get to know their students!  Some people think our students are “digital natives” as they are a group of people who were born and are growing up along side technology.  They have an familiarity of the technology and can speak the digital language where as many adults are “digital immigrants” as they were not born into the digital world.  But, later in life many “digital immigrants” have become fascinated by and adopted many aspects of technology.  However, do “digital natives” exist?  Educators need to understand that our students may have grown up with technology and can navigate around the different devices better than many adults, but do they understand all of messages and media that they are exposed to daily?  Do students know how to be critical of what they are viewing messages and advertisements or when they are interacting with others online in the different spaces?  Are students interacting with others online in a positive way?  I prefer David White’s continuum of people being visitors and residents online instead of classifying people as “digital native” and “digital immigrants”.  I have encouraged fellow colleagues to explore this continuum and understand the difference between people being digital visitors and digital residents.  Digital visitors may go online and search for a specific topic, book a holiday or pay bills and then goes back offline again.  Visitors are invisible as they do not leave any social traces online when interacting on the web in those spaces.  While a resident leaves their mark and identity through blogging, commenting, posting videos, posting pictures, and/or posting other forms of written work in a series of places or spaces online.  Residents live a portion of their lives out online.  They choose to go online to be present with others and will leave a social trace and footprint.  Teachers need to understand how footprints can effect people’s identity in a positive or negative way.  Therefore, teacher’s need to become educated about how to be a good digital citizen and what that means so they can be a good model to their students.  Teachers also need to learn what digital citizenship is and why it is important to teach it in the classroom so they can help raise students to be good digital citizens.


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I see one of my roles is spreading the message that digital citizenship shares many of the same “values we teach students to observe in the offline world: obey the law, have respect for others, act civilly and sensibly.”  I think teachers need to understand how concepts from digital citizenship lessons are very similar to many of the other social skills and outcomes that we are already teaching in our classrooms.  In my classroom we talk about responsibility, respect, and safety throughout the whole year so it opens to door to teach all the different aspects of digital citizenship so I can model and teach my students how to be good citizens.  Mary Beth Hertz wrote a fantastic article called Teaching Digital Citizenship in the Elementary Classroom.  I have had discussions with people and many told me that they believe digital citizenship should be introduced when students are preteens or teenagers, but I think that too late.  I believe students in the early elementary grades need to learn the importance of being a good citizen because they are using technology and interacting with others online.  I have also already had some colleagues say that they do not know where to begin to teach digital citizenship while others say they do not have time to teach it because they have other curriculum documents and outcomes to cover.  I have already shown some of my colleagues websites and documents such as Digital Citizenship Education in Schools, Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Scope and Sequence, the Government of Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve to help give them direction and knowledge in how to teach digital citizenship in the classroom.

I know I will also share other resources, articles, and videos that I have found and what my EC&I classmates and my PLN (Professional Learning Network) have shared with me so I can continue to spread awareness of teaching digital citizenship to all of our students from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve.  I have also been telling personal stories about my journey and how I have been able to cover many other grade two outcomes while I have been teaching digital citizenship lessons.  For example, when I wanted to teach my students a lesson about Digital Literacy I used a lesson from the Commons Sense first unit.  While my students learned about digital literacy I was also able to cover outcomes from ELA, Arts Education, health, and science when my students went on an online field trip!  I will also share my integrated unit plans that I have been creating for my major digital project. (I will be posting my final project soon!)  I think once educators begin to gain knowledge and more people begin to teach digital identity and citizenship that they will be able to use each other as support and spring board ideas off of each other.  I believe collaboration is essential to education!

“Alone we are smart but together we are brilliant.  We can use the collective wisdom to do great things when we are connected.” -Steven W. Anderson


I need to educate my student’s parents:

As Jenn discussed in her post and reflection “it takes a village to raise a child.”  Parents, guardians, and teachers need to work together to insure children and youth are being educated in how to stay safe online, leave a positive footprint online, and be a good citizen off and online.  I think many parents do not realize that they have created their child’s digital footprint from posting pictures and sharing messages about their pregnancy and the birth of their child.   Parents need to be mindful of what information they share about their child as every post begins to create their child’s digital identity.  Many children have personal information shared about them when they are born in the different social media spaces.  Often after the birth of their child parents and family members share the new born baby’s name, birthdate, and measurements along with a photo creating a digital footprint.

Parents need to also be positive influences for their children and model how to be a good citizen.  They need to model how to have proper etiquette and how to live a healthy life style while using technology.  Below is the results of a survey where families with children and youth from ages eight to thirteen took part in that had “a particular focus on the way that smartphones are changing the relationship between parents and their kids.” In the survey they asked, “how smartphones are shaping the habits of parents and kids, alike—and how those habits make the rest of the family feel.”  Below is a picture of the results from the survey:

Image Taken from the Article: Welcome to the AVG Digital Diaries 2015

 I believe the results would change a lot if parents, guardians, and trusted adults modeled to children on proper etiquette when using devices.  It is important to be present with the people you are spending time with and appreciating each others company.  They can also be good role models by having an open dialogue with their children and conversations about going online safely when they are using all the different devices.  However, I know many parents want to but are not sure what to say or how to approach the conversation.  I see my role as an educator to share resources with my student’s parents so they are more knowledgeable about digital identity, online safety, and digital citizenship.  I have come across some awesome story books that parents can read online together with their child  and books that they can order or purchase to read on an iPad or tablet.  I also want to start sharing the family tip sheets that go along with the Common Sense online lessons and sharing with them some helpful websites that they can go on.

