Tag Archives: digital citizenship

Digital Citizenship and Scratch

digital citizenship Scratch

There are so many great things about Scratch: it teaches programming skills to kids, it’s fun and easy, and it’s free! Another fantastic feature is the Scratch online community. Students can browse completed projects, try tutorials, create interactive media, share, get feedback, learn from others, participate in discussion forums, and more! A bonus spinoff of this learning community is that students build essential digital citizenship skills as they interact with other Scratch programmers.

Scratch can be used offline, but there are so many benefits to joining the creative online community of Scratchers!

Starter Projects

digital citizenship and Scratch

Scratch has an extensive gallery of sample animations, games, interactive art, music, and stories. New users are encouraged to view them, look at the basic code, and modify them. The code often has tips that explain what it does. Suggestions are given for what can be changed: add sprites to a story, devise more obstacles for a game, or add sound effects. This is a great way for students to create their own unique project yet experience success early in their learning.

Look at the Code

digital citizenship see inside

The See Inside button allows you to view the programming of a project. You can see how someone else’s project works, figure out the blocks needed to create a specific effect, add part of a project to your backpack, or remix it and save it as a new project.

Tutorials

Users new to Scratch can follow step-by-step, animated tutorials to make a project. Alternatively, download a set of illustrated, colorful activity cards and print them for easy to follow instructions.

Remix

The motto of Scratch is Imagine, Program, Share. Budding programmers can learn by downloading and modifying the work of others. Check out how many remixes there are of a sample project in the gallery – sometimes there are over 100 different versions of the original!

When it is uploaded, the remix of another creator’s project automatically gives credit to the original author and any others who contributed to it. Students are also encouraged to write something like “Based on […] by […]” Or “Thanks to […] for […]” In the Project Notes. Citing the source is an essential skill that students must master in any research work. Learning to acknowledge an author and avoiding plagiarism is a critical part of fostering sound digital citizenship.

Build Key Personal Skills

As young people learn to program, they learn to be innovative, build logical and computational thinking, and work collaboratively. These are all important life skills as well as fundamental competencies for the careers of the future.

Foster Digital Citizenship

Using the Scratch online community, students share their work, ask for help, exchange ideas and projects, and collaborate. As students view the work of others, they can click a star to ‘favorite a project’, click a heart to ‘love a project’, or leave a comment. This support boosts the concept of a community of creators who are working together and who encourage one another.

There’s also a set of Scratch Community Guidelines, a brief outline of common sense standards:

  • Be respectful
  • Be constructive
  • Share
  • Keep personal info private
  • Be honest
  • Help keep the site friendly

As students are building programming skills, Scratch can also help them to develop safe and responsible online practices.

Cyberbullying – Teach Awareness and Responses

As educators, we strive to promote a climate of respect. Bullying behavior is evident on the playground, but it is more difficult to detect and respond to when it takes place online. In addition, students need to recognize cyberbullying. They need to know when the line is crossed and a joke or teasing has gone too far. The first step is to build an awareness of cyberbullying. Next, students should know what they can do and who they can go to for help if they are a victim. Promote a community of responsible digital citizens in the classroom.

What Is a Cyberbully?

cyberbullyingCyberbullies are people who threaten another person by using the Internet to post hurtful or embarrassing messages, images, or videos. Cyberbullies can make a person feel scared, worried, or angry.

Often a bully will say that the message “was just a joke.” Cyberbullying is NO JOKING MATTER and it is NOT FUNNY.

Cyberbullying is illegal. In some countries cyberbullying is a hate crime that can result in a fine or jail time. In other countries, cyberbullying is slander and a lawsuit can be filed against the bully. At some schools, cyberbullying is a reason for expulsion or cause to ban use of Internet at school.

Do Not Be a Cyberbully

Be a responsible digital citizen. Do not be a bully!

  • Do not continue to e-mail someone after they have asked you to stop.
  • Do not post any comments online, using e-mail, chat, or social media sites, which would be hurtful or embarrassing to another person.
  • Do not threaten anyone using e-mail, chat, or social media sites.
  • Do not post or tag a picture of anyone without their consent.
  • Do not share personal information about another person without their consent.

