All students in Grades 6 and 11 had Digital Citizenship classes this week. The Grade 6 students, in a class facilitated by Mr. Tony Potts and Ms. Terry Maguire, learned how to use the SIFT acronym to analyze news claims. SIFT stands for Stop, Investigate, Find, and Trace (see SIFT acronym infographic below). Using a case study of COVID vaccine efficacy and safety, students looked at two different websites and used the SIFT acronym to evaluate each source. Increasingly, it is not enough to evaluate a source on its own; triangulating information by looking for support for evidence in at least two other mainstream news outlets is more useful.
In this Wednesday's Grade 11 Advisory led by Grade 11 advisor Ms. Terry Maguire, students read this recent New York Times piece about the resignation of Alexi McCammond from Teen Vogue as a result of racist tweets she posted ten years earlier, when she was seventeen years old. Students shared a wide range of their perspectives on whether or not they felt that her resignation was warranted, and then discussed take-away lessons from this cautionary incident. We then talked about the importance of proactively cultivating a positive digital footprint as a part of beneficial, engaged digital citizenship. We also connected our discussion of this current event to our school focus of anti-racism. This article promotes great discussion and might be one you'd enjoy reading to continue the conversation at home.
Digital citizenship has shifted away in recent years from being a list of "don'ts" and things to avoid, and instead emphasizes the pro-social ways that we can harness the power of technology to amplify our voices, to join important causes, to create safe spaces for ourselves and others online, and to be informed and engaged. If you are interested learning about this newer focus, you might be enjoy watching this three-minute video titled "Make Digital Citizenship About the Do's, and Not the Don'ts" by Richard Culatta, CEO of ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education).
We look forward to continued Digital Citizenship classes with Grade 8 next week.
Image credits: SIFT Acronym infographic created by Suzanne Sannwald based on research by Mike Caulfield (CC License); ISTE Infographic of the New Digital Citizenship Competencies
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