A Real Lesson in Digital Citizenship

Girl with mobile taking photo *
Credit: http://plpnetwork.com

My students and I had an “a-ha” moment the other day, in terms of digital citizenship and how we really need to think before we post images to the Internet. Or maybe even before we take the picture.

We are working hard to discourage our students from taking “candids” of each other at school, and more important, from posting those pictures on their favorite social network. I know that may sound strange to many readers, but I teach some very transient, very high-risk kids, and we cannot guarantee the safety of some of our students if other kids are taking their pictures (and then posting them on Facebook to share with friends).

It’s a difficult situation. Everybody with a hand-held device has the ability to take a picture (and many can take video). My students know that I take pictures in class, to document what we’re doing, and that I encourage them to take photographs to help with their learning (grab a picture of the verb chart we’re working on, if it’s easier for you to use that medium — or take a photo of a favorite piece of student art, so you can describe it in French).

What we’re trying to cut down is the great shot of your “bestie” doing cartwheels on the yard that might also show the faces of three kids in the background who aren’t supposed to have their photos taken. A quick share of that picture puts those kids’ safety at risk.

Read more: A Real Lesson in Digital Citizenship.