Aside from the digital citizenship that we teach on a day-to-day basis, each year, in February, I do a formal program for our Middle School students and parents.
This program has evolved quite a bit since 2007 when I started… the focus back then was on predators, pedophiles, and strangers… The internet was a “dangerous” place. I talked about MySpace, chain letter emails, chat rooms and AIM. Parents were so focused on “blocking” the internet. There was no mention of creating a positive image online… and using the internet for “on demand” learning. My how things have changed! How would students today learn if the internet was “blocked”?
Each year, in order to prepare, I start from the prior year’s presentation and remove the “outdated” technology and add in the new stuff. After the MySpace era, we moved onto Facebook… and that was a focus for a number of years. Then, two years ago, I updated with Twitter.
This year… wow. Very different! There was only one slide on Facebook. Still a few on twitter, but Instagram took a front seat. And Snapchat, was a close second. I also spent time talking about how smartphones make it so easy to share ANYTHING… photos, images within a matter of seconds.
Here’s a link to the presentation: Your Digital Life
The discussion went well (my daughter, a 7th grader, said I did OK except for talking with my hands too much…). It wasn’t a lecture in any way… very interactive, with some great questions.
Later on that evening, we invited parents to hear the same presentation. They had their own set of great questions.
I wonder what I will be talking about next year!