Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Alison Swiggum - 20% Digital Citizenship Project

For my 20% project, I decided to focus specifically on phone etiquette as all of my high school students have phones and all of my students seem to be on them constantly.  Before this 20% project assignment, I felt like I was constantly nagging my students to put their phones away or to stop texting during class.

Like the link below describes, teens need to be aware of the addictive behavior that a cell phone invites.
I realize the draw to a phone.  It's entertaining, it provides instant gratification with selfie pictures, and you can always be connected to all of your friends all day long even if you are not in the same classes.  It's hard to compete with that.  But having the self-control to know when and when not to use a phone will be important as students move into careers.

During the 20% project time allotment, I had the opportunity to view and read many websites on digital citizenship and I realized that I needed to be more proactive with my students rather than constantly being reactive to their phone use.  My goal for my 20% project is to incorporate phone etiquette tips into my teaching so that students are knowledgable about what will be acceptable phone use in their futures.  I want to include these tips in a fun and light-hearted manner, so that the learning is engaging. Then I will expect the students to begin to model this acceptable phone use in my class.

I especially enjoyed this post and felt it had good tips for students who are beginning to consider jobs:

So basing my information on the hundreds of phone etiquette posts I found online, I spent time brainstorming the 5 most common mistakes that my students make when using their phones.  

My Five Main Focus Areas:

1. Oversharing - Sharing too much personal information online where others could access it.

2.  Photos and Privacy - Posting inappropriate photos and sharing them with others.

3.  Gossip - Sharing information that is not based on facts.

4.  Flaming - Saying mean or inappropriate things in texts, emails or online when you wouldn't say those things to someone's face.

5.  Technology Time Outs - the ability to take a break from your phone, disconnect and spend real time with friends, family, or in a classroom setting when phones are a distraction.

My plan is to have a phone etiquette tip of the month and use it as an anticipatory set.  I will try to make it fun sharing the phone etiquette tip, but I will also have students discuss in small groups why each tip would be beneficial.  I want students to be able to answer the questions, "Why is this important phone etiquette?" and "How does this apply to me, personally?"  Allowing students to reflect and discuss these phone etiquette tips will encourage them to make better choices in the future or at the very least, be more aware of how their phone use effects others around them.

In conclusion, the open ended assignment style is not what works best with my learning style.  I am one who likes clear guidelines to best understand what is expected of me.  When clear guidelines aren't outlined, I often doubt myself and wonder if I'm doing too much or too little for the assignment. Once again, this stretched me to think "out of the box" more than I'm used to or comfortable doing. But, that is a good thing, right?  I keep reminding myself of that whenever I feel like I am challenged to narrow down my ideas and choose just one project to do for this assignment.  I do hope that moving forward, I do hope that teaching this information will make a positive impact on my students.

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