What Should You Do if You are a Victim of Cyberbullying?

When you are bullied it can make you feel worried or scared. Do not ignore the problem. You can stop cyberbullying. To do this:

  • Tell an adult about the bullying.
  • Do not delete the message from the bully. It is evidence.
  • Inform your Internet service provider. They can help find the identity of the bully.
  • If a message contains a death threat or threat to cause bodily harm, contact the police.

What Can You Do to Stop Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying can be done using e-mail, instant messaging, bulletin boards, websites, polling booths, and more.

  • E-Mail: Cyberbullies send hateful messages to a person using e-mail. Often the cyberbully will register for a free e-mail account so no one will be able to guess their identity. They may register for an e-mail address that has a threatening tone such as kickname@live.ca.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Add the e-mail address of the sender to a blocked e-mail list. This will stop new messages from being delivered. It is possible to trace the source of an e-mail. You can contact the Internet service provider of the e-mail account to try to get the company to delete the e-mail address of the cyberbully.

  • Instant Messaging: Cyberbullies send hateful messages to a person using chat software. Often the cyberbully will change their nickname to include a nasty message such as “Name is ugly” or ” I hate name.” Everyone who receives an instant message from the cyberbully will be able to read the mean nickname.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Add the contact information of the sender to a blocked list. This will stop new messages from being delivered. If the cyberbully is a student, you can contact their parent or teacher to let them know about the abuse.

  • Bulletin Boards: Cyberbullies post hateful messages to a bulletin board that people can read. The messages often include the victim’s telephone number or e-mail address to get other people to abuse the person.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Contact the manager of the bulletin board. The manager can delete the hateful message and stop the cyberbully from posting any new messages.

  • Websites: Cyberbullies create web pages that have mean pictures or hateful information about another person.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Most Internet service providers have rules about the content of websites. When cyberbullies create hateful web pages they are breaking the rules. The Internet service provider can request that the bully remove the content on the web page or delete the website.

  • Polling Booths: Cyberbullies post online surveys where people vote for the ugliest, fattest, dumbest boy or girl.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Polling booths are often part of a service offered by an online social community. Most communities have rules about the content members can post. When cyberbullies create hateful polls they are breaking the rules. The operator of the social community can request that the bully remove the poll or delete their member account.

  • Imposter: Cyberbullies will hack into the victim’s account. As an imposter, they will send fake e-mails or post rude comments.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Protect your identity. To do this, create a password that is difficult to guess. Do not tell your password to anyone, except your parent or teacher. Always log out when you leave a computer. If someone hacks into your account, change your password right away.

For more Internet activities and digital citizenship lessons, see TechnoKids’ technology project TechnoInternet.

Updated Internet Activities for Kids

NOTE: The technology project, TechnoJourney was replaced with TechnoInternet. The activities are similar.

Internet Activities for Kids

TechnoJourney internet activities

TechnoJourney internet activities have been recently revised, with new and improved lessons for elementary and middle school grades. The Internet is constantly changing and so are TechnoKids projects! TechnoJourney is a fun introduction to the Internet and it has just been completely updated. Have your students become Internet savvy with TechnoKids authentic online experiences.

Teachers, do your technology curriculum objectives include any of the following?

internet activities

  • internet safety
  • digital citizenship
  • research skills
  • copyright awareness
  • cyberbullying
  • e-mail etiquette

TechnoJourney teaches these concepts and more with fun, engaging activities. Students travel the Internet with a passport in hand. Choose a destination: Visitor’s Center, e-Library, e-Media Center, e-Playground, e-Mail Depot, or e-Cafe. At each stop students explore the sites, complete activities, and receive a stamp in their passport. This online expedition allows students to discover the wonders online as they learn the importance of responsible digital citizenship.

