E-waste Recycling Poster Contest for #Digcit Day

As part of our school-wide Digital Citizenship Day on February 24th, all science classes had a research/poster contest (special thanks to one of our science teachers-Lauren Wulker- for the idea!).  The students were given a reading prompt and some guiding questions over the weekend and returned to DigCit day on Monday to talk about responsible disposal and recycling of electronic waste. The end goal is that the top poster(s) will be displayed somewhere in the building with a place to recycle electronic products like batteries and cell phones.

ewaste digcit contest

Students were able to team up with a couple of their classmates or work alone on their posters.  They were also allowed to create a poster on any material they wanted- poster board, electronic, etc.  Most chose to create theirs on an actual poster board or paper.  They were displayed in the library and teachers came in Tuesday and Wednesday to vote on their top three favorites.

I was so impressed by the results!  The following pictures are just the top 4-5 posters from each teachers’ classes.

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The top three winning teams received a pizza lunch from LaRosa’s.  And the winners are…(drum roll please)…

How do you promote the responsible disposal and recycling of electronic waste is your school?

Tech To You Later!

#DigCit Day Reflections

tshirtfrontIt’s been over a week since the area’s first ever Digital Citizenship (DigCit) Day took place. It was a complete whirl wind and worth every second of the time put into planning it. I’m not really even sure where to start this post-my head is still spinning!

If you’re looking for a little more background information on digcit day, check out my blog posts leading up to the day.  Essentially, the entire school day and every class was dedicated to different topics relating to digital citizenship.

Throughout the day, we used the hashtag #MCNDCD on twitter.  Check out the Storify including tweets from the day here.

I first started writing about the DigCit day in July of 2013 with my post about free resources from the FTC. Since then, I’ve been brainstorming with people at work and my PLN on Twitter, collecting resources, making a case to hold the day with administrators and teachers, planning, and meeting with teachers to share the resources and finalize their role in the day.

digcit day

One of my favorite fun pieces to the day were the temporary tattoos, which represented students’ digital tattoos, and the T-shirts every employee in the school wore all day.  The front of the T-shirts had our “McNick students T.H.I.N.K.” logo and the back had our “Is it…. True, Hurtful, Illegal, Necessary, Kind?” logo for the day. The tattoos read “I’m a responsible digital citizen.”  Our librarian and web master, Anne Jones, designed all three logos.  We uploaded the art for the tattoos to Tattoo Fun and purchased them for a very reasonable price.

During the first 20 minutes of school, students received their tattoos and their “digital passports” which served as their guiding light throughout the day. Each teacher had previously received a stamp (each department had a designated color) in order to stamp the students’ passports as they entered the class.  In order to prevent any student from receiving the

Some completed digital passports.

Some completed digital passports.

same session twice, there was some predetermined shuffling for some students to different areas of the building than their normal schedule.  For example, if a student had two math classes, they would show their math teacher for the second time that day that their passport had been stamped for math already, and they would proceed to the library session. The front of the passports had an area for each of the 10 different sessions, and the back included a schedule for the day and any major class changes.

Steve Smith from CBTS got our day started on the right foot.  Many students and even more teachers have commented on how interesting he was.  There’s always skepticism when bringing in a guest speaker for an all school assembly, and he definitely exceeded expectations. If you live in the Cincinnati area, you’ve got to reach out to him to bring him to your school- you won’t regret it!

From the assembly, students progressed through their normal schedules where teachers taught a designated topic relate to digital citizenship based on department. English focused on email etiquette and online privacy; Religion classes discussed sexting, snapchat and selfies; math discussed cyberbullying and how to become upstanders as opposed to bystanders; science classes had a department wide research and poster contest about responsible disposal and recycling of e-waste; fine arts classes learned about copyright and fair use; business and technology classes looked deeper into the ramifications of a poor social media presence; health and gym classes learned about the effects of technology abuse on the mind and body and then played a game of dodge ball to reiterate the importance of stepping away from our digital devices; and our S.A.I.L. classes, study halls and any students who would have received a repeat session attended a critical website evaluation session in the library.   For more information about teachers and students’ reactions to the day, please check out our school’s news info about the day.

