We are in the 21st century, and there are some new skills we must learn to be good citizens.
iPhone by William Hook
Internet etiquette, or netiquette, is important for all ages, but as teachers we are in a unique position to teach digital citizenship, copyright laws in an age of plagiarism, and protection of our digital footprint.
With my class, I need to work on my Comment Guidelines, so I have taken inspiration from two exceptional class blogs. I’m hoping to use these guidelines this semester while my students and I gain experience in commenting enough to write our own. The teachers and students at Huzzah! and Scattergood Biology have some excellent commenting guidelines. Thank you for allowing us to learn and grow from your good work.
We have a big job becoming 21st century digital learners ourselves. We have an even bigger job teaching our students to be responsible, safe, and effective digital citizens. Let’s help each other, shall we?
Make your class blogs a place to showcase the creativity of your genius students. Post their work, so their audience is not limited to just one–the teacher. For years I have posted student work on our web page, but now I believe posting it on our blog makes our potential audience so much greater than just family and friends.
As Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Everyone has something important to contribute. Allowing the students to do so makes the world a better place.
Make a commitment to connect with others in the blogosphere. For one whole year, we “blogged” with a very small audience; it was just classmates, parents and me. I guess I was hoping someone else would read, but we never reached out. Now, I understand that it’s our responsibility to develop readership, so we have begun to make connections with the world by commenting, asking questions on our blog posts, and using Twitter.
As a result of new connections, we are hoping to find partners to collaborate with. This is new for us, and we are just in the baby steps of collaborating. Here is our first attempt.
A curator is a manager. Like in a museum, the person in charge of deciding what to display is a curator. According to the Smithsonian, less than two percent of their collection is on display at any given time. Teachers have a great opportunity to begin to manage for students the excessive information in the 21st century digital smorgasbord. I’m still figuring out what this looks like, but I do know it is imperative to help students learn to manage and organize. In blogging, we have a perfect opportunity to model for our students. I’ve learned that I need to have clear objectives and organized categories and tags. If I want to publish something on my blog, but it doesn’t fit, I might need to wait, or post it on a different blog, or add a new category, which was the case with this post. I added a category called Blogging with Students Challenge. I also learned, through last month’s challenge, that I needed both a professional blog and a class blog–two different ones. Kevin was a good example to me of how this looks. His professional blog is Kevin’s Meandering Mind and his class blog is the Electronic Pencil.
I love the words create, contribute, connect, collaborate, and curate to describe what we are doing in education in the 21st century. I am just beginning this journey. My classroom blog is just one month old, so I am open to suggestions! Do you have any additional ideas for what classroom blogs should be?