Social Networking in the Classroom: Talking to Students about Sexting

Responsibile digital citizenship is something that everyone should be addressing in schools. It is important to be proactive in our approaches, rather than simplying reacting to all situations. Josh provides a variety of suggestions for opening up discussions and learning opportunities.

Breaking Down Digital Walls

The issue of sexting is starting to come around again big time and causing a lot of problems for schools. Problems arose when 10 students, aged 14 to 18, at Walpole High School in Massachusetts found themselves being questioned by police regarding illicit messages being sent around the school.

ID-10092889One important piece of information to highlight from this Fox 25 report is that in Massachusetts and many other states, sexting falls under child pornography and comes with many serious consequences including federal charges and possibly having to register as a sex offender.

Police in Walpole are not planning on bringing such serious charges against these first-time offenders but there will be action taken.

This series of events is a great learning opportunity not only for the students involved, but for students, educators and parents everywhere.

I highly encourage teachers to look into this story and take advantage of some great…

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#DCMOOC- some final thoughts

Participation in the #DCMOOC community has enlightened my views of the impact of the internet on myself, my students and our society.

I would like to say thank you to:

This short video clip is for all of you.

Citizenship: Being a Member of a Larger Community

Over the last five weeks #DCMOOC has allowed us to connect with a variety of leaders in the field of Digital Citizenship. This past week I was able to catch the Media Smarts Overview w/ Matthew Johnson

According to Matthew Johnson of MediaSmarts, a Canadian not-for-profit organization for digital and media literacy, the latest research with teens around digital citizenship indicate that scare techniques do not inspire teens to engage in positive digital citizenship… in fact it may even promote more negative behaviors.

How do we encourage positive online behaviors?

We need to believe that students are capable of positive online behaviors.

Our conversations around citizenship need to evolve.

We need to focus on responsibility towards others, emotional regulation and teaching empathy.

Perhaps a one way to do this is to change the language we use. Terms like cyber bullying are often overused by the media. The result is a word that becomes cliché and potentially loses its impact.…. Asking students if they have ever witnessed or experienced any type of mean and cruel behavior is more specific than using the generic term cyber bullying. This more specific question encourages students to reflect back on past experience through the lense of empathy.

Another way to increase positive digital citizenship is to social norm positive online behavior. Students like to be a “part” of the crowd. If students believe that it is normal to behave negatively online they will conform with negative behavior. Therefore it is important that parents and educators take the time to point out the quality and frequency of positive youth online interactions as a form of positive peer pressure. There are many positive online communities and movements such as WE DAY which provide students with opportunities to connect with others while participating as active global citizens.

Finally lets celebrate.

Students are doing amazing things online. Just this week I was looking for information on the topic of Fair-trade to share with my junior high English classes in Japan. The majority of the work I found, which was presented at a language level my ESL students could use, were public service announcements, such as this one, produced by other junior high students from around the world.

The result- ten classes of Japanese grade nine students were not only learning English, but also reflecting on global citizenship issues. The biggest draw for the students was the realization that students in other countries were thinking about these things too.

Positive digital citizenship is about connecting, caring and sharing. It involves open dialogues, suggestions and ideas. I would love to hear how you are encouraging positive digital behavior?

How DO we develop Digital Citizenship

It is now week two of #DCMOOC.
I am so thankful to be part of this wonderful community and its collective body of knowledge. Our multi-level, multi disciplinary network provides a wealth of perspective and inspiration on how to assist students into developing into the best that they can be. This week I’ve chosen to practice collecting information and providing proper attribution by remixing a few inspirational thoughts from my PLN. Thank you to Terry Johanson and her blog post Just Like Nancy, for moving me into a DOing frame of mind. Please feel free to share or add any ideas or comments.

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The above image reminds me that Alec Couros highlighted the reality of our digital society during his live session  Introduction to Digital Citizenship. Citizenship is something that we should strive to DO in all our daily environments.


DO give students opportunities to practice


DO offer practical explanations


DO make it DO able

By providing your students with  short and informative how to videos such as the one produced by fellow #DCMOOC member Jordan Epp



DO share resources.

What about you? What DO you DO?