Photo Feb 24, 7 02 04 AMWe had a wonderful line up of 13 guest speakers (including Smith) throughout the day in our foreign language and social studies classes: Matthew Wallace, Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office; Jennifer Kinsley, Chase College of Law; Andrea Smythe, Cincinnati Police Officer; John Greiner, Graydon Head; Brett Renzenbrink and Matt Worth, Strauss Troy; Anthony Reese, Union Township Police Department; Scott Griffith, School Outfitters; Josh Welsh, Matt Shoulta, Lauren Lonce, Jeff Thomas, and Chris Styles from Total Quality Logistics.  The legal professionals spoke to all social studies classes about laws associated with cyberbullying, sexting and child pornography, while the HR professionals spoke to all foreign language classes about social media’s impact on the hiring process. Based on many students’ post- digcit day survey responses, these sessions were not only their favorite sessions, but also the sessions they felt they learned the most.  I imagine it has something to do with the real world speakers that don’t see the kids every day. 

DigCit Day Profile 2014_LargeAlong with the real world speakers, we also had real data to share with the kids based on a completely anonymous student survey sent to all students before digcit day.  Out of 640 students, over 200 responded to the survey.  As with any high school student survey, I think there is some room for error based on students responding to be funny or lie because they’re afraid they’ll get in trouble.  But, based on some of the national averages, our students are not far off. The infographic to the right was shared with all our teachers, students and the parents at the parent portion of the evening.  It shows we’ve got some areas to improve upon, but we’ve also got some good things going to too, such as students ‘defriending’ or blocking someone who hurt their feelings online.  I created the infographic on Piktochart (very easy to use), and I think it really helped some of the teachers answer the, “why do we need to do this? We already know better!” questions and remarks they received from some students.  It also served as a wakeup call that our students (along with every other teenager across the country) are not exempt from these issues.

Along with our school infographic, I had some other images, infographics, and our three digcit logos hung up around the building. Between these images, the T-shirts, and the messages in all classes throughout the day, the importance of positive digital citizenship was at every turn throughout the day. We kept many of the signs up throughout the remainder of the week, and will leave some permanently displayed in the library.

Most of our employees on digcit day.

Some of our teachers, counselors and Principal on digcit day.

Based on survey feedback from students, there was a feeling that a portion of the day was repetitive.  This certainly wasn’t my intention since each department had a designated area/topic to discuss, but it also speaks to the fact that many of these topics overlap and are intertwined with one another.  On the flip side, many students enjoyed the day and felt like they learned a lot of valuable information that would not have normally been taught in a classroom setting.  Others also felt they received a direct and much-needed wakeup call in some of the other areas they’ve been hearing about for quite some time (online privacy, etc.).  The majority of teachers I’ve spoken to or that filled out the post teacher survey also felt like this day was very beneficial to the students. In my opinion, I think this was one of those days and lessons that some students may not realize the impact it had right away, but they’ll realize it down the road when they go to apply for colleges and a job and decide not to post that picture or status.  There have been a handful of students who have already signed up for LinkedIn, per the suggestions of our HR guest speakers, to begin building their resumes and documenting awards and achievements.  Way to start making a purposeful and positive digital tattoo, guys!

Q&A during the parent DigCit Night to conclude the day.

Q&A during the parent DigCit Night to conclude the day.

To conclude the day, we had a Digital Citizenship Night for parents of our students and invited grade school teachers and parents to attend as well.  There was one teacher from each department who talked to parents about what their department focused on during the day and a few things parents should know about that area.  Many left the evening telling us how thankful they were for this program, and we’ve received many requests to do this again and pass on information and our presentation from the evening.  We left parents with the hard copy of the Living Life Online magazine from the FTC, raffled off a couple copies of the FTC’s NET CETERA book and a T-shirt.  And of course, everyone likes sweets as an incentive (and I know our teachers needed a pick me up after such a long day), so everyone received a 3 Musketeer candy bar for being one of the “3 Musketeers of #digcit!”

