BlogWalker

Muddling through the blogosphere

August 16, 2015
by blogwalker
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Rethinking Digital Citizenship – It’s ongoing

One of the hats I wear as a district technology integration specialist is coordinating our digital citizenship program. I’m lucky to share the responsibility with a very talented and like-minded colleague. She and I have been on what seems like an ever-changing journey for about 10 years now, stemming back to the days of “MySpace hysteria,” when we called the topic Internet Safety.

As social media tools and venues grew, with our students making good and bad choices, we soon recognized the need to help keep students safe from others – but also to keep them safe from each other – and from themselves. My colleague and I chat on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis on what needs to be updated on our district digital citizenship website and how we can best support students, teachers and administrators as the digital citizenship lead learners at their school sites.

We’ve shared resources such as Tanya Avrinth’s Rebranding Digital Citizenship with Google Tools (see below), a wonderful example and reminder that it doesn’t make sense to teach digital citizenship in isolation when, in an age of Google + affordable devices (Chromebooks, smartphones, etc.), students now have opportunities within the core curriculum to roll up their sleeves and put their #DigCit skills into practice.

In Tanya’s words,”Digital Citizenship is no longer an add-on; it’s how we teach.”

We’ve also given some thought as to whether we should drop “digital” and simply refer to the topic as “citizenship,” in recognition that citizenship is citizenship. At this point, however, we know our site VPs and counselors, who typically have to deal with the drama and disruption of the school day brought on by misuse of cell phones, for instance, truly appreciate that we continue to refer to the topic as “digital citizenship.” When conferring with the offending student(s) and parent(s), it really helps when students have to start by acknowledging the fact that they’ve had X number of years of digital citizenship instruction and do understand the consequences of hitting the Submit button.

Our over-arching goal, even beyond the goal that every graduating senior Googles well, has always been to help students in moving from digital to global citizenship. Whether it’s Mrs. Petuya’s Kindergartners blogging with scientists in Antarctica about penguins or K-12 students posting on a VoiceThread about what it means to cross the line from bystander to upstander, we want students to have opportunties to become connected and contributing digital/global citizens.

So, even though the title of Keith Heggart’s Edutopia article, “Why I Hate ‘Digital Citizenship,” had me a little worried, when I actually read the article, I agreed with his stance that we need to go beyond simply teaching students responsible, respectful use of the Internet and start teaching “how to participate – safely, yes, but also meaningfully and thoughtfully – in civil society, in political, social and other spheres.”

But I don’t think I’ll be suggesting to my district that we adopt Keith’s suggestion of renaming our current programs [which cover 1) taking a stand against cyberbullying; 2) building a positive digital footprint; 3) respecting intellectual property; and 4) protecting online privacy] to Digital Responsibility. Instead, I’m thinking more like a SAMR model, where our site programs move from Beginning Digital Citizenship (the above 4 topics) to Advanced Digital Citizenship, where students take their #DigCit skills beyond the classroom, school site, and district and connect with a global audience. Advanced DigCit would most likely happen within the core curriculum and would also likely be project-based.

If you have ideas  to share or lessons learned about rethinking, rebranding, and/or renaming school and district digital citizenship programs, please share by leaving a comment.

April 5, 2015
by blogwalker
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Digital Citizenship PSA Challenge – Please share with your students

If your students have some thoughts to share on digital citizenship issues, please tell them about the 2015 Digital Citizenship PSA Challenge. This year marks the 4th year the Digital ID Project has sponsored the event. Students are invited to submit a Public Service Announcement (up to 90 seconds, excuding the credits) on any of the following topics:

  • cyberbullying
  • digital footprints
  • intellectual property (copyright, fair use, and/or creative commons)
  • online privacy

In addition to a beautiful certificate awarded to all students listed in the PSA credits, a $25 iTunes card will be awarded to the lead student for each winning entry. Three entries per grade-level division (Elementary, Middle, and High School) will be selected.

Entries must be submitted (online) by midnight, May 6, 2015. For more information, visit the PSA Challenge page and download the 2015 PSA Challenge flyer.

 

January 2, 2015
by blogwalker
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Teaching Kindness

It’s become quite clear that modern education must encompass more than just academics, and that matters of the heart must be taken seriously and nurtured as a matter of priority. Lisa Currie

The Challenge: Can kindness and empathy really be taught?

