I decided to focus my major project for ECI832 this semester on creating a unit for my ELA 9A class. I chose to focus on the theme: All That I Am – the Search for Self. I believe that this an appropriate theme for my digital citizenship unit, as this theme focuses on identity, the students’ connection to the community, their life journey and their future.
I decided to use Microsoft Sway as the platform for delivery as:
- It is posted online so it is easily accessible for students.
- I can update or amend portions, and it will automatically update it online.
- Both students and I have access to the program through our school Office 365 accounts.
- It is easy to use and I can insert various types of media.
- Students will be able to work at their own pace through the unit.
To begin I referenced Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship to branch out beyond the theme. The four main elements that I see as most applicable to this theme are:
- 5 – Etiquette
- 7 – Rights & Responsibilities
- 8 – Health & Wellness
- 9 – Security (self-protection)
Two sources of support and inspiration for background and activities are:
The English_Language_Arts_9_2008 curriculum provides some guiding questions for a deeper understanding within each of the themes. These questions provided the basis for my project:
- From where does our sense of identity come?
- What makes each person unique and interesting?
- How do people journey as they change through life?
- How do we keep our self-identity yet, at the same time, become part of a community?
Compose and Create (CC). Students will extend their abilities to speak, write, and use other forms of representation to explore and present thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a variety of forms for a variety of purposes and audiences.
Outcome: CC9.5a Create and present a variety of visual and multimedia presentations to best represent message for an intended audience and purpose.
- Create multimedia presentations to communicate information using resources such as overhead projectors, computers, recorders, and other presentation software.
- Integrate a variety of media (e.g., sound effects, mime, graphics, physical movement, short video clip) into oral and written representations to enhance the message.
- Use visual aids, media, and other technology to support oral presentations.
Outcome: CC9.6a and CC9.6b Use oral language to interact purposefully, confidently, and appropriately in a variety of situations including participating in one-to-one, small group, and large group discussions (e.g., prompting and supporting others, solving problems, resolving conflicts, building consensus, articulating and explaining personal viewpoint, discussing preferences, speaking to extend current understanding, and celebrating special events and accomplishments).
- Demonstrate respect for the needs, rights, and feelings of others.
- Support a position acknowledging opposing views.
- Organize ideas in appropriate format and sequence ideas and information clearly and logically.
- Move smoothly and logically from one point to another.
- Adjust language and tone to suit audience, purpose, and situation.
The task and topics are numbered from 1. – 7. Some numbers will take more than one class period and some will take less. It is designed so that if a student misses a day, or I wanted students to work independently they could easily achieve the required components by logging on and accessing the Sway.
- Digital Citizenship Introduction
I plan to open the unit with defining some general terms to introduce the ideas. Following that I will have students complete a digital citizenship quiz I found online, I will ask them to record their score /20, and review any answers they got incorrect.
For homework, I am going to ask students to keep a log of their cell usage. I challenge them to record two school, and two non-school days. Near the end of the unit, we will analyze their tracking when discussing healthy behaviours online.
- Online vs. IRL
We will open this task up by watching the In Real Life #bestrong video. Although this video could be perceived as inappropriate in some aspects, it is too powerful to not show my students. I think the message is strong, clear and relevant. Students will be asked to complete an individual reflection following the video. I provided some prompts they could use, or they are welcome to free write whatever they are thinking and feeling at that moment. This video passionately covers the topic of cyberbullying and the seriousness of how online behaviour is mirrored in real life.
- Seeing is believing…
I am going to open this portion by showing students House Hippo video. If you were a child in the 1990’s in Canada, you have most likely seen this. While I am not planning to extend things into fake news, it would be unfair to students to immerse them in a digital citizenship unit without stressing them important of being cognizant of the source of information they read online.
As a class we will be watching Eli Pariser TED Talk Beware “online filter bubbles”. I know that I found this exteremly interesting when I watched it, and believe that students will as well. Following the video students will have three options:
- discuss when they read or heard something that turned out to be fake
- shared when online marketing was based on their recent online activity or search
- or compare google searches with a friend.
Students will be required to share their responses on a class flipgrid. They will be asked to comment on at least 2 classmates responses. I am hoping this creates some good dialogue that is student facilitated through the app, while keeping them engaged in the content.
- Phone addiction
I don’t have it written on the Sway, but at this point I will ask students who have logged some of their cell use to share their results. I will have done the same logging, and will share my cell usage as well. I will encourage those who have not recorded any days of cell use to do so in the next week or so. The results of our shared cell usage logs connects to this lesson on phone addiction.
As students watch the video – It’s not you. Phones are designed to be addicting and then reading the article Evening screen time can sabotage sleep they will be instructed to apply the journalistic approach noting the 5Ws. We will use these to recap and discuss what the video and article were about.
Following our discussion students will be required to choose a position and create a persuasive paragraph the two points of view they can choose from are:
- Teenagers today spend too much time engaged in their phones and online.
- Teenagers today are able to easily balance their online life with the IRL selves.
- Photos & Sharing
As a class we will view the three images and discuss the message they are sending. I will also ask students to discuss their photo sharing habits, and the habits of teens in general.
In pairs students will be asked to create a top 10 list for being safe and happy online. We will share these lists and display them in the classroom.
- Sexting & being safe online
Through the study Non-consensual sharing of sext: behaviours and attitudes of Canadian youth we will discuss sexting. Overall, the study is fascinating and provides lots of good information. I am not planning to cover the entire study but to focus on the language and definitions as the term sexting is more than one would think, and to cover some statistics. I plan to achieve this through a Power point I created with some visuals from the study.
Students will also be required to read the article Four Illinois high school students face charges in sexting scandal. After the powerpoint and article students will pair up to create an acronym for the work Sexting. The target audience for their acronym would be new social media users, and grade 4 – 6 students. Keeping in mind we would be encouraging and teaching them about online safety.
To end our unit I am going to have students create public service announcements to summarize their learning and hopefully educate their peers. I am planning to have the PSAs posted on the Sway so that all of the classes are together and accessible in one place. Depending upon the quality and feedback from the students we may look at displaying them on the tv monitors throughout the halls at our school.
Although, I have not actually worked through this unit with my class I am looking forward to it. I am also looking forward to learning more about my students and finding out which avenues of digital citizenship are the most engaging, or perhaps the most needed for them. While there is SO much more I could cover, the first time around I needed to streamline it as much as possible for my sanity. Watch my blog for my final review once I have complete the unit with my students.