Each candy bar reads "Teachers, students and parents working together to become responsible digital citizens.  Thanks for being one of the '3 Musketeers' of #DigCit!"

Each candy bar reads “Teachers, students and parents working together to become responsible digital citizens. Thanks for being one of the ‘3 Musketeers’ of #DigCit!”

All in all, I think the day was a huge success!   I know discussing digital citizenship with students is not something that can be done in one class or one day, but this was a great introduction to many conversations that were either overdue, or needed to be had again.  It sent a loud message to students and to parents that this is important to us, as a school, and the topic is here to stay!

For more information and press about our Digital Citizenship Day, please check out the following articles:

So what would you have included?  What would you not have included? What do you think of the idea altogether? I’d love to hear your digital citizenship ideas.

Tech To You Later!

McNick Promotes Ditgital Citizenship | The Catholic Beat

This post was originally published as McNick Promotes Ditgital Citizenship via The Catholic Beat.

To celebrate its first-ever Digital Citizenship Day, McNick staff posted photos all day long with the hashtag “digcit” on Twitter and other social media. This is the first one of the day. Photo courtesy McNicholas High School.

To celebrate its first-ever Digital Citizenship Day, McNick staff posted photos all day long with the hashtag “digcit” on Twitter and other social media. This is the first one of the day. Photo courtesy McNicholas High School.

McNicholas High School (Mt. Washington/Cincinnati) held its first Digital Citizenship Day Monday. It was the first school in the region to devote a day to the perils — and promises — of life in the digital age.

Organized by Director of Educational Technology Katie Ritter, “DigCit Day” meant special presentations, speakers, and discussions of computer use in every class, all day.

Ritter said the idea came to her through many discussions with students, parents, teachers, and sessions from the International Society for Technology in Education conference she attended last year.

“We needed to do something BIG to make a statement that we, as a school, think digital citizenship is very important,” Ritter says. “As a one-to-one Tablet PC school, it is our responsibility to teach our students how to navigate the online world and be responsible global citizens, which now includes their digital life.

“In the same way we wouldn’t hand the keys to a teenager to begin driving without proper training, we shouldn’t hand them these devices without proper guidance.”

A focus of the day was the “digital tattoo” each person creates through posts and other online communications, giving an impression to others of who they are and how they think and behave.

Every classroom discussed digital citizenship. Here, an accounting class discusses the implications of online activity.

Every classroom discussed digital citizenship. Here, an accounting class discusses the implications of online activity.

The day began with a presentation by Cincinnati Bell Technology Solution’s Steve Smith about the ramifications of creating a “negative online presence” through social media posts. Throughout the day,  speakers addressed topics such as cyberbullying, sexting, legal and job-related ramifications of posts and more. English classes discussed email etiquette, fine arts classes discussed copyright and fair use law, science classes discussed “e-waste” and responsible disposal of digital devices, and heath and PE classes discussed the mental and physical effects of too much or inappropriate computer use (obesity from too much online gaming, depression from cyberbullying).

Religion classes were not left out of the DigCit conversation. Topics addressed included what digital communications say about a person’s spiritual and moral life, the temptations of appropriate sexual conduct online with photos and snapchat, and craving online affirmation.

But the opportunities for fun and friendship through digital communications weren’t left out. Students received temporary tattoos with the message “I’M a responsible DIGITAL CITIZEN” (the day’s theme) and tweeted messages and photos about the event all day long.

A followup event for parents Monday evening let them know what their teens learned and Ritter, who writes a technology blog for McNick, also created a resource page on digital communication. Thanks to the positive side of digital technology, students anywhere can use it to find out about copyright law, privacy, and other topics at her Digital Citizenship Resources page.

Photos courtesy Archbishop McNicholas High School. To see photos taken throughout the day and posted on Twitter, search #digcit and #MCNDCD.