This morning I re-read Lisa Currie’s October post for Edutopia: Why Teaching Kindness in Schools Is Essential to Reducing Bullying. In the past couple of months, the impact of school-wide bullying in the Sacramento region has been disturbingly newsworthy: the tragic suicide of an 8th grader in one district; a bullying lawsuit in an adjoining district; a number of student suspensions for racist activities at another; and an embarrassing parent confrontation during a regional cyberbullying public event for another.  This recent stream of bad press highlights the need for districts to teach – and expect – kindness and civility (AKA good citizenship) – face-to-face and online.

In my current position as a technology integration specialist for a large public school district, I am a regular visitor in K-12 classrooms. Many school sites display banners and/or posters around the campus reflective of the sites’ character education programs. Many have added cyberbullying to their character ed programs or are offering it as a stand-alone part of their digital citizenship curriculum (all sites are required to have some type of #digcit program in place). I am proud of the way many of our students, particularly at the secondary level, have stepped up to the challenge of confronting bullying. At one site, for instance, through their Unbullyable project, I know students have had a positive impact on their own campus as well as on their feeder elementary and middle schools.

 

I am grateful I have not yet opened the SacBee to find one my district’s schools featured on the front page for hurtful or hateful acts. And I applaud the efforts of K-12 teachers across the district to support their students in standing up and speaking out against bullying/cyberbullying. Yet a number of times, at several high school campuses, as I make my way through throngs of students exiting at the end of the school day, I hear them yelling out to classmates with rude, racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., comments. As tempting as it is to keep walking (it’s just kids being kids, no? … I’m not actually a faculty member here, right?, etc.), when I stop and face the offending student (who probably had not realized there was an adult in their midst), he or she basically always has the same reply: “Oh … Sorry… I was just kidding.” It takes my standing there a while longer before they will generally say once again that they are sorry. It think/hope the difference is that the first “Sorry” is because I heard them; the second “Sorry,” the one that matters, is for having said the unkind slur in the first place.

 

Kindness can be taught, and it is a defining aspect of civilized human life. It belongs in every home, school, neighborhood, and society.” Maurice Elias, Rutgers University

Stepping Up to the Challenge

But really, can kindness be taught? Can school districts serve as hubs for promoting these essential, timeless life skills? As evidenced in the Unbullyable project, I think so. Part of my job involves checking that all sites are teaching digital citizenship. In the first quarter of the school year, each site submits how it plans to meet e-Rate requirements. So teaching a few lessons during an advisory period, for instance, from Common Sense Media’s wonderful offerings, meets the requirements and often generates thought-provoking, possibly behavior-changing conversations. But some sites go above and beyond the minimum requirements by supporting a variety of student-led initiatives. These sites recognize that, with bullying/cyberbullying, the most impactful campaigns are student-initiated and student-led. At several of these same sites, teachers are weaving discussions of current bullying issues (local, national, or global) into their literature and social studies units. Although I’ve not set up any type of formalized student surveys, I’d be willing to bet that at these sites bullying incidents are becoming less frequent and, hopefully, less devastating.

Tips and Resources for Teaching Kindness

So how do we teach kindness to our students? I believe in the power of stories to transform hearts and actions. Thankfully, there is a wealth of powerful literature, starting with picture books, that teachers can use to ignite ongoing conversations on what kindness looks like. Common Sense Media’s Books that Teach Empathy list is a great K-12 resource and includes some of my favorites, such as R.J. Palacio’s Wonder.

There are also a growing number of websites that offer action-based lessons, such as the National Council of Teachers of English’s  Read, Write, Think site. Their Living the Dream: 100 Acts of Kindness lesson/challenge would be a wonderful literature extension for primary grades to use in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s,legacy and upcoming birthday. For middle and high school, I recommend visiting Facing History and Ourselves and checking out their Bullying and Ostracism Collections for resources to help students “think critically about the dynamics and impact of bullying in schools and communities.”

It is from stories, whether fiction or nonfiction, recent or from the past, and the ensuing conversations, that students often come to understand the role of the bystander in allowing bad things to happen, from bullying on the playground to unthinkable, unspeakable acts of government sanctioned brutality. Students need examples of what it means to cross the line from bystander to upstander. They need opportunities for grade-level and cross-generation conversations on how the courage of a single person to stand up and speak out against bullying and social injustice can change the school climate or even the history of the world. One of my favorite upstander’s tools is the Upstanders, not Bystanders VoiceThread. I co-curate this VoiceThread with my Digital ID partner/National Writing Project colleague Natalie Bernasconi. In the two years since we started the Upstanders, not Bystanders project, we’ve come to value how all voices and stories matter, from our kindergarten contributors to our Rwandan genocide survivor. Teaching kindness and civility needs to start in the primary grades and continue through adulthood.

