1) To you, just what is cyberbullying?  When I first heard of cyberbullying, I thought more of adult predators talking kids into doing things they shouldn’t.  Now that I have been reading more I believe that cyberbulling is digitally aggressive behavior that can include hurtful messages or texts directly sent to another person, posts of hurtful material about someone else for others to read, distributing material that is sensitive or embarrassing that originally came from the target and was sent under the expectation of privacy, tricking someone into disclosing something sensitive or embarrassing and then distributing it, or specifically and intentionally excluding someone from a group. 

2) Do you have issues with cyberbullying at your school? (If this is too politically sensitive to address, we will understand.) We had one incident a couple of years ago where a student had logged in under another person’s password and was sending threatening and inappropriate messages to a teacher.  We also had a student send revealing pictures of himself to a student in another state.

3) What policies and procedures do you have in place to address cyberbullying?  We have a filtering system that goes through Fairbanks and sends notices back to our technology director of any “suspicious” activity.  We also have a computer agreement that parents and students sign at the beginning of the year that informs students that they will loose their computers if they are not using them appropriately.

4) How could these be improved?  The students do not have any part in developing the policies for computer use as we have talked about in our class.  We have no specific training tools to help kids understand the concept of digital citizenship.  After taking this class, I plan to share all of the information and tools I have learned about (Digital Compass, Digital Driver’s License, Digital Passport, You’re in Charge, etc.) to help our technology team develop a plan for next year.

5) How does Nancy's work inform all of the above?  Nancy really helps clarify the definition of cyberbulling.  The Cyber Savvy Questionnaire that she has developed will help our district narrow down the needs of our students and really see what we need to focus on when teaching our students about digital citizenship.  Students and adults will be able to analyze the surveys, find the tools that will address our needs, and then begin the process of teaching and learning. 

In this week’s course notes, I found it interesting that Jason mentions that teaching media literacy is similar to teaching the writing process. In the autumn, I taught two of my high school English classes a unit on media literary. This unit focused on what media is and how can we access it.
 
I went back in my notes to see the official textbook definition used for the class. It states, “Media Literary is the ability to break down and analyze media messages; recognizing social implications through critical thinking and questioning.” In this unit, the students looked at several types of media (and learned that the singular of media is medium, much to their surprise).  I think one of the most meaningful activities we did as a class was to look at print advertisements advertising small towns in Alaska and then break down if the advertisement was persuasive or not persuasive.  Students then had to explain their findings in writing with a 5 paragraph persuasive essay.
 
In my opinion, media literacy, whether v1 or v2, is all about teaching people to think critically about what messages are being given to them.  The types of media and the methods of how to present them will continue to evolve, but as long as people know how to ask “why” and “how” in reference to these message, we have the possibility of great things being achieved.

Media literacy v1 is talking about the written word as far as book, newspapers and magazines.  Typically using ads in print to persuade individuals to buy or support something. Media literacy v2 is primarily about using online/digital media and sources to persuade viewers to a certain point. The primary different between the two, is that in Version 1, others were telling us about stuff (ads, stories, etc).  In Version 2, we ourselves are creating the ads, stories, etc. and sending them to others.

    All aspects of media literacy are important, but I think the biggest one for me is the decoding.  The ability to look at an image and figure out what it really trying to sell you and understand that before making a decision.  Teaching that skill is difficult, but so important for kids and adults these days.  With so much advertising occurring in front of you all the time (Facebook, Google, CNN, etc.), each person needs to be able to tell how adds are impacting them.

    I really liked the InCrl lessons on media literacy.  I am planning to encourage staff and students to look at the information between InCrl and Common Sense Media learn and create lessons from.  The amount of detail that went into the InCrl lessons is staggering.  It gives break downs of each section, how to teach it to a class, and what the expected results are.  

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FOSI has great tools for families. This can help to parents as well as teachers when they are talking about #digitalfootprint  to students. Here are some of the basics that everyone must know. 

