Friday, 25 May 2012

Students Say

This week I was having a discussion with my students as they prepared to work on their inquiry projects; How are humans, animals and plants interdependent? We've always discussed what is expected when it comes to using our mini-laptops and we have used them to learn and share our ideas successfully throughout the school year. This time, I decided it was time to use the term 'Digital Citizenship' and right away someone made the connection to citizenship as 'living and respecting the charter of rights and responsibilities'.

Now to clarify, at the beginning of the year we examined the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for Children and then created our own class charter using rights and responsibilities. The following is what we had and then I have added the newest addition.

      1. I have the right to go to the bathroom or to get a drink of water. I have the responsibility for taking your name tag out of the slot.  
      2. I am free to use school supplies, books and equipment.  I am responsible for treating the items in the classroom nicely.  
      3. I have the right to voice my opinions respectfully.  I have the responsibility for being respectful of others opinions.  
      4. I have the right to a safe classroom environment.  I am responsible for following safety rules.  
      5. I have the right to fair treatment by all students.  I have the responsibility to treat others fairly.  
      6. I have the right to speak at the appropriate time.  I have the responsibility to respect the teacher when they are talking and to be quiet when we are working.  
      7. I have the right to be myself.  I have the responsibility to treat others and myself with respect.
Our newest addition:
      8. I have the right to go on the computers, search the websites listed by my teacher, ask questions and share my ideas.  I have the responsibility to use the computers appropriately, try to answer questions, give credit to the authors and share my ideas.

It's pretty impressive when students can make those connections from what we've been doing to a new term. The term digital citizenship seemed like a natural addition and I will be making sure to include it in next year's discussions in September. 

If I'm thinking about next year, I need more information to do a better job of making digital citizenship apparent throughout the learning.  Having more resources will certainly be beneficial. I think that's where I'm headed next.


  1. What a logical way to set norms in your class....and I am totally stealing this.
    Your post reminds me of our band concert last night. I watched 1/3 of the parents in the audience "play" on their phones during the majority of the concert. It is so frustrating to try and teach students these responsibilities when bad examples are being set.
    -You have the freedom to see and hear the children perform, you have the responsibility to respect the performers by giving them your undivided attention.

  2. I'm loving this. Actually, I liked all of the items in your list, but #8 blew me away. They really came up with this? It packs so much into a small space, and it is so sophisticated! Well done. You've taken your group to a place that is so sophisticated! Were you the least bit surprised? What a terrific group, and so lucky to have you as a teacher.

  3. They surprise me all the time! Yes, I am so proud of them! Each piece really connects to different projects we've worked on throughout the year.

  4. I really like this idea Janelle. Empowering students with their rights while educating them about their responsibilities is so powerful. The inclusion of the 8th item about citizenship online is inspiring. I would love to hear more about how students react to it in the days and weeks to come.

  5. I thought your #8 was awesome, Janelle. I know we need to put something in place like this at my school too. I'm really enjoying reading your blog posts as they relate a lot to my social networking topic. Thank you!