Parent Technology Coffee Morning: Digital Citizenship

Even with the rainy weather this morning, we still had our core group of parents brave the weather to learn about digital citizenship! Thank you!

This week is Digital Citizenship Week at YIS, it’s the second year that we’ve had a week focused on digital citizenship, and this time we are expanding from just middle school (last year) to include elementary and high school as well. The purpose of this week is to highlight the key themes of responsible behavior online in a variety of ways to both raise awareness for our community, and provide strategies for making good choices. We have an exciting schedule of events for all students, and the results of these activities are being displayed around the campus.

To start our discussion, we talked about what digital citizenship means to each of us. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Making good choices online.
  • Understanding that sometimes we see things that are not appropriate online and how to deal with them.
  • Making sure to balance the amount of time you spend online with other activities.

Each year, our middle school students complete a survey about their behaviors online to help inform us about how we can better support them in their decision making. Here’s what the middle school students said on the survey last year:

To me, digital citizenship is.. from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

Another resource you may find helpful is this fantastic mini-documentary produced by YIS senior, Virgina Russolo, inspired by Robyn Treyvaud’s visit last year:

GCD – Digital Citizenship Video from Virginia Russolo on Vimeo.

One of the key themes we have talked about this week is ethical use, particularly in light of the new copyright laws here in Japan. As you may know, in October the Japanese government updated the copyright laws. For a brief overview, take a look at this article from Wired, or this one from Gaijin Pot. A key change is that copyright violators are now a criminal offense, punishable by jail time, rather than a civil offense (usually associated with a fine). This new was our focus for discussion with all middle and high school students on Wednesday.

As this raised some important questions during our discussions with students, and again with parents later in the morning, we advise reading the articles listed above and familiarizing yourself with the new laws. It’s important that the conversations we are having at school (about respecting copyright) and supported at home so that students fully understand the impact of their actions.

For more about the daily themes we addressed this week, take a look at the overview here. There are great discussion prompts and examples that you might want to explore and discuss further with your children at home.

We hope you can join us for our next coffee morning:

Global Collaboration (The Flat Classroom Conference): Mar 6 from 9:15 – 10:15 in the Cafeteria

As we’re just about to begin the Flat Classroom Conference this week, this session will share the key themes of the conference, the format and the ways that participating students and teachers will be learning together. The Flat Classroom Conference is a fantastic example of how we can be learning in an authentic and project-based environment. Join us for a preview!