One tip I have for readers is to document the work of your school sites. In the Sacramento bullying samples I mentioned above, I believe three of the four districts are currently in the process of developing district-wide digital citizenship plans. The fourth district has curriculum and procedures in place, but refers to the program as digital literacy rather than digital citizenship. Although the broader title makes sense, in the likely need to CYA, I think it’s wise to intentionally single out how each site specifically implements the teaching of citizenship/digital citizenship. A simple procedure my district has put in place, in addition to each site submitting an implementation plan at the start of the year, is requiring each principal to sign a statement at the end of the year verifying that digital citizenship has been taught at his/her site.

As my district heads into the third year of requiring school sites to document their digital citizenship plans, one shift I’ve noticed is also one I strongly recommend: Rather than plug in your plan at the close of the school year (post testing), as some of our secondary sites initially did, start the year teaching kindness and civility. Whether it’s through a shared article, a story, an assembly, etc., if the activity is followed with classroom discussion, I am pretty sure you will find, as a number of our teachers have, that student buy-in will be greater as will instances of students actually putting their citizenship skills into practice. Once standards for online/offline behavior have been articulated across the site, students are more likely to speak up for others and to think twice before they hit the submit button.

Additional Resources

In addition to the resources listed above, another outstanding resource is the Cyberbullying Research Center. I love their Cyberbullying Quiz – What the Research Shows, and all the resources linked under their Related Posts section. This exceptional resource, and many more, are listed on the Stepping Up page of the Digital ID project – along with the invitation for your students to submit a PSA in the upcoming 2015 Digital ID PSA Challenge.

Edutopia! Lisa Currie’s article is part of the dynamic Bullying Prevention collection of resources on teaching kindness, empathy, and digital citizenship.

On my New Year’s Resolution List is the intent to update this post during the school year with samples of digital citizenship surveys for students, along with data on the results and impact of teaching kindness and civility. I welcome your input.

Best wishes to all school sites for a year of newsworthy positive accomplishments!

 

 

April 6, 2014
by blogwalker
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2014 Digital Citizenship PSA Challenge

If you are looking for opportunities for your students to speak out on digital citizenship issues, checkout the 2014 Digital Citizenship PSA Challenge. Students in grades 4-12 are invited to submit a 90-second (or less) PSA that addresses taking a stand on cyberbullying, building a positive digital footprint, respecting intellectual property, or protecting online privacy.

Sponsored by the Digital ID project, all the information for creating and submitting a PSA is posted to the PSA Challenge page, including a wealth of resources and even a link to printable flyer.

Prizes? Yes. Once again we* are offering $25 iTunes cards to student producers of the top three entries for elementary, middle, and high school categories.

Please let me know, by leaving a comment, if you have questions. Hope to see entries from your students!

*Disclaimer: I am a co-curator of the Digital ID project. As my fellow co-curator Natalie Bernasconi and I head into our 3rd year of sponsoring the PSA Challenge, we look forward to showcasing the work of students across the nation and globe. The Digital ID project and the PSA Challenge are in recognition that the most powerful, impactful teaching model is the students-teaching-students model.

October 14, 2013
by blogwalker
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A Week for Honoring “Upstanders”

Last week started with my fingers crossed that Malala Yousafzai would win the Nobel Peace Prize.  Even though she did not, her story and her words have had a huge impact, almost rendering Jon Stewart speechless:

Malala is a tough act to follow when gathering stories of those individuals who have chosen to cross the line from bystander to upstander and, in the process, change the history of the world, or at least a corner or two of the world. But John Riordon’s untold story – until last night’s 60 Minutes feature on Daring Rescue Days before the Fall of Saigon  – definitely qualifies as an upstander’s story.

As we head towards National Digital Citizenship Week, if you and/or your students have stories to share about upstanders, from the past or present, I hope you will join the on-going conversation on the Upstanders, Not Bystanders VoiceThread. The VoiceThread includes separate slides for elementary, middle, and high school students, plus adults (1st slide), but everyone is welcome to respond to others’ comments across grade levels and generations. The current stories (“thread”) range from heroes on the playground to historic and global upstanders – with room for more!

