Elementary Digital Footprints

Looking at ISTE Educator Standard 3 Citizen: 3d Model and promote management of personal data and digital identity and protect student data privacy. After reading this standard I began to think about what it would look like to teach young primary students about their digital identity and digital footprint. This made me ask the question “How can you teach primary students to manage their digital footprints?”

As a primary teacher I know very little about teaching my students on their digital footprints and how to manage them. Reflecting on what my current school does, it seems like we are more focused on teaching the students computer skills such as typing, editing, and care rather than being a digital citizen. Know this I wanted to see what my district technology policy is and then find resources to help propel my school into teaching our students about becoming responsible digital citizens.

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media offers fun and engaging activities to help teach students about a variety of topics related to technology. Some of the many lessons available cover topics such as cyber-bullying & digital drama, internet safety, creative credit & copyright, and more. The one topic that they offer is to also teach students about digital footprints and reputation. This is something that I believe that I have and many of my coworkers put on the back burner when it comes to teaching technology to our students. Not only are multiple topics covered, all of the lessons are aligned with CommonCore Standards. A family tip sheet is also available to send home with students to reinforce their learning outside of the classroom.

Digital Footprint and Reputation: Follow the Digital Trail

I picked this lesson specifically because it helps answer my question of how to teach primary age students on managing their digital footprints. In this lesson students learn that the information they put online leaves a digital footprint or “trail.” This trail can be big or small, helpful or hurtful, depending on how they manage it. Students follow the digital information trails of two fictional animals. They make observations about the size and content of each trail, and connect these observations by thinking critically about what kinds of information they want to leave behind.

Below is a neat introduction video that can be used for younger students.


Implementing Across Grade Levels or Beyond

After getting feed back from my critical friend this week and feed back from the professors I decided to dig deeper in implementing this teaching to across entire grade levels or even in a school. As mentioned earlier my school district has adopted the Common Sense Media program. One idea from my critical friend was to have students learn the material and then teach it to another grade level. I loved this idea because it involves multiple classes and grades. If your school does a Big Buddy/Little Buddy system with different grades. If buddy classes aren’t available these lessons can still be taught across grade levels. When looking at this lesson for my resource I reached out to my grade level team and we discussed two ways of teaching this to all of our kindergarten students. The first was to have one teacher teach the same lesson to each kindergarten class, while the other teachers picked a different subject to teach. The second was to plan out a certain week/time to all teach the lesson to our classes individually. It can look different between grades and even schools.

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