Knowing that our Core Competency Candids inquiry lives, in large part, in the digital realm I felt duty bound to give the kids time and support to explore the possibilities and potential pitfalls of the internet. Knowing that the kids all access the internet independently at home (after daily check-ins at our morning meetings filled with stories of minecraft, roblox, fortnite, video chats, and more!) I anticipated that this would be a short exploration. In hindsight, I thought it would be more of a box-checking-exercise for my own piece of mind than a genuine area of required learning. I was wrong.
The kiddos’ internet smarts were…non-exsistent, collectively non-existent. Some of them had a tiny bit of fundamental knowledge but I was truly astounded how naive they were about even the most simplistic safety/security measures. I mean, they are technologically savvy but not internet savvy, and we needed to address that in a significant way if they are going to take over ownership of our twitter account (and stay safe online beyond the school walls too!).
We started with “Digital Citizenship” – what does it mean? A quick 5 minutes think-pair-share yielded a pretty good working definition for us, and the work began.
I generally follow the kids’ lead, but I’m feeling the time crunch of this inquiry – we really only have 4 months left and I want to honour my commitment to SET-BC and my students. So, we have engaged in a more structured curriculum to ensure the kids develop much needed digital citizenship skills, and so we can move forward with our original inquiry safely.
Following a tip from SET-BC, I explored the Common Sense Education website, curriculum, and resources. The curriculum is really easy to follow, sequential but not stiflingly linear, and developmentally appropriate for the kiddos. After looking over almost everything on the site, I decided to utilize their new grade 3-5 digital citizenship lessons and interactive games to engage the kids.
I also thought that connecting this area of study with our initial inquiry was important so I devised a scheme where the kids would ‘earn’ badges on a digital passport, and would additionally ‘earn’ pieces of the Podcaster-Studio as the whole group completed passport badges.
The badges became a source of considerable conversation and an ‘anchor’ for classifying and connecting new, and established, ideas (and questions) about digital citizenship. So, I spent an afternoon trying to replicate them in order to make a new documentation board (see previous post about the fate of the old board). It feels bare right now but I know its just a matter of time before it’s a ‘hot mess’ of ideas, questions, connections, and the documentation of our progress and processes.
So we’ve taken a detour, but hopefully Theodor Reik was right when he said “It is always possible to approach a goal by a detour.“