June 30, 2013
by blogwalker
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ISTE 2013 Takeaways – Day 3

ISTE 2013 Day 3

Session 1

Tech That! Extending Student’s Digital Environment into the ClassroomRobert Craven and Rushton Hurley were

From Dr. Ruben Puentedura

From Dr. Ruben Puentedura

a dynamic duo. My biggest takeaway was an introduction to Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation,  Modification, Redefinition) model for technology integration, which makes visible the transition from technology as tool for enhancing learning to technology as a tool for transforming learning.

A great tip from Robert: Give your PD workshops at sites, targeted to what teachers at that site need.

A great reminder from Rushton: When students take their work to an authentic audience, they want to know if their work is “good.” When they publish solely for their teachers, they want to know if their work is “good enough.”

A great read: New Media Verizon Report – Tips on how to pull experiences students have outside of class into class.

Session 2

Digital Citizenship: A Crosswalk from Common Core to Core Curriculum I’m plugging my own session because any opportunity to co-present with my Digital ID co-curator Natalie Bernasconi is always an energizer and a privilege.  Having Common Sense Media’s Kelly Mendoza joining us was  icing on the cake.  And having Mike Ribble in the audience further validated the importance of weaving digital citizenship into the core curriculum.

Session 3

Advanced Searching for Inquiry Meets the Common Core – Project-Based Learning educator Mike Gorman and a IT director Anita Harris teamed for this session.

Takeaways:

  • “Search is research.”
  • A Google Advanced Search should be a basic search for students. Brilliant!
  • A few more search tools:
    • VisuWords.com – CCSS short research – Nural net of word associations.
    • Wordsift.com
    • wikipedia – great starter – take it into a Wordle * great idea for finding key words
    • answergarden.ch
    • www.text2mindmap.com
    • wolfram alpha – Find, for instance, nutritional value of a burger
    • www.sweetsearch.com – Human reviewed search engine for students.  Credible results – great starting point – check out biographies
    • Twurdy (too wordy) – color-coded – down to age 8
    • Google Custom Search  – why not involve students in creating it?
    • think-pair-share – Funny how this time-tested strategy works as well today as in the past – especially in PBL classrooms.
    • Twitter Advanced Search – How did I not know about advanced search feature, which does not require signing into Twitter. Could be a great way to bring more educators on board with the power of Twitter.

     

Birds of a Feather Session: Digital Citizenship

Good news! Thanks to the vision and commitment of Mike Ribble and Jason Ohler, ISTE may soon be adding a Digital Citizenship SIG (Special Interest Group). I loved being part of this high-energy group discussion. We brainstormed the SIG’s potential goals and projects, which included providing a forum for exchanging best practices, working with teacher prep programs to ensure that teachers are well-prepared for integrating digital citizenship into the curriculum; and creating a digital citizenship massive open online course (MOOC). And we even agreed on the Twitter name: @digcitsig.

Takeaways:

Digital citizenship:

  • Can’t be top down, can’t be taught in isolation, and can’t be tested; it should be crowd sourced
  • None of our online programs are evidence-based – we need to empower kids – not scare them. Discussion is key! (not just lessons).
  • In the time of Common Core, we need to provide digital environments to teach digital citizenship; otherwise, it’s like teaching swimming without a pool.

 

 

June 28, 2013
by blogwalker
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ISTE 2013 Takeaways – Day 2

ISTE 2013 Day 2

Session 1

“Inquiry is the personal path of questioning, investigating, and reasoning that takes us from not knowing to knowing” Suzie Boss

Signposts to Better Projects: How to take thinking deeper in digital age PBLSuzie Boss and Mike Gwaltney’s session was one of the first entries on my conference planner as a “must see” session! Suzie has already posted the session slideshow (below).

And my takeaways:

1.Set stage for inquiry – Example: Prior to announcing a new project, place banners and posters outside and inside the school as “grabbers.”

2. Create a culture of collaboration – Example: Make the world safe for thinking – the marshmallow challenge (TED talk) – http://marshmallowchallenge.com/TED_Talk.html – will get you thinking about safe environments for learning.

3. Invite feedback – Example: Use class blog to create feedback loop. Consider joining a collaborative blogging community such as Quadblogging.