This week, I’ve woven together several of the questions and my responses into a few paragraphs instead of listing each number and answer because a lot of the ideas overlap.
 
I enjoyed Nancy Willard’s article “Cyberbullying: An Interview with Nancy Willard“ (if enjoyed is the correct word for such a serious topic).  I found myself nodding my head to several of the statement’s Nancy made, and I found some of her statistics thought provoking. I particularly liked the comment on the idea that when adults get involved in trying to help with cyberbullying they only get it right 34% of the time.
 
This school year I’ve had several students come to me about cyberbullying issues. In most cases, students have reported the hurtful messages come through cellphone apps not things requiring an actual computer. I’ve found it interesting that every single student has requested advice from me on what to do, but in the breath asks me not to share what is going on with any one else. This always leads to the necessary conversation about what I legally need to report, and telling students I’ll try to keep their privacy but when it comes to their safety I won’t always be able to keep their confidences.
 
Many of the cases students have brought to me this year do qualify as cyberbullying, but in most cases the student(s) and I have a conversation about “So, this person sent a really harmful message. Now, how are you going to respond?” “Is not responding at all appropriate? Can you message to say please stop messaging me?” We talk through ways to handle the hurtful messages without causing more harm. I’ve actually had two different students come back to me and say sending a message asking the person to stop worked. One student actually received an apology after messaging to ask the person to stop sending hurtful messages.
 
 It still surprises me that something so simple can work, but we have trained students that the message “No, means no” is something you can’t ignore. Just look in the news for all the colleges that are addressing the “No, means no” idea with young adults. Obviously, if the message still needs addressed there is a reason (and I don’t want to belittle that), but by this concept being addressed in the news, my high schoolers are getting the message too.

I took a like at the iDriveDigital app that provides the digital drivers license for students.  The app has several different courses, all amounting to a quiz at the end of each one, with a final quiz for the digital drivers license.  They each start with an engaging lesson, with some explore options and than the quiz at the end. Only going through the app, there is little to no explanation on the different sections, and no real place to gain additional proven information.  I think the multiple choice questions don't reflect correct answers, as several of the questions are more open ended than they should be for multiple choice.

There are several areas that include worksheets, direct connection videos and step by step practice that are all great strengths of the program.

If I were to use this in the classroom, I would need to add extensions and more explanation for each part.  I don't believe there is enough background information in each section for the student to truly get the message.

Overall I think the Digital Driver’s License is a great idea. I like the fact that it is self-contained and keeps the teacher in the loop. At the high school age group, students are excited to earn their driver’s licenses so I think they will relate to the idea of earning their DDL.

However, in some rural communities, earning a driver’s license is not a privilege some students have access to without substantial money. In my previous district, it was not uncommon for there to be only one truck in the entire community and maybe one or two roads. Students would have to fly to Nome or Anchorage to even practice on roads with stop signs or red lights. In these rural communities, I’d be hesitant to use the DDL just because it is formatted around students earning a driver’s license. Most would think this is not a hot issue, but in some rural communities, it could bring out more conflict on the “haves” vs. the “have-nots” than intended.

For students who do live on the road system, I think the format of earning a DDL is great. Students could earn this license and then more licenses could be added to it depending on a school’s direction. For example, a school could add a CDL license that could be Cyber Defense License where students learn more about protecting their identities or something else that could supplement the original DDL.

When watching the video tutorial of the DDL program, I did wonder what the reading level of the lessons were. At a fast glance, some of the text looked a little challenging for some of my students, even at the high school level. I’d be curious what my students would say about the program if my school started using it. The students often pick out things within online programs that I’d never even think to question. Overall on the DDL, thumbs up and would be willing to try it.

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First of all, if +Kelly Mendoza is here, I’d like to thank her for joining in the discussion, and I’d like to thank her and Common Sense Media for all of the good, hard work they’ve done.

