Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Step Up the Humanity

On my drive to school this morning, I heard this quote attributed to Albert Einstein, "It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity." Could this apply to our world today? Wow! If it does, then our humanity needs to step it up.

I am thankful to work at a school which recognizes that technology needs to be used in service of humanity. When technology surpasses humanity, is it because we have not done an adequate job of teaching the morals and ethics involved with using the technology? Have we, as educators, put our heads in the sand hoping all of it would just go away? Are we teaching kids the value of respecting intellectual property?

I had a teacher say to me this week regarding a copyright issue, "The kids just don't care." Why is this? Have we not taught the kids to care? Are we modeling the digital citizenship we want to see in our students? Are we giving our students enough opportunities to contribute to the volume of work out there so they truly understand what respecting intellectual property means?

I am a fan of empowering students with ownership of learning. Maybe it is time for us to empower our students as digital citizens through ownership of intellectual property. The Digital Citizenship website authored by Mike Ribble offers some great resources for educators. The nine elements of digital citizenship are defined by the site: digital etiquette, digital communication, digital access, digital commerce, digital law, digital rights & responsibilities, digital health & wellness, and digital security.

Let's continue to work on what teaching digital citizenship to students really looks like!