Guest post from Heather Callihan

For the past few years, many schools and districts have celebrated Digital Citizenship Week in October. Digital Citizenship week aligns with Connected Educator Month. This week should be a time to share the importance of not only being a good digital citizen but also modeling and teaching what digital citizenship means and looks like. There is some hype around this week. If we can bring the importance of digital citizenship to the forefront and create a culture to lead, learn and grow online each and every day we can make an impact.

We are all part of this connected world. If you are looking for resources, connecting with friends or creating something, social media has the power to help us learn and grow. The other important part of the power of social media is leadership. Digital citizenship week creates an opportunity to promote the idea of moving from consumers to creators in these online spaces. 

Let’s try to shift these conversations from “what not to do” online to “what you can do” or “what can you do” online. Along with this shift we need to create more opportunities for students to create and interact on these online spaces. This level of engagement shifts the learning from passive to active as students practice creating content in digital spaces. 

When preparing for digital citizenship week, one of my goals is to find ways to not only help students learn and grow but to lead. Students as young as kindergarten can learn the importance of being an upstander and a leader by creating responses to online post scenarios. Upper elementary grades can learn the importance of having a positive online presence by simply sharing examples and engaging in conversations around who you are connected to on social media or online.

Society is filled with examples of what not to do. 

Students can lead and create more “here’s what you can do” examples if we provide the platform, time and support. We can move from learn, grow and lead to lead, learn and grow. My goal with all students is to create a culture of leadership, learning and growing online. Yes, the push is heavy during this one week. However, my goal is to create a theme of activities for students to engage in. These activities create conversations, memories, fun and foster the culture of online leadership beyond just a week.  

You can take a peek at what our week has in store here.

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