So, it seems as though the kids that took part in my survey are more aware of what information they should share with particular audiences than I gave them credit for. That’s a positive!
Let me backtrack a bit.
Last week, I sent out a survey to both kids (ages 7 to 12) and parents related to information sharing (online or offline). I received 18 completed surveys from kids (two 7-year-olds, two 8-year-olds, two 9-year-olds, four 10-year olds, five 11-year olds, and three 12-year-olds) and 15 completed surveys from parents (assuming there were families that had more than one kid complete the survey). The questions I used came from Google’s Be Internet Awesome website, which were:
Who would you share the following information with?
Your parents, friends, everyone, or trash it (you can choose more than one)
- Best friend’s phone number
- Your location
- A rumor about someone in your class
- A selfie of you and your best friend with their new hairdo
- A silly video of your friend that they don’t know that you took
- An article about a band that you like
- A funny lip sync video of you and your friends
- An embarrassing picture of your sibling
- A live video from your class field trip
- Meet up details for a school dance
The results showed a resounding awareness that most, if not all, information being shared should be shared with parents. This pleased me as it shows that some kids at this age understand the importance of parental involvement.
**I’ve kept in mind that my survey sample was small and completed by families that fit a particular demographic.**
The parent survey consisted of the following three questions:
- After I asked my child “Which type of audience do you think you selected most when answering the questions?”, I felt….(why?)
- After I asked my child “What did you learn about the types of information that can be shared with others? Why?” I felt….(why?)
- After I asked my child “When you share information with others, what are you going to be more aware of now?”, I felt….(why?)
Most parent comments were positive and reassuring that their child understands to ask or involve parents when sharing information. The word TRUST was used often. There was a SATISFIED and PROUD feeling noted by most parents, including myself. Some parents felt that their kids were able to know the difference between public and private information and that permission should be asked before any information is shared with others. One parent has stated that their kid’s answers weren’t surprising because they “talk about and/or share those things already” at home. It was also noted that they “learned these things in school and they know that being private is important”. I was impressed to hear that schools were addressing topics like this. Overall, there was more of an awareness piece by both parents and kids about information sharing, whether it was already known or now recently learned through this survey.
After exploring more of Mike Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship with the help of ISTE, I’ve come to realize that my major project is primarily focused on the elements of Digital Communication and Digital Etiquette. These two elements have a focus on student responsibilities in our digital world.
In each of the elements listed within this resource, Ribble identifies essential questions to help focus and reflect on with students.
Digital Ettiquette Essential Questions
Are students aware of others when they use technology?
Do students realize how their use of technology affects others?
My survey of information sharing directly relates to the second question. Students need to be aware of how their actions of sharing can affect others, directly or indirectly. “Very often, parents and students alike are learning these technologies from their peers or by watching others use the technology” (pg. 29). It’s important for parents to help their child understand proper digital etiquette so good digital citizens are born. “A good digital citizen seeks out feedback from others to evaluate their use of technology, and then makes personal adjustments based on this feedback (pg. 29). This will lead to more appropriate technology behaviour and an attempt at breaking the cycle of poor netiquette with peers alike.
Digital Communication Essential Questions
Do I use email, cell phone, texting, and social networking technologies appropriately when communicating with others?
What rules, options, and etiquette do students need to be aware of when using digital communication technologies?
Within my major project, I have dove into etiquette as well with getting students to identify which types of information are sharable with specific audiences. Knowing your audience is important as it dictates the level of etiquette needed to communicate and interact with them. Something you send to your best friend isn’t something that should be sent to everyone to see and comment on.I plan to continue to dive deeper into Digital Communication and Etiquette to bring to light how kids can use technology more appropriately. “Too often, people send emails, texts, or posts without considering who might see them or how they might be interpreted” (pg. 23). It’s easy to respond quickly to someone and send it without thinking of the long term consequences, for which your message cannot be retracted even if you delete it. “In some situations speaking to someone face-to face can solve a situation faster than multiple emails or other communication methods” (pg. 23). I want kids to understand when this would be the case.
After watching a video created by Manoush Zamorodi this week with my daughters titled “How Many People Can’t Walk Without Their Smartphones?“, we had a discussion about what this meant to them and to others. Zamorodi observed how many people walked by her with or without interacting in some capacity with their phones. Out of the 1000 people that walked by, 315 of them were using or holding their phones. That’s 1 out of every 3 people.
Me: Is that number high or low?
Me: When we are engaged or on our phones, we don’t experience boredom.
11-year-old: I HATE being bored.
Me: I also struggle with boredom but I’ve been using puzzles to help deal with boredom and to stay off my phone when I don’t need to be.
11-year-old: That doesn’t help me with boredom because I get mad when I can’t find a certain piece.
Me: (to the 9-year-old), what do you do when you’re bored?
9-year-old: Gymnastics, like flips around the house. At school, I play with my markers or swing my arms and legs around.
Me: So it seems that you always have to be moving than when you are bored. Can you ever just sit still?
9-year-old: Ya, when my teacher is reading to the class.
11-year-old: I can’t! My mind is always thinking about other things and what I could be doing instead.
This discussion brought my attention back to the Bored and Brilliant Challenge by Manoush Zomorodi. I want to ensure that my daughters’ have a purpose for being on their devices or online, not just to curb boredom, as this seems to be the number one reason.
I’ve gone back to the book Web Tools for Kids, as mentioned in one of my previous posts, to help my daughters, their friends and parents reflect on how they use the internet or identifying the purpose of going online.
For my next survey going out to kids and parents, I am going to address this topic in addition to other related topics using BrainPop’s video series on Digital Citizenship, in particular Digital Etiquette. Much of the focus will be on terms such as flaming, flame wars, trolls, anonymous, and of course, netiquette.