After reading a few of my classmate’s posts and trying to relate digital citizenship to early years, I was somewhat at a loss. Children seem to know how to operate technology better than a lot of adults now days and they even seem to know how to do it before they can read. For me, it begged the question as to what to teach children in pre-k to grade 1 and what would be most valuable for them? I also wondered what could be taught in these years, as children will have just begun to dabble with reading. Do children need to know how to read and be able to do research in order to gain value from a digital citizenship lesson?
Upon knowing what I know about the curriculum and knowing there is a lot of room for flexibility, I do believe digital citizenship could be wrapped into the grade 1 English Language Arts curriculum. Under the Compose and Create outcomes, outcome CC1.4 which reads “write and share stories and short informational texts about familiar events and experiences in a minimum of 5 sentences” could be used to incorporate digital citizenship teachings. Once I took sometime to even do a quick Google search, it became quite clear that there are a number of teachings available to very young students. There are YouTube videos, online games and even full lesson plans available for teaching students of these ages.
The best resource I found which I would love to incorporate into my classroom is this video. The video titled “We the Digital Citizens” is catchy, repetitive, interesting to watch and has minimal words making it relatable for young students. The video is a song which the students would be able to both sing and dance to. The language used in the video is not too technical or complex and it is quite likely the majority of younger students would be able to comprehend the concept. The video also relates well to Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship with direct correlation to numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8. After showing the students the video we could have a lesson on what it means to take a pledge and incorporating outcome CC1.4 the students could write out their own Digital Citizen Pledge.
In conclusion, I was pleasantly surprised to see the resources available for younger students. In completing this post, I was reminded I need to check my biases at the door and really think outside the box for the good of my students. I truly went into this post thinking it would be quite unrelatable to myself and wanting to teach somewhere around pre-k to grade 1 but found I could not be more wrong. I’m very glad I took the time to do some research on the area in which I’m most interested in teaching as picking an older grade certainly would have been easier and would have got the job done. I’m informed and excited to teach my future young students about what it means to be a responsible digital citizen.