Upper School Dean of Academics Jacob Lindsey presented at Second Baptist School's IGNITE: Innovation in Education conference regarding “Responsible Engagement: The Do’s and Don'ts of Digital Citizenship.”
The session attendees of teachers and administrators defined digital citizenship as “helping our students to engage in responsible behavior online while also equipping them to effectively create, collaborate and discuss on online platforms.”
The mission of Second Baptist School calls attention to digital citizenship by encouraging our students to engage in a “digitally-based global community.” Mr. Lindsey believes instilling the “understanding of digital citizenship will enable our students to responsibly and meaningfully get closer to realizing the mission of SBS.”
Many times, scare tactics abound with the topic of digital citizenship. Mr. Lindsey states that “pre-existing literature on digital citizenship focuses so much on what behaviors students should avoid, we need to do our best to emphasize what positive contributions students can make on digital platforms.” This ideal is achieved by providing students projects that enable them to create digital content and share it with an authentic audience online. Mr. Lindsey believes “positive behaviors and skills need to be explicitly taught through modeling as teachers and ample practice for students” in order to effectively train digital citizens.
In the classroom, Mr. Lindsey creates opportunities for students to create digital content that can be shared with the broader community outside of the classroom. For example, he had students create Public Service Announcement campaigns for a nonfiction unit and true crime podcasts for The Westing Game (a murder mystery novel). Students then posted their work online for other students, parents and teachers to view. During the session, Mr. Lindsey worked with students to check privacy expectations with administration as schools have varying expectations as to what student work can or cannot be shared with the outside community. Through this exercise, students practiced digital citizenship as they were engaged with creating digital content, posting the content as an online resource and working with the proper channels for approval of their post.