I like the questions that Jason suggested, so I’m going to work with those.

1. Which Common Sense Media materials most resonated with you as an educator? How might you use them?

All of the materials are very well-thought-out and presented nicely. I’m a big fan of the parent section, too because supporting the parents is something that is important but can sometimes be overlooked or challenging. One thing, in particular, that I like is the “Customizable Device Contract” (http://goo.gl/8oyD6w). Along with the Responsible Use of Technology Policy that they need to sign, it’s something that we now send out, to parents in the summer. We don’t ask for these device contracts back, but occasionally parents do forget and submit them to the school, which is actually neat because it shows they are being used.

2. How might your school or district use these materials? Should teachers consider their use on an individual basis? Should schools or districts consider something more system?

While my partner at work and I have been creating our Digital Citizenship and Literacy framework this year, we have been looking at many resources, including scope and sequences. Overall, Common Sense Media’s (https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/scope-and-sequence) had the best range of topics, many of which we’ve used (with citations provided) in our framework. I work at an all-girls school, so the gender-based topics were especially welcome. The final version of our digital citizenship framework will provide resources for parents, students, and teachers, and I’m sure that a good number of those resources will link to Common Sense Media’s site. 

I also loved the quote from the activity page for this week about not hiding online life from the students but teaching them to navigate thoughtfully what’s online: “We can’t cover their eyes but we can teach them to see.” In fact, I put it into a presentation (also properly credited and cited) I’m giving our staff in a few weeks to encourage people to move beyond telling students everything that is bad about the Internet and social media. I believe it was either earlier in this course or in a webinar when I heard Jason Ohler compare it to learning to drive and doing more than teaching only about the dangers of the road. Plus, the students have also told me they are tired of the scare tactics. So, I do like that Common Sense Media is leading the way in this regard.

Of course, no site or resource is perfect. We didn’t use all of Common Sense Media’s scope and sequence, and we found the number of their categories to be a bit too intimidating for our teachers, so we’ve simplified the categories but kept similar age ranges. Each school or district is unique and, so, the resources won’t necessarily meet all of a school’s or district’s needs. Ideally, there would be at least a couple of resources for the different topics in the digital citizenship framework, too, so that each teacher can choose which one is most suitable for his or her class.

As you all know, I am a K-1 teacher and since the DDL currently offered through Kentucky is geared toward High School students, I would not be able to use it as it is right now.  However, it is encouraging to know that they are working on making a middle school and elementary version.  Since my students, even as young as they are, have taken tests such as MAPS to determine their academic performance, I am sure they would be able to navigate through a program like this if it was set up in a similar way.  As students work through the MAPS test the questions they are given get more difficult or easy depending on their level of proficiency at that given level.  It is not uncommon for my extremely bright math students to be given questions at a third grade level. Since they can’t read some of these more difficult questions on their own they can push a button that reads the questions for them.  I know that my students could answer many of the questions on the DDL test if they did not have to read them.  I could read the questions to them as well, but the human component, even though we may not try to, often has an impact on the way students might answer a question.
I like the way the DDL gives students an opportunity to answer questions and then get feedback on how they answered.  I also like the “prove it” portion, the fact that they can retake it again and again, and those teachers who are registered (at any school they move to) can see the results.  This type of set up makes it easy for teachers to really know where their students are coming from, opens up discussions, and allows for further teaching.  
I agree with what Vala Afshar had to say in her article Digiatal Citizenship: Business Can learn from K-12 Educators, “DDL can be used as a teaching and learning tool,” and its “not about limits and blockades.” DDL seems to be a very practical, nonthreatening way to get students to think about digital citizenship, and I would love to see a DDL version that my teaching and paraprofessional staff could take.  I could see it be a very beneficial thing to add to our inservice at the beginning of each new year and as new staff enter our school district.  I learned a lot about myself by looking through the questions and scenarios; it really got me thinking.  
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