Digital Citizenship. I haven’t talked that much about this recently, but it is something that always weighs on my mind. When I taught Technology I spent weeks on this concept. Now, more than ever, it is important to pay attention to the elements of being a good digital citizen.
One of the topics I focused on in my classes was the concept that everything you put on the internet is permanent AKA “Be careful what you post.” I wanted to get the point across that future employers, schools, and more can search and find posts of you that may not even represent you anymore – but it’s there on the internet. Technology is amazing, when used properly as a tool. However, if it is misused, as we can see, it can cause many problems.
Lately, I’m reading story after story of people getting in trouble for what they post. A Facebook post here, or a nasty comment there. People have been convicted of crimes because of their own post or video of them committing the crime. And the thing is, the consequences don’t discriminate. We are seeing people from regular citizens to lawmakers feeling the effects of their social media posts, which is why it is more important than ever for us to watch what we post.
To help with this I created a poster indicating what digital citizenship is. It started when I began writing my debut novel, Souled. The book lightly touches on digital distraction as the main character spends more and more time on gaming until he is “consumed” by it. Since then, I’ve been reaching out with my social media on these topics, which I feel are so important and relevant. That’s why I created the poster on the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. You can get a free PDF version HERE.
As time goes on, I plan to continue tackling the issues of digital distraction and digital citizenship. I’m also working with the creator of Primed for Life to offer alternatives to digital consumption. With just a little bit of knowledge and awareness, we can use technology to do great and wonderful things!
My publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing, has been doing a great job with their E-Zine for kids. They cover a variety of topics and there are many different engaging activites. There are stories and artilces along with poetry and a parent/teacher article. Here is what is included in their October issue.
Guardian Angel Kids- Online Magazine
October 2018 Boo-Hoo, Boo-Boo
Lola B. And the Skinned up Knee by Nancy E. Hughes
and Illustrator- Dougie K
Heart-Hurt by Stephanie Malley
FICTION SHORT STORIES
Halloween Surprise! by Nancy Engler
Dr. Fix-It by N. Engler
The Birthday Kittens by Caroline Kiberd
The Rainbow Ghost by Bonnie Kloster
Be Careful, Braden by Pamela Love
When a Child Gets Hurt by Kelly Bakshi M.S. Ed.
I enjoyed all of the content, but I thought the Halloween Surprise by Nancy Hughes was especially heartwarming. I loved how the main character, Emma, came up with a creative solution to her Halloween problem. If you haven’t checked it out yet, head on over.
Tonight was a big night. I took my oldest daughter out to a high school open house. It wasn’t just any school. This open house was at the school I went to. As soon as we pulled up, a flood of memories rushed over me.
As we entered through the auditorium door, I remembered the last day of Junior Year. It was dismissal time and we juniors were anxious to start our summer vacation, when we heard the words “Seniors, you may now leave the auditorium.” It took us a minute and then we realized the speaker was talking to us. We broke out in cheers and began our summer vacation.
As my daughter and I made our way into the cafeteria to wait for our tour, memories of friends, dances, and warm cheese reminded me of high school days.
However, the highlight of the night was the tour. Our group entered into the English department in Room 107. As soon as I saw the classroom, chills ran down my arms. This was THE room. This is where it happened. It was the first time someone ever called me a writer! In Senior Year, we worked what seemed like an entire semester on an essay. We worked in groups and critiqued each other’s work There were rewrites and more rewrites. Finally, we were ready to turn in our papers. A few days later I got my paper back and it said, “Great job, you little writer you!” I’ve never forgotten those words and I wished she was there tonight to tell her that her words helped give me the courage I needed to become an author.
The words of a teacher can shape a child. As a teacher and an author I try to remember that. As my daughter and I made our way home tonight, I left the school cherishing the memories and honoring that little encouragement I received so many years ago. Now as my daughter embarks on her high school journey, I hope she finds the same support.