Bookmarked What Adults Don’t Get About Teens and Digital Life (WIRED)

Well-meaning messages meant to keep teens safe can backfire. The key is to focus on judgment and agency, not rigid rules for screen time.

In an excerpt from Behind Their Screens: What Teens Are Facing (and Adults Are Missing), Emily Weinstein and Carrie James talk about teaching teens to build personal agency, anticipating and discussing different dilemmas before they arise, and encouraging collective agency where groups respond to challenges together.

Although I agree with all this, I still think the challenge is how to actually encorporate some of these practices into the day-to-day classroom. I once wondered of a school social space, but fear that such a space probably carries with it too much risk.

Replied to Expecting appropriate student behavior online (

Instead, think about what the underlying behaviour expectations are in classrooms and in schools? Then ask, how do these same expectations look online? The idea here is that digital citizenship is just citizenship. Digital spaces might be new frontiers for some educators and students, but they are frontiers in classroom learning spaces that have been around for a very long time. If we know how we want students to act in our classrooms, we also know how we want them to act in their digital classrooms.

I like that saying Dave, about ‘laws create outlaws’. I really enjoyed blogging in the classroom and found it offered up many learning opportunities just through the process of learning. For me, this rush to online learning has highlighted the need to support students around such spaces, something I have advocated for before:

Creating a digital sandpit is a step towards that in that it provides the means for a safer and more supportive environment. Whether it be knowing what to share or how to protect themselves online, we need to consciously teach our students best practise when it comes to participating on the web. We need to develop the deliberate practice of students regularly sharing their work and ideas in collaborative spaces.

Interestingly, I was left wondering by a comment that Bianca Hewes’ made in a post on project based learning online. She spoke about continuing some of the habits and practices in a different format. When we talk about transforming education, one opportunity we currently have is to stop and reflect to identify what we may have missed within our pre-pandemic practices?

Replied to The Global (viral) Village (David White)

When the virus is past its peak and we have done all we can to keep people safe will we better understand that our planet is now more of a village than a collection of nations?

David, I really liked your point about intersecting modes:

One of the aspects of the Web which makes it so difficult to make sense of is that it’s always operating in multiple, intersecting modes. For example, what we see on a daily basis online is a chaotic mix of official announcements and total speculation. We see complex data next to pure antidote – published ‘fact’ interwoven with conversation and gossip. The traditional demarcation of ‘information’ and ‘speculation’ by notions of public and private has dissolved. Just like a village, word travels fast and the community decides how to respond whatever the leaders might be saying.

RSVPed Interested in Attending Be Connected – Every Australian online

The eSafety Commissioner is hosting free webinar presentations to help older Australians stay safer online. It’s our way of helping the 4 million older Australians keen to improve their computer skills, but want help addressing online safety concerns.

Join us online to learn about the eSafety essentials. Bookings are limited so don’t miss out!

A collection of webinars provided by the eSafety team.
Liked Digital Citizenship to Digital Fluency (Beyond Digital)

Here are some examples of what digital fluency could look like, and what some schools are already actively creating. One example is giving high school students a LinkedIn account and spending time supporting what it means to have a public profile and how to curate a positive digital footprint compared to a personal social media footprint. Other schools are creating blended courses for parents on how to understand the difference between the pedagogic use of digital devices in schools and the challenges of a more open ended environment of digital device use outside of school in the home. Another example is having students develop public service announcements regarding malware and then coaching younger students on how to identify phishing emails and how to manage an antivirus app. Another is walking through the architecture of effective password creation and developing sustainable strategies to ensure a solid level of security in the students personal lives as a podcast. Or having students coach their parents through the privacy and security settings of their favorite app and create a how-to help screencast.

Bookmarked A Teen’s Guide To Privacy (BuzzFeed News)

How to be a private public person as you’re figuring out how to be an adult.

Lam Thuy Vo and Caroline Haskins provide some ways to think about online habits. This includes knowing which context you are in, the various ground rules at play, knowing that words will always be taken out of context and that the internet is not the place for everything.

Katelyn Bowden discusses the problems we are currently facing where on the one hand there are those promoting highly technical solutions for protecting our privacy, when there are still so many out there still trying to come to grips with the basics:

Yet, we are more concerned with creating advanced systems that only the most tech-savvy can use, while our most vulnerable and necessary populations struggle to grasp the basics of security.

Bowden suggests beginning with the basics:

We all want to make the world a better place, right? So, do me a favor? Talk to someone outside of the industry. Tell them about multifactor authentification, password managers, or red flags for phishing schemes.

Replied to

In danah boyd’s book It’s Complicated, she argued that:

A central challenge in addressing the sexual victimization of children is that the public is not comfortable facing the harrowing reality that strangers are unlikely perpetrators. Most acts of sexual violence against children occur in their own homes by people that those children trust.Page 110

Bookmarked What’s the Role of the School in Educating Children in a Datafied Society? (

During our research, we also found ourselves reflecting on the unique position of the school as an institution tasked not only with educating its students but also with managing their personal data. Couldn’t one then argue that, since the school is a microcosm of the wider society, the school’s own data protection regime could be explained to children as a deliberate pedagogical strategy? Rather than something quietly managed by the GDPR compliance officer and conveyed as a matter of administrative necessity to parents, the school’s approach to data protection could be explained to students so they could learn about the management of data that is important to them (their grades, attendance, special needs, mental health, biometrics).