TechnoJourney internet activities

Learning objectives achieved in TechnoJourney internet activities include:
  1. demonstrate responsible, ethical, and safe behavior
  2. use search strategies to locate online resources
  3. bookmark web pages and organize them in a folder
  4. assess trustworthiness of web-based information
  5. watch educational and entertaining videos
  6. play online games, listen to music, view webcams
  7. communicate with e-mail using netiquette
  8. prevent cyberbullying
  9. communicate using chat
  10. evaluate forms of social media

internet activitiesWhen you order TechnoJourney you receive a teacher guide, digital student worksheets, and customizable resources. Additional materials such as an Internet map, Internet passport, Internet citizenship card, assessment tools, and enrichment activities support learning.

Transform your students into Internet experts with TechnoJourney internet activities!

New Product Release for Google Apps

Teachers using G Suite for Education will be excited to know that another project in the new series has just been introduced by TechnoKids. Following TechnoQuestionnaire, TechnoTimeline, and TechnoMap, the fourth all-new project is TechnoDebate. This project is a unique approach to exploring a controversial issue. Student partners collaborate to simultaneously work on a digital document arguing two sides of a topic. TechnoDebate develops critical thinking skills, persuasive writing techniques, and an appreciation of multiple viewpoints.

Use Google Slides to Make an Animated Debate

Using clip art characters and callout bubbles, each debater states a resolution, presents a constructive speech, delivers a counter argument in a rebuttal, and summarizes their position. Cross-examination is done at the end of the debate by audience members using the commenting feature. Optional extension activities are included for participants to cross-examine opponents and for a judge to select a winner.

Digital debate using Google Slides

Use Google Apps to hold a digital debate

Technology Integration Ideas

TechnoDebate integrates into curriculum. Students can debate on a wide range of topics. Teachers can include project activities as part of a social studies, language arts, history, or science unit. Suggestions include:

  • Citizenship Debate: Care about where you live. What does your community require? How can you help people in need? What action will improve the quality of life for others?
  • Democracy Debate: Become a stakeholder and state your perspective. Should a law pass? Is a rule fair? Should development proceed? Who should pay for an initiative?
  • Ethical Debate: Analyze a moral dilemma to understand diversity in values and beliefs. Is an action right or wrong? Are you for or against an issue? Are the motives of people good or bad? Is a decision justified or unwarranted? Is it helpful or harmful?
  • Advocacy Debate: Highlight a problem with the status quo. Why is there a need for change? What makes the current situation unacceptable?
  • Proposal Debate: Determine which course of action is the best. Why is Plan A better than Plan B? What are the advantages to a new plan? Why is the current system ineffective?
  • Literature Debate: Discuss events that happened in a story. Was the decision made by a character right? Did the character deserve to win? Were the actions of a character fair? What choice should a character make? Should a character have done that action?
  • Historical Debate: Think like a historian. Investigate a time in history to gain a better understanding of the people and events. What evidence suggests current understanding of a historical event is wrong? Was a historical decision fair to all stakeholders? What would a significant person say in a debate about an issue during their time?
  • Environmental Stewardship Debate: Discover the balance between human needs and the sustainability of the environment. Is economic growth or nature more important? How should humans adjust their behavior to protect the environment? Who should have access to natural resources? What needs to change to protect the environment for future generations?

Public Debate Format

In TechnoDebate, students learn how to structure a debate. The student workbook includes illustrated, step-by-step instructions to:

Create a debate using Google Slides

  1. Take a stand: Each side will state their position on the topic. This statement is called a resolution.
  2. Present a persuasive argument: Each side will build their case by presenting three arguments using evidence such as statistics, expert opinion, or observations to support their ideas. This is called a constructive speech.
  3. Prepare a rebuttal: Each side will examine the arguments made by the opposition to find weaknesses. They will explain why the ideas presented by their opponent are flawed. This is called a rebuttal.
  4. Summarize ideas: Each side will summarize their main points and emphasis why their position is correct. The summary should make an appeal to the audience.
  5. Invite audience participation: The presentation will be shared with audience members. The audience will ask questions to which the debaters will respond to defend their position. This is called a cross-examination or crossfire.
  6. Judge debate (optional): The teacher, panel of peers, or audience members will determine which side presented the strongest arguments and were the most persuasive.

Sample Debates Included

To engage student interest and to provide an example of a completed debate, samples are included in the project resources.