McNicholas to hold Digital Citizenship Day for all students – From Around Anderson Township

Original post via McNicholas to hold Digital Citizenship Day for all students – Around Anderson Township.

First of its kind in the greater Cincinnati area

McNicholas High School will change its curriculum for the day on Monday, Feb. 24. On this day, all students will participate in a Digital Citizenship Day, organized by Director of Educational Technology Katie Ritter.  The day will run normal school hours of 7:40 a.m.-2:40 p.m.

The DigCit day will begin with a presentation by Steve Smith with Cincinnati Bell about living in a digital world and the dangers and ramifications of a negative online presence.  Students will then proceed through their normal class schedule and each department will focus on a different area related to digital citizenship. For example, during social studies classes, guest speakers will discuss the legal ramifications associated with cyberbullying and sexting, and in business and technology classes, students will learn about the importance of keeping their social media clean for colleges, employers, and government agencies.

“As a one-to-one Tablet PC school, it is our responsibility to teach our students how to navigate the online world and be responsible global citizens, which now includes their digital life. In the same way we wouldn’t hand the keys to a teenager to begin driving without proper training, we shouldn’t hand them these devices without proper guidance. This day will elaborate on the conversations we’ve already begun, and become part of a continuous conversation we have with our students about digital citizenship,” Ritter said.

Ritter said the idea came to her through many discussions with students, parents, teachers, and sessions from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference she attended last year.  “We needed to do something BIG to make a statement that we, as a school, think digital citizenship is very important,” Ritter added.

More detailed information can be found on Ritter’s blog Talk Tech with Me under the blog post #DigCit Day for High School Students.

Questions? Contact Katie Ritter, McNicholas High School Director of Educational Technology, at kritter [at] mcnhs [dot] org.

PHOTO ATTACHED: Katie Ritter, Director of Educational Technology at McNicholas High School, reviews curriculum plans with Phys Ed teacher Cheryl Heise. Ritter has organized a Digital Citizenship Day for all students on Feb. 24.

#DigCit Day for High School Students

Now that our school’s Digital Citizenship (DigCit) day is right around the corner, plans are really starting to fall into place.  I haven’t been this excited for something in a while-and it’s for work!  That’s how I know I’m in the right field :).

the-definition-of-digital-citizenshipIf you’re wondering what exactly is digital citizenship right now, I suggest you check out this article by Terry Heick on teachthought.com.  He does a great job explaining everything digital citizenship encompasses.  The picture definition to the left is from his blog post, and I think it is fabulous! There’s also an awesome infographic at the bottom of the post you have to check out, too.

We’ll be starting off the DigCit day with a presentation from Steve Smith with Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions.  Steve travels to local high schools and puts on a very informative presentation about living in a digital world, the dangers and the ramifications of a negative online presence.  I saw his presentation at another school around Thanksgiving, and I knew it would be a great introduction to our DigCit day! If you live in the Cincinnati area, you’ve got to bring him to your school.  Best part about this presentation- he does it for FREE!

In November, I presented the idea of a DigCit Day to the teachers at our faculty meeting.  We discussed different possibilities, and I asked them for their input on the day since they will be such a key part of the execution. The feedback I received showed a majority of the teachers were in favor of a full day session.  Once we’re finished with the Steve Smith assembly, students and teachers will proceed throughout the day with their normal class schedules (students will go to their regular classes with their regular teachers).  Each department has been designated to teach a certain area/topic related to digital citizenship. I tried my best to align topics to departments that fit with their content areas.  Teachers have been given the option to team teach their topic with their students if they feel more comfortable doing so. Topics by department are below.

