Tool #10: Knowing how to use technology is such a vital skill for our students. It is all around them and they have to learn how to make wise choices on what they decide to put online. Three things I would like my students to know about digital citizenship are how they interact with others, how to avoid plagiarism,and how fair use works. The way they interact with others through technology still has to be a formal and academic experience. When sending emails at work, they will have to use formal English, therefore the same will apply to assingments in class. I want them to understand that whatever goes online, stays there and just because they are not writing in paper, I don't want them to think they can use the "private chats" or blogs inappropriately.Summarizing is something that students struggle with but like I have always told my students, it is better to turn in 2 sentences they wrote themselves than a page they just copied and pasted from different links. I will take some time early in the year to go over citing sources and summarizing, it may take a little bit of time in the beginning but it will definitely pay off in the long run. With all the media possibilities, it is very important that students understand how fair use works and make sure that they don't post anything that violates it.
I liked http://www.digizen.org/ This could also be something to go over in the first few weeks of school. Students can go through the website to answer some questions and at the end I can have them summarize what they learned about what is expected when using technology and have them sign it, acknowledging that not being a good digital citizen can lead to the loss of technology privileges. I will include digital citizenship in my parent letter and will include this in parent phone calls when needed.