Blogging with my students

This term I decided to make some changes to the blogging activity that I do as part of the Digital Citizenship unit.  In the past, students chose a topic based around the theme “We must be the change we wish to see in the world”. We are continuing with the theme and students will still get to choose their topic, but they must choose a topic that fits in one of four categories (the students chose the themes):Lockers
1.  Environment / Animals
2.  Digital Citizenship / Tech Issues
3. Health Issues (drugs, diseases, teen stress)
4. Social Justice / World Issues (poverty, war, etc).

Students have planned out their posts according to their interest and will blog 1-2 times a week along with their group members in their respective group blog.

Students will be formed into learning circles and be expected to respond to group member posts by writing appropriate comments that ask questions, give more information or extend the conversation.

Now when the term ends, the four blogs will continue with new students who will carry on the message. No one’s work will be deleted and students can revisit the blogs after they’ve left this class.

The class is very receptive to the idea. I love having my students connect online and see the value of using technology for good.  Along the way I will be teaching them about their digital footprint, keeping their privacy intact, and appropriate use of images and citations.  This real-world activity brings up lively discussions about how they use technology outside of school.

I also am blogging along with my students.  I want model my thinking process and appropriate commenting.  Here is my first post:

Digital Citizenship – Why I Chose This Topic

As a technology evangelist, I take it upon myself to educate students and parents about the benefits of “technology networks” to support student learning.  There is way too much hysteria in the news about “sexting” and the dangers of predators scouring social networks looking for their next prey.  The reality is that teens (and adults) enjoy the connections made with online networks and it rarely does harm.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be careful.  We should be.  But the benefits outweigh the harm.  What I hope to accomplish in this blog is to educate readers about ideas for staying safe online, what it means to be a “digital citizen” in the 21st century and tips for using technology for good.  Enjoy and please comment if you feel so inclined.

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