Digital Citizenship


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Presentation on Digital Learners and Internet Safety issues for Northbrook / Glenview School District 30's Technology Night.

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  • Anecdote

    I was in a coffee shop last Sunday and saw a two girls and two boys - fifth/maybe sixth grade sitting around. Then one of them pulled out a cell phone and started talking to someone. It’s still to amazing to me how comfortable these kids look with one of these devices in their hand.

    We take it for granted at times, but it’s been a short time that this change has happened.

    It’s reality and it’s opened a lot of doors - both good and bad.
  • Meanwhile, I wanted to give some additional perspective to the situation:

    In July of 2008, Google engineers hit a milestone in their indexing of how many web pages there are on the web.

    One Trillion original internet addresses out there. That’s over ONE TRILLION web pages, pieces of information being updated and created - accessible to all through a Google search.

  • In this information-filled world, with its potential threats and challenges, more and more young people are using the internet for communication, entertainment,

    and yes... LEARNING.

    The Term DIGITAL KIDS or DIGITAL LEARNERS has gotten a lot of play.

    A three-year MacArthur Foundation study from U.C. Berkeley in November looked at what that term means exactly.

    Technology and the internet has become so integral to the lives of young people for three primary reasons. It allows them to :

    1. Extend the relationships that they forge at school, or church, or on their sports teams. Far and away, the biggest value for technology to these kids is how it allows them to always be a text message away from their friends and family.

    2. For a smaller number of kids, technology allows them to use the online world to explore interests and find information that goes beyond what they have access to at school. It allows them to connect to peers who have specialized interests similar to theirs (gaming, music, artistic endeavors). They also have the ability to “publish” their work to a larger extent than ever before. Key to this concept is the idea that the learning is directed by the students and paced by the students. This is sometimes a different way than they tend to learn in the classroom right now.

    3. For a small group of kids, technology allows them to really dive into a specific area of interest. A student with an interest in programming or video editing has access to an expert group of young people and adults to help them improve their craft.

    It’s important to revisit the fact that the internet is a tremendous place for communication, collaboration and exploration. The challenge isn’t to avoid this tool. The challenge is in helping young people to make good decisions about how they use this tool.

  • A pew internet study of content creation by teens, also surveyed the internet habits of three generations of users.

    We can see a shifting of internet use, from a one-way static medium to an interactive, user-driven one. Young users want to be a part of the information world.

  • Mark Prensky - Theory of Digital Natives

    Today’s average college grads have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading,

    but over 10,000 hours playing video games (not to mention 20,000 hours watching TV). Computer games, email, the Internet, cell phones and instant messaging are integral parts of their lives.


    The practices we talk about here are highly creative, and not as isolating as people have usually thought about technology. On the contrary, young people’s activities online are actually highly social and interactive.

  • A larger group of youth online are gamers.

    What you’re watching here is something called MACHINIMA. It’s a form of digital filmmaking, where a game engine (in this case a Lord of The Rings game) is used to create a story. The game characters become actors, the game environment becomes the setting, and the young person playing the game becomes a producer, director and cinematographer.

    Geeking out, as the MacArthur report says...

    There are sites all over the internet, where creators can post their work and receive immediate feedback. This is a highly-specialized form of knowledge, but it’s also indicative of how deep one can go into a topic when motivated to learn.

    Games are learning engines. You can’t play the game until you learn the rules. In this case, you can’t break the rules until you know them as well.

  • We are at a time when more people rely on the internet for their news than newspapers, and 6 in 10 teenagers get their news solely online -- more than double two years ago.

    Information is moving form a one-way communication form to a two-way interactive form.

    We are not just consumers but participants (if we choose)

  • This quote by Rose Luckin of the London Knowledge lab really cuts to the heart of the challenge.

    Technology is an amazing accelerator of communication and learning, but with this acceleration, the way in which we access and assess this information has to change.

    In our schools, we attempt to put these tools in a learning context, and help students make deliberate choices as they use them. This is quite evident in research techniques like the big six, but is really embedded in the day to day use of technology as well.

  • Finally, we get to the largest reason that young people spend time online - that’s to extend existing friendships and discover new friends. Without a doubt, this area represents the biggest set of challenges and dangers.

    A 2007 study by Cox Comunication

  • If you think of email and text messaging as a one-way communication, Social networking is the new model.

    It’s the use of a website to connect with other people who share personal interests, places of origin, or even education at a particular school. As the MacArthur study indicates, is used mainly to extend and maintain offline relationships.

    Common examples would be sites like MySpace or Facebook, as well as less obvious examples like, or online book discussion groups.

