One of the most pressing topics to be teaching students today is digital citizenship. In fact, an entire ISTE teaching standard (standard 4) is dedicated to the promotion of digital citizenship in a global world. However, it is not enough to simply present basic steps for becoming a digital citizen to students. There are nine components of digital citizenship, and students should be knowledgable about each one. For my final project on digital citizenship I decided to focus on one of the most basic tenets – digital communication. After reflecting on some of the issues present in our young students’ use of digital technology it seemed that one of the biggest missteps occurs right at the beginning of their engagement with technology in choosing the digital tool to be accessed. It is critical to educate kids on the appropriate digital medium for the appropriate purpose.
Kids (and adults) are inundated with so many options for communicating digitally that it can be extremely overwhelming to understand each choice and know when and how to use it. For that reason I created an infographic as “A Guide for Choosing the Right Digital Medium”, meant to be used by intermediate elementary students (grades 4-6). The primary focus of the infographic is a “continuum of formality” which outlines the seven most common digital tools for communication that kids might encounter. After talking with fellow educators and doing some research, I placed the seven tools along a continuum, ranging from “very casual” to “very formal”. My hope is that by representing these options for digital communication in such a visually simplistic way, students will be able to quickly consult the guide and adjust their communication styles and preferences to be more appropriate for the intended audience.
I used piktochart.com to create my infographic and I am pleased with the final result! I am even inspired to continue creating them for my future classroom. I love the idea of having an infographic posted in my classroom for each of the nine elements of digital citizenship. I highly recommend Piktochart as a classroom tool, and certainly plan to continue using it.