4. Think about thinking – provide some deliberate ways for kids to think about their thinking, to develop thinking routines. Think/Pair/Share, for example, is a quick way to collect thoughts, put them out, and get some response.   Use Google Docs to promote reflection, using targeted questions (how’s this assignment compare to another project). Have students create videos as formative assessment. For more ideas on helping students develop a “thinking routine,” check out Peter Pappas’ A Taxonomy of Reflection and Project Zero: Thinking Routines.

5. Think as experts do – How do you encourage thinking as experts do? Put kids in the role off experts. Show Thinking like a Historian chart. What are the ways that people think in your discipline. Kids need academic vocabulary of the discipline. “It’s relatively unnatural for a young person to be interested in the past – they haven’t lived long enough.” Use current events. Checkout George Mayo’s Transitions project. His students had to think like illustrators for project; therefore, George brought in a husband and wife team.

6. Watch for spirals (project creates more energy) – what’s the opportunity.  Is it worth taking project further.

Student filmmakers

Student filmmakers

Checkout Ghost Jacket from Lost & Found Films – a project that transitioned from cleaning up a mess at a school site to sending jackets to those who needed them.  And, of course, what better example of a spiral could Suzie use than Jim Bentley’s student film academy’s award-winning documentary (a continuing/spiraling project) on hazardous waste: Recharging Our World (very proud of my inspiring district colleague and his incredible students:-).

Mike Gwaltney's PBL rubric

Mike Gwaltney’s PBL rubric

7. Assessment: Think about assessment throughout the project, formative not just summative. Grading on process across categories vs. a single grade on final project/product …. Oh my, this is brilliant!!! Mike Gwaltney has created PBL skills “hit the bull’s eye” sort of a rubric – for formative and self assessment to “get students thinking about their own learning.”

And a few more books to add to my summer reading list, per Mike Gwaltney’s recommendations: Teaching with Your Mouth Shut (David Finkel) and Understanding by Design (by Grant Wiggins). If you have not already read Suzie’s Reinventing Project-Based Learning,  this is a great starting point for your PBL journey, as well as the Buck Foundation’s PBL website.

 

Session 2

Design Your Digital Tattoo – Helping Students Design Their Digital ImageAdina Sullivan pointed out what should be obvious to all of us who teach, model, and promote digital citizenship: the term “digital footprint” should be replaced with “digital tattoo.”  Having watched my son, a few years back, go through the process of tattoo removal, I can second Adina’s perspective that it’s a difficult process, requiring numerous (painful) sessions, and that the tattoo is never fully eliminated. Tattoos are a much more accurate symbol of our online personas than footprints – especially the footprints in the sand images.

Takeaways:

  • Digital Tattoo – What’s Yours – Although I was familiar with this site, having posted several of their videos to the Digital ID Building Identities page, I hadn’t noticed the resources posted to the home page for tracking your “tattoo.” I really like having additional sites beyond Google:
    • Search yourself. Use pipl.com to find out what comes up about you. Try spezify for a visual representation of your identity or (more importantly) how the internet sees you.
    • Consider your tattoo. Your Digital Dossier demonstrates how identity is formed online. Be Findable is an example of how your online identity can help you.”

Great job, Adina!

Session 3

Mashup and Remix: Reading, Writing, Research, and Reaching the World – I arrived late to this session (got side tracked walking through the display tables), so I missed Bill Bass’s part of the presentation.  With only a 1/2 hour remaining, I wondered how my NWP/NCTE colleague and friend Sandy Hayes could possibly make a case for fair use in that time limit.  She did! Here’s a link to the PDF with many of the links from the slideshow.  As soon as Sandy posts the link to the slideshow, I add it to this post.  Another great presentation from Sandy!

June 2, 2013
by blogwalker
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Microsoft’s May 30 Digital Citizenship Day – Silicon Valley Style

A huge shout out to Microsoft Silicon Valley, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, and Project Cornerstone for sponsoring the FREE May 30 digital citizenship summit! And thank you to abc’s David Louie for including the event in the news clip below:

 Anne Collier, Co-Director of ConnectSafely, opened the event with an excellent keynote that included such gems as:

  • We have no data on what really works in teaching digital citizenship. (I’m hoping this will not be the case for much longer.)
  • Digital citizenship is a verb; you have to practice it. Districts need to stop building fences to block social media.
  • Citizenship experiment – NetFamilyNews.org (also one of Anne’s organizations) – The pillars of digital citizenship (infrastructure, practice, guidance, agency) require practice – online practice. More schools need to allow social media use in school day – combining digital citizenship and literacy is a connected way. Kids need digital environments/spaces to practice: interaction, problem solving, etc.

