What We Need

My idea for the final project is a sharable document that offers ways for me or others to teach digital citizenship, online ethics and appropriate behaviour on social media.

The inception of this idea is interesting. It came out of discussions at our school about these topics. I sponsor Student Council and they have been charged this year with forming a Student Forum with the aim of looking at our school code of conduct—apparently this a district initiative. However, when the students started talking what needs updating, they expressed a concern about the absence of guidance and instruction regarding the topics above. Indeed, this is a problem, as evidenced most recently by a new study out of Stanford; in fact, the whole idea of “fake news” is a very hot topic these days. Thankfully, there seems to be a desire at the student level to address young people’s abilities to discern what is real out there and what is not. Perhaps more importantly, there is a desire to behave ethically and appropriately.


Cartoon by Micheal De Adder, Halifax Herald

To this end, I imagine the document to simply be a rationale, with subheadings, outlining the purposes and goals. There will be parts akin to mini lessons that I or others can pick and choose from and to which adjustments can be made (dropping options or adding new elements. There will be links to useful supporting sites, articles and research.

I have toyed a lot with format for this, but I want it to be something that I or others can easily use and adjust. I also want it to be something I can change and update. I have thought about it being in the blog form, and I like that, but blogs are not necessarily living documents, and I want this project to be that. I thought about a website, and that could work, especially with printable word docs for easy use. But, I don’t really like the idea of “lessons online” for many reasons—they go stale so often, I’m not sure if that is something I want to keep updating—however, I must admit that this is the kind of thing that could make its way into that format in the future.

Shellenberger, Sue. “Most Students Don’t Know When News is Fake, Stanford Study Finds.” Wall Street Journal. 21 November 2015.


One thought on “What We Need

  1. So, have you come up with the final format yet? It can be difficult choice, but if it is guided by: accessibility, update-ability, share-ability, and ease of construction, that should help make your decision. It is super timely to build this resource and I am glad to hear that students are requesting this type of learning due to our current news media environment. I look forward to seeing your final product.


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