    The positive side of social networking is that it provides opportunities for collaboration, communication, organization, freedom of expression. It also provides social outlets and connections between individuals (students or adults). There are robust networks that share a love of science fiction books, classical music, video games, and even something like math.

    Schools can use their own social networks to extend the classroom discussions to the home, and create ways for students to work together and with their teachers on additional parts of the curriculum.
    Ning... Moodle?

    In short, learning begins to mimic the way that students interact with information in the real world.

  • It starts early -- these. or any other children’s social networks.

    These are generally safe worlds in which young people can play and learn, and it’s also where they begin to get into the concepts of social networking -- connecting with other users, sharing and collaborating.

    There really is some healthy learning that can be done on these sites, and it’s actually a great opportunity for parents to spend some time online with their kids and see social networking in action.
  • And then we end at Facebook, and more adult network tools.

    This is a profile page. A profile can be both private or public

    private: Only “friends” can view details, pictures, etc.

    public: Anyone can view these
    - College admittance examples
    - Job applicants examples

    There were over 200 social networking websites in business in 2006. As Facebook and MySpace have become more protective of members’ information, some have moved on to other networks that don’t make them jump through as many hoops.

    Talk about ease of setting these things up.

  • Most social network sites are primarily web based and provide a collection of various ways for users to interact. These sites pull together user email, messaging or chat services, video, file sharing, blogging, discussion groups, and even photo and music collections.

    Kids use these services for lots of things --
    - Personal websites about themselves.
    - Connecting with their friends.
    - Keeping up with friends
    -Meeting new friends.
    - Sharing information and thoughts.
    - Collaborating on schoolwork or projects.
    - Personal stuff, like dating, hobbies, jokes, etc.

    Fun Fact: Facebook is the number one site for photos on the web -- bigger than Flickr!

    It all starts with a person signing up for the website and creating a profile. Anyone who claims to be over 13 can sign up.

    The profile can be as detailed as the member likes, including home addresses, phone numbers, ages, schools, etc.

    If one doesn’t treat this information and these sites with respect, all of this information can become public property (in effect).

    Mention the FACEBOOK EULA story from last week.

  • As social networks move to mobile devices, people (students included) will have even more immediate access to information and each other.

    Within District 30, we’ve piloted the use of iPods in a few of our classrooms this year. Amazing selection of applications and potential.

    As student use these technologies to learn and connect with information, we need to also develop the skills necessary to access and assess information at the right time (just in time knowledge).

  • These two points really drive the challenge home. That’s 20% of young people who still need to learn respect for their internet footprint ... their permanent record.

    I don’t have to tell you that many people, regardless of age, like to feel that they’re indestructible ... or protected. While I am 100% behind all of the positive aspects of the web and what that means for learners, there’s a huge amount of trouble which can be avoided by learning the proper way to use information online.

  • Now for some very interesting realities. We are talking about an increasingly younger group of users.
  • 2009 Study by Berkman Center at Harvard, along with 50 states attorneys.

    Social Networking can be dangerous, but not any more so than the real world. Same concerns apply and the same need for education and wise decision making.


    Definition of the term Cyberbullying: Use of the Internet, cell phones, or other technology to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.

  • Flaming: An angry online exchange between two people. Trading of insults or heated exchange of opinions. This can sometimes be a two-way street.
  • Exclusion: The online equivalent of not being asked to someone’s house or invited to their party.

    Social networks make strong use of friend or buddy lists. Groups of people can keep one person off of their list, or remove them in a deliberate attempt to make them feel bad.

    As these networks become more prevalent as a form of classroom discussion, this behavior can be a critical impediment to learning. Good digital citizenship instruction needs to include a recognition of this type of behavior.

  • Harassment / Denigration: The classic example of this is the creation of a website, blog, or web posting, dedicated to the dislike of a person. Another concerning incident of this is when one person becomes privy to a secret about another person and uses the web to divulge this private information.

    Harassment can also include repeated text messages or postings from one person to another. A text flood is when a person uses a software program to send hundreds of automatic text message to the telephone of another person. This can not only be damaging to the student, but it can also be expensive.

  • Impersonation: Some people may attempt to appear to be someone else. One student may set up a free email address or website, using the name of another student. Then, they can (in effect) speak for that person and create many problems.

    This raises another important lesson that young people need to learn -- that is the value of a good password. I know that my nieces are still learning that they should keep their passwords to themselves, and that it’s very easy to get into trouble if they don’t. YOU SHOULD NEVER SHARE YOUR PASSWORD.

  • So, who is doing the “cyberbullying”?

    It isn’t always the same type of person as you see doing the bullying on the playground.

