In thinking about how to teach digital citizenship from a positive perspective, I have been studying the work of Angela Maiers. Getting students to recognize their genius seems to be key in establishing a culture of positive contributions. If students understand that they are expected to contribute what they know and can do, then digital citizenship doesn’t become a list of “don’ts” but an opportunity to be grasped.
I have decided that the first assignment in the fall needs to be an exercise in recognizing our own genius and identifying ways we can contribute to our community, both digital and local. An attitude of looking for positive contributions we can make should go a long way in setting a tone where bullying is not tolerated. I want to make the attitude of contributing so pervasive that students always think first of the positive influence they can have, because everyone, from the youngest student to the superintendent 0f the district, has influence somewhere with someone. We all need to use our influence to make the world better. This is the true heart of digital citizenship.