This week is Digital Citizenship Week at Litchfield Public Schools. We are taking a little time each day to introduce Common Sense Media lessons to all of our students K-12. These lessons will not be stand alone events. Rather, they will serve as the springboard for ongoing discussions and integration of Digital Citizenship throughout the year. Along with the school events, we offered an evening presentation for parents and community members who were interested in learning more about raising resilient children in the digital age. The night was headlined by Erin Walsh from Mind Positive Parenting to discuss the most current research behind raising children in this technology loaded world. I decided to sketchnote my thoughts during the presentation for later reflection.
After reflecting on the message, I narrowed it down to three big takeaways.
I love this message because it blends so well with what I tell everybody about technology. I always compare it to a hammer. You could cause a lot of damage with a hammer. Break every window in the building if you want to. However, a hammer can also be used to build so many great things with purpose and beauty. By itself, the tool is nothing. The value or harm comes in how we use it. We need to teach students how to use digital tools, and not simply blame the tool when a student/child uses it incorrectly.
Again, I love this idea because it recognizes both sides of the equation. While we are quick to point out the negative uses of digital tools, we often don't appreciate or recognize the enormous benefits of using them. The products that can be created with digital tools are truly amazing. We need to be willing to let our students/children explore the possibilities and not completely shelter them from it because of possible harm. Kids are going to make mistakes. They will do that regardless of whether or not they have an iPad. I never had an iPad as a kid and I still made poor choices. Kids are kids and they will make mistakes. It's a part of reality.
Perhaps the most powerful part of the evening for me, was when we were shown a video created by Mark C. Eshleman. It is a powerful poetry video about the choices we have when we interact in a digital world.
The simple visual of a plus and minus sign really stuck with me. I think that we sometimes forget that we all have a choice in the way that we interact with one another. We can choose to make someone's day, or with a simple interaction, destroy it. I know what side of the line I am on. What about you?
I am a high school Social Studies teacher and EdTech Integrationist. I am constantly looking for ways to bring innovation into the classroom. Working on developing a growth mindset everyday.