Sonia Livingstone, Mariya Stoilova and Rishita Nandagiri argue that schools have a place to not only protect students data, but build their knowledge and understanding of the world that they are being protected from. They provide an online toolkit to support this.
Bookmarked Teaching Digital Citizenship: 10 Internet Safety Tips For Students (With Cyber Safety Posters) by Kathleen Morris (

While it’s unlikely young people will never experience an issue online, I believe it is a good aim to both minimise potential harm and ensure students feel like they always have someone to talk to.

Digital citizenship education is an ongoing process, and the work of one teacher is not enough. Ideally, we need parents, students, educators, community members, and school leaders to unite.

Most of all, we need to create a positive culture where students feel empowered to use technology safely and purposefully.

Kathleen Morris outlines her four layered approach to teaching digital citizenship. This focuses on integrating the various skills within the curriculum, providing real world stories to reflect upon, building up student toolkits and developing lines of communication. Associated with this, she also provides ten tips for students.
Replied to Digital Citizenship: Where Are We Now? by Dean Shareski (

Let me share a few ideas about how we might think about digital citizenship moving forward.

Continue to think of it as citizenship and not digital.
Spend time reflecting on what it means to be a good citizen.
Cite examples of positive and negative use of technology and social media
Get very comfortable with the nuances and reserve judgment. Let kids decide what and if social media has value and where its problematic
Talk about mental health and technology
Explore the research on the brain and stress
Engage in experiments of restraints and disconnection
Include the adults. This is not exclusively an issue for kids but an issue for everyone
Think carefully about any policies you enact
Don’t make it punitive. Even if you conclude you think mobile phones are a distraction, focus on the benefits for students. Allow them to recognize it as a distraction. This isn’t about control but it should be about informed choices.
Be okay with teachers having different policies. Not every discipline warrants the use of technology. If a teacher doesn’t see value, don’t force them to use it. Conversely if a teacher does see value don’t restrict them.

I find it a difficult conversation to flip from talking about the constructive use of technology to being more critical. I feel that the first challenge is being informed, while the next step is to develop better habits.

In regards to your balanced approach you maybe interested in Ian Guest’s work exploring Twitter to support professional development. It provides some novel insights and questions.

Knowing that you don’t read my blog, in am intrigued what your collection of ideas looks like in a world without social media? Maybe that is a good place to start?

Liked Google’s Reach into Classrooms (via NYT) by Kevin Hodgson (

I am right now in the midst of teaching my sixth graders in a Digital Life unit, where we discuss and explore issues of privacy, identity, choices, and the ways corporations like Google are using our browsing histories and data to target us with advertising. You won’t find mention of that state of the modern day technology world in Be Internet Awesome.

Bookmarked Situating Student Hacking by Doug Levin (

When a student does cross the line, schools should consider long and hard whether the most appropriate response is to expel the student and criminalize that behavior versus viewing it as a unique teaching moment and a chance to shore up internal security practices. (Many organizations, in fact, pay good money for penetration testing services and/or offer bug bounties as part of their security compliance programs). Given the emphasis on STEM careers and the importance of computer science for the broader economy, it would seem that we’d want to embrace and channel the energies of those who show an interest and facility in computer operations…even when it may be in unanticipated ways.

Doug Levin reflects upon the state of hacking schools today. He provides a case study of a student from Michigan who through his own curiousity found various holes in his school’s structure, which he used to circumvent security and prank other classes. Although the easy option can be to make an example of such students, Levin argues that more proactive measures most be taken by districts in protecting data and security. For in the end digital security is a leadership issue.

Penalties and disciplinary actions for students who violate acceptable use policies are established, but what of the consequences to school districts. At what point could district leadership be considered negligent? What obligation do schools have to be forthright with their communities about their digital security shortcomings? How might schools react differently to these incidents, in ways that are more proactive and even humane? These are hard questions, no doubt, but given the frequency of ‘students hacking their schools’ incidents, I believe it is time we more forthrightly address this complicated issue.

It is interesting to consider this alongside Mal Lee and Roger Broadie’s work on digital trust.

Liked Always Read the Terms by Doug Levin (

Amidst all the conversations about the importance of imparting information literacy and ‘digital citizenship’ skills to students, isn’t it time that we help them turn a more critical eye to the intellectual property and privacy provisions of commercial terms of service?

Listened IRL Podcast Episode 9: Digital Overload from

Recent reports estimate that over 50% of teens are addicted to their smartphones. Veronica Belmont investigates the impact of growing up online.What does it mean to grow up online? We investigate how the www is changing our bodies and our brains. A college student shares his experience at rehab for Internet addiction. Bestselling author Nir Eyal breaks down what apps borrow from gambling technology. Writer Heather Schwedel talks about taking a cue from Kanye and breaking up with Twitter. And blogger Joshua Cousins talks about the Internet as a lifeline, in the wake of recent natural disasters.

Veronica Belmont brings together a number of perspectives on digital life. From a critique of the naive advice to ‘just turn off’ to a comparison of habit vs addition, this podcast is not about easy answers, but rather about developing a better understanding.
Liked Four Moves (Four Moves)

The Four Moves blog is maintained by Mike Caulfield, who has been helping teachers integrate digital citizenship skills into the classroom for over 10 years. It is based on research conducted by Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew, which found that students lack knowledge of basic web techniques for verification and source assessment, which puts them at the mercy of misinformation.