When considering how our students are building their digital footprints, the most obvious place to look is at social media. Sure, at AES we require our kids to have blogs devoted to academic persuits. These serve more like e-portfolios, though there is certainly room for them to grow into something a little more authentic, or ideally, a blend of both. But these school blogs are really controlled by the teachers in many ways. Most of our students do not post unless there is an assignment to do so. Meanwhile, kids all over the world are posting freely on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter.
The goals of this first advisory lesson are:
- Introduce/remind kids of the digital footprint
- To see where kids are posting
- To make students aware of what can be seen by others (privacy settings)
Our advisory times are 20 minutes, so these are quick shots. My tendency is to try and cram too much into a session and I have some concern that this might be the case here. The lesson starts with a short video from Common Sense Media introducing the concept of the digital footprint. A guided discussion and a survey follow the video. The power of the survey is the live results that will be school wide even though each advisory will only be 10 students. I do that that begins to touch on the transformative use as it allows for discussion of valuable data across the entire 8th grade while still maintaining the integrity and small group closeness of the advisories that have been nurtured all year.
After discussing the results, the last part of the lesson shows students how to view their Facebook profile from the eyes of a stranger. In other words, it shows what the public can see of their profile. I really wanted to create lessons that were engaging and real – what matters to these students. I think the interactive nature of this lesson accomplishes that. And even though I am a little worried about the time, I don’t think the amount of new information is too much. The presentation with a link to the survey, guide, and discussion question is below.
When I presented this to the 8th grade team, they were all very receptive. They were especially excited about the real time results of the google form that immediately graphs the results, making the data easier to analyze. As will all tech, I am sure there will be some hiccups. I plan to meet with members of the team to garner feedback after the lesson. This lesson also lays groundwork for moving into discussion about how to treat other with respect online. Those are the next lessons I am developing and hoping to run in the coming weeks.
It is a start and I am eager to see the results of this first attempt.