Another goal is to work along with parents promoting positive body image and the importance of having positive self-esteem.  After watching the Sext Up KIDS documentary I believe more than ever we need to me more mindful of all the media and messages that our children and youth are exposed to.  We need to teach our children and youth to be critical of what they are viewing just as Dove demonstrates in a video that with some images, all is not what it seems.  As I mentioned earlier children look up to their parents as role models and this short video showcases that:

The Common Media website is another fantastic resource to share as it has some great articles and videos for parents view and read about topics that are relevant today.  In an short article How can media affect kids’ body image, reminds us that “It’s also important to remember that kids today not only are consumers of media but also are active creators.”  Children and youth have a lot of fun uploading pictures of themselves and their friends on all the different social media spaces, but they need to be reminded how to stay safe.  It is scary to hear that some youth are sending sexual pictures of themselves and how those pictures are being shared with others without their consent.  In the Sext Up Kids documentary the girls discussed how that one mistake of sharing their photo has led them to have to face peers and other people calling them names, being humiliated online and in person as well as being publicly shamed.  I hope by having open conversations that maybe children and youth with think before they post or share pictures online!

Children and youth matter!  Let’s model and promote a positive body image and digital identity!


Most importantly I need to educate my students:

Sherry Turkle studies technology and people’s plugged in lives. In the Connected, but alone TEDTalk she discussed and found that the devices being used are so powerful “that they don’t only change what we do, they change who we are.”  In Media Literacy James Potter wrote how “our culture is saturated with media messages” (p. 3).  Even though my students are young they need to begin to learn how to view all the different media messages that they are exposed on a daily basis and learn how to think critically about the messages.  I want to have open conversations with my students so they can understand the differences between what is real and what is fantasy.  Now when I plan lessons I want to remember the articles I have read that Mike Ribble wrote and make sure I covering all the nine elements of digital citizenship.

When exploring for resources I came across an article where Mary Beth Hertz discussed “each year I spend at least a month reviewing digital citizenship and internet safety with all my classes.”  That think that is it wonderful that she teaches digital citizenship to her students, but I believe that digital citizenship lessons should taught throughout the entire year.  It should not just consist of teaching students a few lessons about digital citizenship, safety, identity, and then checking it off of the to do list of concepts to teach.  Digital citizenship is complex as there are so many different areas and elements that can be and need to be focused on.  I am able educate my students by using fantastic resources such as Digital Citizenship Education in Schools, Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Scope and Sequence, the Government of Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve.  All of these resources have helped given me direction in what I need to cover when teaching my students how to be good citizens.

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For my major digital project I have been following and using the lessons that Common Sense have created.  I have been sharing my journey on my blog while I have been busy creating integrated lesson plans to showcase what grade two outcomes I can cover while teaching digital citizenship.  I encourage you to read my reflections and let me know what you think!  (Soon my lessons will be posted on my blog too!!) My students have also been blogging about their experiences on our classroom blog and on their individual blogs.  Through blogging they get the opportunity to put many of the concepts we learn about digital citizenship to practice.  It gives them a platform for their voices to be heard and be proud of all their learning  they have accomplished.  I like how we can build a positive community and learn how to communicate safely online with others.  Through blogging by using the blog I am beginning to instill values and have students understand that their online life is permanent as a tattoo.  I am hoping that I can teach powerful life lessons to my students when they are young so they do not have to go through the online shaming that Justine Sacco has inquired from one Tweet she posted on Twitter.  I know that by teaching digital citizenship lessons and following the Reggio Emilia principles that I can promote my grade two students to become positive citizens:

“Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others” and “children are communicators.”

In my grade two classroom I teach my students social skills while students are learning and exploring the topics that are in the Saskatchewan Curriculum.  In Hertz’s article she discusses how teachers educate their students not to talk to strangers, what to do if someone is hurting your feelings or when you feel threatened and the golden rule “treat people the way you want to be treated.”  She points out, “when was the last time you talked to your students about how to use good manners when leaving a comment on a blog post? When was the last time you and your students discussed what to do if someone is harassing you online or wants to meet you in person?”  Through my lessons my students are learning how to become thoughtful when communicating with others and learning what to do when they are uncomfortable during any situation.

“The adult is a mentor and guide.”

Bandura, says that “behavior is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning” (McLeod, 2011).  In my classroom I will mentor and guide my students in how to be good citizens when interacting with people face to face and when they are online everyday.  I will provide learning opportunities for my students so they can explore, play, expand on their knowledge and grow as individuals!

“An emphasis on documenting children’s thoughts.”

Through blogging my students are able to share their learning with their classmates and people who read our blog online.  They can make their work visible, share their thoughts, and showcase their learning in a variety of ways.  It also provides them with an opportunity to reflect on their learning and they can see their growth.  The blogs can become digital portfolios showcasing their learning journey!

Most importantly-“Children are capable of constructing their own learning.”

There are some people who overlook what a child in the early years is capable of.  All children are competent learners! Just because they are young does not mean they can not learn and comprehend important lessons.  My students everyday surprise me with how knowledgeable they are and I learn a lot from each of my students every day.

I am looking forward to this next chapter in my career and continuing to learn more about digital citizenship!  I am excited to begin my journey promoting and educating my colleagues, my students, and their parents.


I believe together…



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