  • The Digital Citizenship Minute – Inspiring blog post by 5th grade teacher Marti Weston, via Teaching  Tolerance.
  • Compassion Research Day – An annual January event sponsored by Facebook and Greater Good Science Center. Facebook will also be working with ADL on women’s issues
  • We need to focus more on self-protection, resilience – we need to showcase more on good things happening with kids.

Panel Discussion – With David Louie moderating, Anne Collier was joined by Microsoft’s Jacqueline Beauchere, FOSI’s Jennifer Hanley,  and Sunnyvale PD’s Public Safety Offcier Holly Lawrence.

  • All panelists agreed that the one trend that needs to be addressed with youth and adults is the over-sharing of information.
  • Stop, think & connect as adults – don’t over react to an incident – think it out with youth, non-confrontationally,

  • Anonymity –  We need to address the disconnect between responsibility & accountability

Breakout Session 1 – I’m very glad I attended Project Tomorrow’s Julie Evan’s session on Speak Up 2012 National Results: The Student Vision for Digital Learning. A big take-away was the invitation to districts to participate in the 2013 surveys, with sections for K-12 students, teachers, librarians, principals, district administrators, technology leaders, parents, business partners, and community members. What a great way for districts to gain insights from students and all stakeholders about the role of technology for learning in and out of school!

Breakout Session 2 – I’ve been a fan of Kelly Calhoun since she was the technology director for the Folsom-Cordova School District (my neck of the woods). So it’s no surprise that she’s gone on to do great things as the Chief Technology Officer & Assistant Superintendent for the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Kelly teamed with her SCCOE colleague (and Google Certified Teacher) Elizabeth Calhoon for their ONtheLINE: The California 21st Century District Initiative session.

With the goal of “making navigation through the complex issues surrounding technology in education SIMPLER for districts and county offices of education,” anyone who deals with technology-related policies at any level will want to learn about – and then discuss with colleagues – this important, ever-changing topic. Besides regularly visiting the website, I recommend starting with the video presentation of her session (linked below). Such a simple, brilliant approach to creating/revising Internet use policies!

kelly2

 

 

 

 

 

I’m already looking forward to next year’s Digital Citizenship Summit. Thank you again to all who helped make this event a reality.

May 24, 2013
by blogwalker
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NWP Radio – Sharing the Microphone with Student Upstanders

It was my privilege to join NWP’s Paul Oh, Common Sense Media’s Merve Lapus, CWP’s Jayne Marlink, and my Digital ID joyce-frendelyco-curator Natalie Bernasconi for last night’s NWP Radio Talk Show discussion on California’s first-ever Digital Citizenship Month. The highlight for me was sharing the microphone with Valley High School seniors Joyce Joseph and Frendely Vang – two outstanding upstanders, who were willing to participate in the event – even though it was the night before their last day of high school!

nwp

Joyce and Frendely are upstanders in all the communities to which they belong.  From sharing their stories on the Upstanders, Not Bystanders VoiceThread to assisting with and participating in the making of the very powerful Teen Dating Violence PSA, these two cross the line on a regular basis to speak out for themselves and for others.

Like many of their classmates, Joyce and Frendely have had their share of challenges, challenges that are all too common in tougher neighborhoods and school communities.  They are both passionate on the importance on converting bystanders to upstanders. They have have made a difference at Valley High School.  They will make a difference as they move on to life after high school. Lucky me for having the opportunity to meet, work with, and co-present with Joyce and Frendely!

February 20, 2013
by blogwalker
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Upstanders, Not Bystanders – A call to digital writers

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Albert Einstein

In my workshops with teachers, I illustrate Einstein’s quote with the Bully Bystander PSA and Margaret Mead’s with the Price of Silence PSA. Both videos show that, despite the gnawing, gripping, disheartening feeling that any form of bullying is really not OK, it takes the tremendous courage of a single individual to be the first one to cross the line from bystander to upstander. These are the stories we need to celebrate and share!

As a co-curator of the Digital ID project, I invite you and your students to step up to a global microphone and share, via VoiceThread, what it means to be an upstander, not a bystander.

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