    While a bully is still a bully and the root motivations are probably the same, there are differences between the playground bully and the online bully. I’d like to review four major types of cyberbullies.

  • Most of these four types revolve around the same idea -- a new user learning about new technology and making poor choices.

    We’re not talking about villians here, necessarily, we’re talking about teachable moments in the school and in the home.
  • There are reasons for the 25% --
    Some of it has to do with fear of over-reaction -- of taking the computer away.
    Some of it has to do with child’s concern that their parents don’t understand the online world enough and can’t help.

    A lot of it has to do with young people having their own strategies for dealing with lesser online crimes. That’s an important thing to note.

    The challenge becomes a matter of identifying when it is a problem and having a strategy for addressing things.

  • Now for some very interesting realities.
  • I know that this is a wordy slide, but it’s an important one...
  • * Parents. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions. It’s the first step to keeping kids safe online.
    * Ask to see their profile page -- tomorrow. It’ll give them a chance to remove anything inappropriate and it becomes a teachable moment, instead of a gotcha moment.
    * Remember that most kids really do use social networks to communicate with friends. Just keep them aware of smart decisions and get help when you need it.
    * If something does become a matter for the authorities, save the digital evidence. It contains important info that a printout doesn’t.
  • There will be an attached filtering software list with the presentation. No use in putting a bunch of names on the screen. This should be a take-away.

  • It is important to note that anything which is published on the world wide web is permanent. The Internet Archive exists to maintain a record of the history of websites. Even our own school district...*/

    Every misguided comment, blog post or message is cached and recorded for history. It’s important to remember that communication is irreversible.

    Also, it’s important to note that when a user joins Facebook, MySpace, or another commercial social network, they agree to Terms of Service. These terms include a promise not to do anything illegal or immoral on the site. However, you are also agreeing that everything you post on the site becomes property of the site owners. Your pictures and writings are no longer your own.

    It’s important to read the terms of service on these things before you check that box.
  • Put everything behind password-protected walls.
    Protect your password and know the people that you are putting on your friends list.
    What you post online stays online for a long time - so think before you click.
    Your friends might not be as careful as you. Keep an eye on what they are writing about you...
    That 14 year old girl in Palatine may just be a 47 year-old man in Rogers Park. Keep a level head and be careful who you are making friends with.
    Unless you’re willing to staple your online page to your job / scholarship / college application, keep your profile private.
  • Since 2003, the Darfur region on Sudan has been in crisis.

    The genocide has already claimed as many as 400,000 lives. It has crossed borders into neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic. About 2.5 million Darfuris have fled their homes and communities and now live in cramped and uncomfortable refugee camps. They are completely dependent on humanitarian organizations and the U.N. for food, water, shelter, and health care. Another 1 million Darfuris still live in their villages, under the constant threat of bombings, raids, torture and murder.
  • In 2006, high school students Ana Slavin and Nick Anderson learned about the situation and thought that they could do something to raise awareness of the situation in their peers and raise money for the refugees in Africa.

  • The website that they founded, Dollars for Darfur, was meant to bring together high schools and students in an effort to raise money for the humanitarian effort. Schools compete to raise the most funds.

    In the first two years of fundraising, the site has managed to collect over $400,000 in donations.

  • The dollars for darfur group on Facebook is a substantial communication tool for the cause, bringing interested people together and spreading the word faster than any other medium had been able to.

  • And when we talk about digital citizens and the new online world, it’s an amazing thing to think that these tools can give us the ability to reach out to one another and share a story.

    Or learn a new lesson

    or make a difference in this world.

    Thank you.