  • English
    • Email Etiquette
    • Online Security & Privacy (information, passwords, and social media location check-ins)
  • Fine Arts
    • Copyright, Fair Use
    • Protecting Online creativity
    • Creative Commons
  • Foreign Language
    • Outside speakers coming to discuss the hiring process and how businesses check social media before hiring people. Speakers include recruiters from TQL, School Outfitters and hopefully, at least, one more person
  • Business/Tech
    • An extension of the Foreign Language department- more student centered
    • Hiring Process & ramifications w poor representation
    • Importance of keeping social media clean and your digital tattoo
    • Will look at some examples, including the storify I made, and check out their own profiles
  • Health & Gym
    • Abuse of Technology & the Effects on the Mind and Body (excessive video gaming, obesity, low self-esteem and depression from cyberbullying, etc.)
  • Math
    • Cyberbullying
    • T.H.I.N.K. before you “speak” (also part of the official logo for the day)
    • Upstanders vs bystanders
  • Religion
    • What does your online presence say about you (from the opinion of others) & your digital tattoo
    • “Selfies” & online affirmation
    • Sexting/snapchat
  • Science
    • Responsible disposal, recycling, and life-cycle of e-waste
  • Social Studies
    • Legal professionals/guest speakers will be talking to students about the legal Issues facing (cyber)bullying, sexting and child pornography- I’m still trying to nail down a few speakers for this area
  • SAIL (Special Accommodations for Identified Learners), Study Halls, Repeat lesson (ex. student has two math classes, so they would get the same lesson twice)
    • Our Librarian will be holding a separate section for these students in the library about website/digital content evaluation for research.
    • If a student runs into a situation with a third repeat session, they will be sent to an area they are missing

I’m going to make a paper “digital passport” that each student will receive during their first class.  Each subject area will have a place to stamp on the passport. This will help keep track of students and any double lessons.  I’ll be posting all of the lessons from each department after the day, but in the meantime click here to see some DigCit resources.

I’m currently in the process of meeting with each department to share the resources I’ve collected and finalize their plan/lesson for the day, together. I think it’s really important that the teachers decide on their final plan, since they’ll be the ones carrying it out. This allows them to take ownership for the day.

This week an anonymous survey was sent to all our students to gain some perspective on our population.  It asks questions about cyberbullying, sexting, online privacy, copyright, social media, parental involvement and more. I’m going to provide each department with the feedback that pertains to their DigCit area, so they can share the results with students on the day (students don’t know about the day/date yet-it’s going to be a surprise for them).

Digital Tattoos for students

Temporary (Digital) Tattoos for students using our school logo!

I also plan to hang some infographics (using student survey feedback) and other DigCit posters around the school. SPOILER ALERT: students are all going to be receiving a temporary, stick-on tattoo to represent their digital tattoo (to the right)! A HUGE thank you to our Librarian and Web Master, Anne Jones, for making this and two other official logos for the DigCit day! If you could see my draft of ideas (if you can even call it that) and the final products she came up with, it makes it even more impressive.  I’ll share the other two after the day; they’re even cooler!

After the DigCit Day with the students, I’m going to plan an informative parent session (maybe call it DigCit Night?). I’m hoping to get one teacher to volunteer from each subject area to talk to the parents about what their department did with the students. I also believe schools cannot fight the digital citizenship and social media battle on their own; parents need to be informed and allies to schools and teachers. We’ll provide parents with resources to talk to their kids about digital citizenship at the parent info session.

I’ve got a few other tricks and surprises up my sleeve for the day, but I’ll wait to share those.  Follow along with the progress and reflections about our DigCit Day on my blog with the DigCit Day tag.

So, with a few weeks left to finalize and plan, what am I forgetting? What tips and resources do you have to share? What must-do activities can you recommend? What do you think?

Tech To You Later!

Facing the Consequences: Poor Social Media Choices Lead to Lost Opportunities

As I was collecting resources for our school-wide digital citizenship day, I decided to make a Storify  of a number of news stories about people losing their scholarships and jobs over poor social media choices.  A couple of Google searches and about an hour later (with multiple interruptions within that hour), I had way too many links to include in the Storify.

