Digital Citizenship Day at School

Alicia Vesely, former student at Maine-Endwell high school (located in upstate New York) shares how she raised awareness of digital citizenship at her school. She promotes reaching out and serving in your community and knows how to do it using technology.

Students and teachers worked together to host their own magnificent summit at their own high school. Yet, a year before that, Alicia had no idea what Digital Citizenship was.

Digital Citizenship Day (DigCitDay)

Alicia shares her story, “Basically, in my sophomore year of high school I met my magnificent teacher Rachel Murat. She’s so well-versed in this subject, it’s awesome.

“I met her in my world history class, which I wasn’t super interested in. Immediately, we learned that it was a flipped classroom, which is virtually paperless. At first our class was really nervous and it was new. We were navigating all these new platforms. Within a very short time we realized this is so so cool. We can Skype other classrooms and we can reach out of the four walls – that actually was our slogan the whole time – There is so much more than the four walls of our high school.

“Following that, I was making my class schedule in her class and she took the pencil out of my hand and said, ‘You are taking my Digital Citizenship class.’ I thought, OK, I know what those two words mean by themselves, but together I’m not totally sure.

“As time went on, I learned about it. I learned about technology, I had a smartphone. I was a little bit of a late bloomer with it, but I got an iPhone. I realized the possibilities with positive outreach in your community, the people around you, and globally.

“In our class, we learned about Digital Citizenship. We learned about these Summits where you can physically be with people but also virtually be with people. Rachel is even livestreaming this right now, which is even cooler. So, we had our own Summit and it consisted of breakout sessions and small Tech-Ed talks. Another former student and I gave speeches on what we were passionate about with technology. I talked about public outreach in your community and about how one click of a button on what’s in your very own pocket could reach thousands and thousands of people. He talked about branding and how he wrote his own book at the age of 16. Super neat. He did that with technology. He did that using everything around him, his resources, and his cell phone.

“We also did Positively Social, which is a little bit of a shameless plug. That was with all of our students.

“Throughout everything, it’s been amazing to realize that being just this age you can do so much. You can reach out to your community and take that grassroots movement and share the love.”

I highly recommend watching the video they made – “Positively Social” – below.

Why watch Positively Social?

Youth and adults will benefit from watching this film. Positively Social provides ideas and content for family discussions and classroom lessons.

Some helpful concepts mentioned in the film include:

  1. Digital Footprint
    • “You don’t want to make a permanent post on a temporary emotion. Understand that if someone were to meet you for the first time online, what would be the person they see?”
    • “A Digital Footprint is a record of what you have posted online. It’s like a permanent marker. You cannot erase it once you have written with it.”
  2. Teach how to be a good Digital Citizen –
    • “Although they are digital natives, just because the technology has always been around, that doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to use it to their benefit. It’s important that we take the lead and show them how to be good digital citizens and how it will affect them throughout college and their future work life.” – Rachel Murat
  3. Create and contribute online –
    • “Ban and block does not teach kids appropriate usage.”

Plus, our favorite part – students and teachers worked together to create this film. #NotAboutThemWithoutThem

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