With the massive rise of ICT use in everyday living, it is vital that students have a chance to discuss issues relating to digital citizenship (identity, privacy, participation, credibility, authorship and ownership) and security.
Whilst these issues are infused throughout the course in anecdotes I share with the students, this unit gives a chance to formalise an highlight some of these very important issues. Throughout the unit students have opportunities to discuss and produce work relating to their lives online, hopefully resulting in some of the ideas taking seed in their minds.
Side Notes: The issue of online safety comes up in every modern school, and it something that, as ICT Coordinator, I very often need work on. However, I try to make sure it is seen as much as possible as a school wide issue, and that behavioural issues that occur on a computer are not just seen as “computer problems”, but as something requiring broader participation to resolve. A telling sign of teachers not sharing a “school-wide” view on this issue is requests to “just block” problem sites and technologies. However, I really believe this to be the wrong approach: it simply creates an “us vs them” mentality where students work together to overcome blocks, and it also removes vital chances for us to see students making mistakes, and to help them learn from it.
Image Credit: Danger Sinking Mud image by Podknox on Flickr under CC BY.