Tuesday, April 21, 2015

An App, Some Screen Time, and Digital Citizenship


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It was raining.  Again.  
"Mom!  Can we use the iPad?"  

I said yes, and proceeded with my business as usual.
But out of the corner of my eye, I could see the brothers gathered together.  Like something good was going on.  Too Good.

If my boys are anything, it's honest.  :)  The looks on their faces told me enough.

As I take the iPad from them, I see they are using phone4kids.  It mimics texting, calling, drawing.

The "texting" part of the app looks like this:

This is where the story picks up again.  My two sons are passing messages back and forth like this: 

"Hey tootface"

"Butt fart."


"You are poop."


After I moved past my "Really?!?!?" moment as a mother, I went straight into digital citizenship mode.  If it's not nice, if it's not telling your story (insert a little snark about the bathroom), if it's not necessary, don't say it!  

I couldn't help it.  At 10 and 6, we are just a few short years away from being on social media.  Real Social media.  Clearly we have more work to do as a family.  And we will keep doing that work.  

But wow!  Did my brain start moving about the implications for the classroom.  I know many of you are already rock stars in the area of teaching digital citizenship and integrating technology with backchannels, Padlets, etc.  I've learned a lot this year, but I'm still learning...

So, What if?  What if we teach kids to text properly using such an app?  As students are reading to someone, they could also be "texting" thoughts to each other about the reading.  What a safe environment to learn in.   

It's late, my brain is shutting down. :)   But when you look at this from a classroom perspective, what do you see?  

I'm going to keep mulling this one.  



  1. Kendra, what a slice! Your mom hat and teacher hat are merging to ponder some tough questions on how to channel the digital citizen on the right path. Good luck!

  2. I have yet to reach rock-star class of digital citizenship/policing. We recently had a huge problem with the app "After School". It's basically anonymous tweeting about anyone and every one in your school. The kids went crazy. Of course we had this big talk about DC and the kids just felt more driven than ever to get on the app and talk smack about everyone. I don't understand spreading around all that hate. Teaching them to love and respect themselves, as well as their fellows has been the hardest thing I've tried to teach.