THE SPACE TIME CONTINUUM:
Wait… The Curriculum and the Digital Citizenship Continuum
Recently I have been looking Saskatchewan Curriculum and Digital Citizenship Continuum. As a future teacher, it is important when thinking about planning lessons to think about including digital citizenship. Especially as we look at the next generation of students who are “digital natives“. This generation of students and ones to follow will be more technology-based then any generations have been before. In this regard it is important as teachers that we educate the students on how to be good digital citizens. The Digital Citizenship Continuum provides an outline of objectives and indicators for teaching students about digital citizenship from grades K – 12. Although the Saskatchewan Curriculum does not include digital citizenship there are many opportunities where teachers could fit it within units and lessons. For the sake of this blog I will take a look at the ELA B30 Curriculum but the options for tying the curriculum and continuum together are nearly endless.
A entire unit of the English B30 course is dedicated to “The Search for Self”. This topic can be directly related to the Digital Citizenship Continuum’s Educate Section for students from Grade 10-12. In this section of the continuum the students are asked to understand that their identity and reputations are determined by their communications and actions. The continuum suggests that students should do this by “examining the pros and cons of online relationships” and “identify critical criteria for developing online relationships”. They are also asked to examine the “‘viral’ nature of online communication” and identify strategies to “combat the spread of negative and anonymous postings”. Within the ELA B30 curriculum teachers should be able to find opportunities to relate how the search for identity in the text and in daily life is echoed In the new search for a digital identity. How can what you use to create your identity be a positive and a negative. Let’s take a lesson based on Life after Life– a novel about an author’s ability to recreate the life of their characters in many ways and apply it to digital identity. The lesson would take students on a journey to recognize how they are the authors of their digital identity. How as an author can you shape your digital life? Can you ever give yourself a new digital life? How does authoring your identity online echo how we create our social identity in the physical world?
A sample of a lesson you could use might be a digital sleuthing experiment to see how your identity online is perceived. The students could fill in the information on a questionnaire similar to this one ( created by Katia Hildebrandt and Alec Couros) themselves or have other students fill it out and present the digital identity to each other. A combination of the two results could illustrate to students how they think their digital identity looks vs how others perceive their digital identity.
You could also assign students the task of creating a characters digital identity. First have them brainstorm and provide information about who the character is. What are their motivations, values, traits etc. Then have them create a digital sketch of the character. How do the traits, motivations etc. form where the character would exist socially (Facebook, Reddit, SnapChat, YouTube). Finally have them pick a site or two and create an account for their character. The objective of this lesson is twofold. First, it helps students break down and understand characters in the source material. Second, it opens up a conversation about how where we share ourselves digitally can say things about our identity. How does this false identity make you re-look at your own digital identity?
These are just a couple of examples of places where proper integration in relation to digital citizenship continuum and the curriculum. The possibilities for cross curricular education are definitely present in educating students about digital citizenship.