Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Digital Citizen Project

Over the last year or so, I have been trying to mull an idea around that would allow me to alleviate the fear based concerns of parents and staff about our children using the net for all sorts of reasons. I have read blogs and articles, watched webcasts and read books (gasp) on various models of motivating and empowering students to be intrinsically digitally responsible.

Some of you may have read my past thoughts on the matter here, here and here.

While there are many lessons on cyberbullying, good resources on safe internet use and articles about risks of sharing your identity, there is very little out there that seeks a proactive approach to empowering students to demonstrate that the majority of students are using the net in a responsible, respectful and effective way.

So as of today (Dec 3rd, 2008), I launched a public wiki called "The Digital Citizen Project" ( Much to my chagrin there is another project at the university of Illinois that has the same name. The goal of their project is not at all the same as our goals. Having said this, I dig the name so I hope that we can share.

At this stage we have 5 goals. They include;

1. Create a global student driven wiki that espouses the beliefs of digitally responsible students

2. Host examples and stories of students working to eliminate irresponsible internet use

3. Facilitate a student driven curriculum for safe web living, learning and sharing

4. Network students, educators and parents who want to break down fear based concerns of internet use in schools and homes

5. Provide students, educators and parents with a resource for facilitating the conversation about what it means to be digitally literate and digitally responsible.

Please visit and add your own goals (it is a public wiki after all) and share with your personal learning network. I call on educators from around the world to find students from elementary schools, middle schools and secondary schools from around the world who want to show the world what it means to be a positive digital citizen. Students who want to drive policy, trends and ideas. Students who want to show that school districts need not be concerned about minimally filtered networks. That the net and web 2.0 is ubiquitous and an essential tool for learning. The future is now and the future is respectful, responsible and intelligent. Help us prove it!


James McConville said...

Great project Dave.

I hear what you are saying. In my experience, it is easy to scare teachers/parents away from doing anything on the internet and then they are missing the most amazing opportunity of the century :)

Bob said...

Sounds like a wonderful project. I know that when I first started doing parent presentations on internet safety, the theme was protecting your children when they go online. Now, I am more focussed on the ethical use of online tools.

I'll pass your wiki url on to my PLN and also to staff in our school district.