Sunday, November 12, 2006

7th Grade Parent response activity

Dear 7th Grade Parents-

During advising sessions in grades 5-8 this year, we are going to focus on "digital citizenship" and what this means. Our essential question in grades 5-8 is, "What does digital citizenship in a global environment look like, feel like, and sound like?" This is a tough question, but an important one to consider as we prepare our students to be leaders in a "Flat" and global environment.

Today in advising we began the first of our three advising sessions that deal with this topic. We talked a little bit about citizenship in the physical world and how it is different and like citizenship in the electronic world. As a way to deepen our discussion, students are required to respond to a blog post just like you are doing now. Students are required to create an account at We spent some time talking about the proper way to create a account so that students are not revealing personal information. Learning to communicate effectively in a digital world is a key skill and one we will practice and work on with our students over the course of their Middle School experience here at USM.

Please take a moment and reflect on what digital citizenship looks like, feels like and sounds like. How does it compare/contrast with citizenship in the physical world? Please respond by leaving a comment below.

Peruse the following links on digital citizenship as you reflect on this post. Please include some of your own web links and resources in your comments if you'd like. : Very nice piece on digital citizenship with links to some nice resources on the web. : Very short blog write-up on digital citizenship. : Kansas State is even offering a 3 credit class on digital citizenship. This link will take you to an article from Leading and Learning with Technology that speaks to this topic. The article is written by Mike Ribble, who works at K-State and is a leader in this area.

Thank you,
Matt Montagne
Middle School Technology Coordinator
University School of Milwaukee


  1. Anonymous8:47 PM

    Very pertinent subject to cover. Emphasis should clearly be on security, safety and appropriateness of content. I would trust that there is a repository of all blog postings and responses that can be used against any individual creating them even though the individual has cloked himself/herself with a completely innoculous name. Thank you for addressing this subject.

  2. Anonymous8:59 AM

    I think 7th grade is a great age to cover these topics. As children are creating their own identity generally, and as computer usage becomes an increasingly larger part of their interactions with others, this focus reminds children that they cannot hide behind their monitors, and also that what they do affects others in ways they do not directly comprehend -- general lessons that apply here.

  3. Anonymous4:29 PM

    I find the term digital citizenship very helpful for these kids, reminding them they are attached to something larger than themselves (and other people!) not just a screen. I still have concerns about blogging degenerating into the lowest common denominator of behaviour and language, which it clearly does even in the adult world.