This week, learning about social networking and digital citizenship was extremely beneficial for me. I have learned a lot that I didn’t really know about and was not previously aware of. I never really sat down and thought about what social networking meant and which type of websites this included. I knew that Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and those types of websites were considered social networks, however, I never thought of Mom Café, Pinterest, and Tumblr as social networks. I also didn’t realized how educationally beneficial some of these network could be for teachers and students. For example, when the new school year begins, I will try to introduce Facebook to my new class of fifth graders. After researching how Facebook could be used in an educational setting, I found that with supervision, students could learn how to use this social network in a positive manner. For example, the classroom teacher could set up one Facebook account for the entire class, that way there is only one login and password, which the teacher knows. The teacher can post up-coming events, celebrations, and important announcements. The teacher would be in charge of accepting “friend” requests, in which s/he would only accept requests from family members, other teachers, administration, and other essential people. The students could take turns updating the account and writing about interesting events that are happening in the classroom. Also, the teacher could make different “degrees” of permission slips for the parents to sign: permission for the student to post on the classroom Facebook, permission for the student’s picture to be posted on Facebook, or not to give permission for their student to participate. There are a lot of other ways for teachers to use Facebook and I look forward to trying it for my classroom.
I also learned a lot about digital citizenship. Originally, when I thought of digital citizenship, I thought of digital etiquette. I never thought of the other eight parts to it such as digital commerce, digital health and wellness, and digital access. All of the nine parts of digital citizenship are extremely important and something I will absolutely take into consideration when teaching my class about technology.