Digital Learning Day is February 23rd. I have partnered with my tech tribe to share with you Digital Learning Day ideas for your classroom. Our focus is on digital citizenship. I’ve also added a little character education in the mix. Helen Keller once said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
Building character and digital citizenship is much more than written lesson plans. Students need opportunities to talk, make mistakes, and learn from others. However, it is not enough to use these Digital Learning Day ideas once a year. You need to teach and practice these digital citizenship and character strategies all the time.
Today, I want to share with you four helpful Digital Learning Day ideas you can begin implementing on February 23rd and continue using them for years to come on a daily basis.
Digital Learning Day Ideas
Teaching digital citizenship and character education isn’t a one time and done activity. You want to find a chance to integrate the information whenever possible. Here are four strategies to help you get started:
- Implement a Morning Meeting Routine
- Build Character and Digital Citizenship through History and Current Events
- Use Nearpod Lessons from Common Sense Education
- Allow Students to Comment on other Student’s Work
Morning Meeting Routine
Building a classroom community is such a critical component in every classroom. Students need a voice. The best way I know how to do this is by developing a relationship with students. Spend time discussing issues and ideas that are important to them. The morning meeting allows time to get to know your students and for them to get to know you.
It’s also a very good time to teach students strategies such as meditation and visualization. Meditation training improves a broad range of skills. Attention, focus, and impulse control develop through this habit. While there isn’t a direct link to implementing the morning meeting with digital citizenship, I do believe the strategies taught make a difference. If you would like to learn more about how I implement the morning meeting in the classroom, check out this blog post I wrote on the subject.
Building Character for the 21st-Century
I have created so many resources in my career for my students but this one is my favorite! Here is what you do. Choose a character word to focus on every month. Choose words like citizens, responsibility, and integrity. Use visual literacy, history, and current events to drive home the importance of each word. Have students use video, pictures, and discussion for students to share what they have learned about the topic. If you would like to learn more about how I’ve done this with my students, you can find it here.
There are several lessons to use on digital citizenship in the Nearpod library. These lessons were created by Common Sense Education. There are free resources for each grade level as well as paid bundles. If you haven’t tried Nearpod before, I urge you to check them out. You can use Nearpod on any platform or device. It’s great for BYOD. To find the digital citizenship lessons, click here.
Commenting on Student Work
If you are not using the Seesaw app, you are missing out on a great platform to teach digital citizenship. Seesaw can be used on any platform or device as well. It is NOT just for K-2 students! I think Seesaw is useful for any age student. Seesaw is a student-driven portfolio in which students document what they are learning at school and share it with others. Seesaw is a great way for students to share their work and have classmates comment on items posted. However, it is important to note to teach students how to post correctly. Students will not automatically be respectful when commenting and posting.
I had an experience in which a teacher didn’t want to use Seesaw because of the comments and drawings students were sending to one another. While I tried to teach them the importance of accountable talk and digital citizenship, one time is not enough! The conversation would have needed to continue. Unfortunately, the teacher decided not to allow students to comment and missed out on a great learning opportunity, in my opinion. This example is the reason I decided to create learning center activities using Seesaw with a digital citizenship component. You can learn more about them here.
I hope these Digital Learning Day ideas have inspired you to focus more on building character and digital citizenship in your classroom. I honestly believe these ideas are so much more than dealing with classroom management issues but a way to grow a child’s integrity, self-worth, and compassion. Our world is filled with negativity. We owe it to our children to teach them how to live a life filled with confidence and grace. Would love to hear your Digital Learning Day ideas!
Tech with Us
I hope you found some ideas to help you infuse digital citizenship into any online lessons. I’ve linked up with 5 other incredible technology-integrating educators from the Tech with Us Facebook Community to share more digital citizenship lessons and ideas in honor of Digital Learning Day on February 23rd. While the obvious goal of Digital Learning Day is to see digital learning find a place in schools all year long, it is also the perfect time to revisit digital citizenship a second time if you haven’t yet this year.
Click the links to learn more tips, ideas, and lessons for teaching digital citizenship on Digital Learning Day and beyond!