Great for me to help make the point; bad for our society who clearly isn’t getting the message. social media digcit

I’ve added this Storify to my growing list of digital citizenship resources page on my website. In addition to students reviewing some of these examples during the Hiring Process & Ramifications of Poor Social Media Presence sessions on our DigCit Day, I’m also hoping to bring in some guest speakers.  I’d like business owners, HR employees, and anyone involved in the hiring/selection process to talk to our 9th-12th grade students about their personal experiences checking social media before/after interviews.

I’m getting excited about this Digital Citizenship Day as it is really starting to take shape and become much more than just a couple of ideas presented to teachers at a faculty meeting. I’ve had teachers coming to me with their own lesson ideas and Prezi’s ready to go for the day!

How you address online presence and social media with your students?

Tech To You Later!

Gearing Up for a Digital Citizenship Day

Working in a 1:1 high school, you can imagine we’ve had our fair share of digital citizenship (digcit) violations along with our classroom successes. But just as we can’t expect our kids to grow up to be positive contributors to society without some serious coaching and character building along the way, we can’t expect them to be good digital citizens without seizing some teachable moments.

I had begun to develop ideas for some sort of training last year as individual digcit violations arose. After going to ISTE13 last year, it became pretty clear that we weren’t doing enough to make sure our students were becoming well-rounded citizens. We needed to be doing more than just modeling positive behaviors online. We need to be proactive about this new side to students’ education!

So where to start?

Digital Citizenship Day PresentationAfter some brainstorming and developing the skeleton of a plan, I decided to reach out to the teachers. After all, they’re the ones who are surrounded by our students everyday. Surely they have a better idea than idea about specific issues that our student body faces (acknowledging that many issues are universal). I developed a Prezi to present my two ideas to the teachers before collecting their feedback.  Click here to view the short Prezi.

I received a lot of great feedback from teachers. They were thankful to put a day like this into place and had a lot of great suggestions. Most groups said that they think the first option, where students progress through their normal class schedules would be the best way to get through to the kids since they are already comfortable with their own teachers.  I’ll be working with each of the departments to plan their “lesson” for the day.  I’ve only got a couple of months left, so I need to get moving!

So far, I’ve already collected my free resources from the FTC, and I’ve been collecting a number of resources on my website too. On Monday, I went to watch Steve Smith’s Connected: Students in a 7 x 24 World presentation. I really liked it, and I think his presentation will be a great start to our day (not to mention it’s FREE to school’s in the area thanks to Cincinnati Bell Technical Solutions CBTS)!

So what suggestions do you have for me as I shape this day? What are your favorite digital citizenship resources for high school students?  What experience do you have teaching high school students about digital citizenship that I can share with my teachers? I’d love to hear all your ideas and feedback!

Tech To You Later!

Free Digital Citizenship Resources from the FTC

In my ISTE13 reflection post I wrote that I had learned about FREE print resources the FTC will send you for students and parents about digital citizenship, online safety and more for FREE!  Just as soon as I had learned about this awesome resource, I had already ordered hundreds of pamphlets for our students and parents. I was so impressed that I thought it was too good of a resource not to share!

digital citizenship resourcesI ordered four publications that I think will be great resources for a digital citizenship day sometime during the school year.  I’ve included the PDF’s to three of the resources below (you can download each PDF from FTC’s website, whether or not you order the print publications).

My vision for a digital citizenship day would start out with a guest speaker in the morning, and the kids would progress through their normal class schedule with each discipline focusing on a specific area of digital citizenship.  Each subject area would essentially teach the same lesson to ensure all students receive every important digital citizenship lesson.  For example, English could talk about email, discussion board and online etiquette; Fine Arts could focus on Copyright and Fair Use; another subject would focus on students’ online presence, image they portray of themselves and what their social media profiles say about them as a person; and so on.  I plan to distribute these FTC resources to teachers to share with students on this grandiose day.

The PDF versions of each of these resources can also be found on the bottom of our school website’s Tablet Help and Resources page.

Get your copy of these resources and more at bulkorder.ftc.gov (they take a couple weeks to arrive)!

I welcome any feedback you have for additional resources or thoughts on a digital citizenship day for high school students.

Tech To You Later!