  • Digital Citizenship

    1. 1. Digital Citizenship Becoming Net-Savvy Learners Thursday, February 19, 2009
    2. 2. What’s changed in this picture? Thursday, February 19, 2009
    3. 3. 1,000,000,000,000+ Thursday, February 19, 2009
    4. 4. Digital Learners Always On Always Learning Geeking Out Thursday, February 19, 2009
    5. 5. Using The Internet Young Instant Messaging Gen X / Boomers Seniors Games Wireless Dating Transactions Email Housing Get news / political info Weather New Jobs Health Use government web sites Create Content Job-related information Get maps / directions P2P Services Info for new jobs News Cultural Information New housing Research travel Rating Things Religious information Adult Content Thursday, February 19, 2009
    6. 6. Digital Learners,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.htm Thursday, February 19, 2009
    7. 7. 33% of online teens share their own creations online, such as artwork, photos, stories or videos. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    8. 8. Over 50% have created content for the internet, using existing content they’ve found on the web. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    9. 9. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    10. 10. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    11. 11. “Because they have been using digital technology all their lives, our children feel they have authority over it.” -- Rose Luckin Thursday, February 19, 2009
    12. 12. “Because they have been using digital technology all their lives, our children feel they have authority over it.” “But technology cannot teach them how to reflect upon and evaluate the information they are gathering online.” -- Rose Luckin Thursday, February 19, 2009
    13. 13. Over 61% of teens have a profile on a site such as MySpace or Facebook. Source: Online Behavior of Youth Survey Cox Communication Thursday, February 19, 2009
    14. 14. Social Networking Thursday, February 19, 2009
    15. 15. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    16. 16. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    17. 17. Photos ? MASH UP Blogs Contacts Chat Email News Videos Thursday, February 19, 2009
    18. 18. The mobile device will be central to the new online world.t Thursday, February 19, 2009
    19. 19. 20% of young people report that it is safe to share personal information on a public site. 37% said that they are “not concerned” about someone using information that they’ve posted. Source: Online Behavior of Youth Survey Cox Communication Thursday, February 19, 2009
    20. 20. 50% have posted photos of themselves. 45% have been asked for personal information by someone they don’t know. Source: Online Behavior of Youth Survey Cox Communication Thursday, February 19, 2009
    21. 21. 71% have received messages online from someone they don’t know. 30% have considered meeting someone that they’ve only talked to online. 14% have actually met someone. Source: Online Behavior of Youth Survey Cox Communication Thursday, February 19, 2009
    22. 22. 33% of fourth through sixth graders said they were completely unsupervised online. Among 2nd and 3rd graders, 20% reported that someone had been mean to them online within the last year. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    23. 23. Cyberbullying: Use of the internet, cell phones or other technology to hurt or embarrass another person. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    24. 24. Four in Ten teens Have experienced cyberbullying in the past year Source: Harris Interactive Youth Survey, 2007 Thursday, February 19, 2009
    25. 25. Incidences of Cyberbullying are higher among girls. Source: Harris Interactive Youth Survey, 2007 Thursday, February 19, 2009
    26. 26. Teens are twice as likely to talk to a friend than their parents. Source: Harris Interactive Youth Survey, 2007 Thursday, February 19, 2009
    27. 27. Types of Cyberbullying Thursday, February 19, 2009
    28. 28. Flaming Flaming Thursday, February 19, 2009
    29. 29. Exclusion Thursday, February 19, 2009
    30. 30. Harassment / Denigration Thursday, February 19, 2009
    31. 31. Impersonation Thursday, February 19, 2009
    32. 32. Who’s doing the bullying? Thursday, February 19, 2009
    33. 33. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    34. 34. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    35. 35. Of children who were harassed online Less than 25% ever told a parent. Less than 5% of any abuses were ever reported to authorities. Source: quot;Online Victimization: A Report on the Nations Youth - 2006quot;. US Department of Justice Thursday, February 19, 2009
    36. 36. How Students Deal Change their email address Digitally block the bully Refuse to pass along messages Tell their friends - disconnect the bully from the network Talk to their parents / teachers Source: Harris Interactive Youth Survey, 2007 Thursday, February 19, 2009
    37. 37. Signs That Your Child Might Be At Risk On-line? • Your child spends large amounts of time on-line, especially at night. • Your child receives phone calls from men or women you don't know or is making calls, sometimes long distance, to numbers you don't recognize. • Your child receives mail, gifts, or packages from someone you don't know. • Your child turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room. • Your child is using an on-line account belonging to someone else Thursday, February 19, 2009
    38. 38. 33% of young people reported that their parents knew “very little” or “nothing” about what they do online. 22% reported that their parents have never discussed Internet safety with them. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    39. 39. Young people who have talked to their parents about internet safety: • Are less likely to have public photos of themselves online. • Are more likely to question messages from unfamiliar people. • Are less likely to forge relationships with strangers. • Are more likely to report a problem if it happens. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    40. 40. For Adults... Listen and ask questions Ask to see profile pages... tomorrow! It’s not an invasion of privacy if everyone can read it. See the good and the risk Save the digital evidence Thursday, February 19, 2009
    41. 41. • Keep the computer your child uses in a central location. • Join your child as they surf the Internet. • Install anti-virus and filtering software on your computer. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    42. 42. For Young Users • Help kids understand the value of their personal information from an early age. • Familiarize yourself with the internet by spending time online together. • Learn how young people use the internet and acknowledge their world. Thursday, February 19, 2009
    43. 43. Information on the web is permanent. It may not even be your property anymore... Thursday, February 19, 2009
    44. 44. Lessons to Learn Password protect everything Think before you click Check what your friends are saying. Remember: Not everyone is who they say that they are! Don’t go public Thursday, February 19, 2009
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