Thursday, 19 February 2015

Exploring digital footprints with 9 and 10 year olds.

This week my year 5 & 6 learners were learning about digital footprints as part of our cybersmart programme. Most of these learners are new to having their own personal device, so it's really important that they make a good start to their digital citizenship journey.
After watching a short film and brainstorming what we already knew, it was clear that we didn't know too much just yet, about the power and capabilities of the world wide web. We knew that we shouldn't share our address and full name because we were told not to, but didn't understand why. A learner voiced that his classmates knew were he lived anyway, so what did it matter. I showed them the hits on his blog from Christchurch, he didn't know anyone in Christchurch. This got us thinking. The internet is a public place. 

So we decided that we wanted to see just how quickly and how far things can spread on the internet. We wrote a message and shared it on my google plus account asking people to share it and tell us where in the world they were.

We were absolutely amazed by the response, and how quickly it spread so far. We learned about geography and all the places in the world that we were able to make an impact, check out the map of the progress.
The red dots were the hits within the first 9 hours. Green the next 24hrs and blue the third day. By then it seemed to have dropped off everyone's radar. 
You can view the map in more detail here. 

As you can see, within 9 hours it had spread across the world, and within 24 hours even further, with over 60 shares and over 100 different locations. Some people didn't share their location, which allowed us to investigate, looking at their profiles. This opened up the discussion about how much information some people shared, and others chose not to share. We were able to think about why this was and the choices we had. 

Besides the thrill of having responses to our post, we learned a really valuable lesson. One which had a lot more impact than any video or stories from me could have made. The children realised the potential of the internet, that it has great power to spread messages, and share our learning. But it also showed us exactly why we should keep some information private, and why we need to have a positive digital footprint. 

If you have other cybersmart lessons you would like to share with me, please do. 

Thanks for reading

No comments:

Post a Comment