Allow me to be completely honest in saying that I am still very much in the beginning stages of my Major Project for EC&I 832. I have yet to really “jump in with both feet” and immerse myself in creating a curriculum resource for exploring Digital Citizenship and Media Literacies in the early childhood years. And you know what? I am giving myself permission to say ‘that’s okay’ for right now. January was a month where it was all about ‘survive’ and now I feel that February is going to be my time to ‘thrive.’ I am looking forward to delving more into this project this month, but for now, here are the plans I currently have and some of the preliminary work I have done thus far.
Which of Mike Ribble’s elements of DigCit are relevant to my project?
The presentation by Dr. Ribble helped me to narrow my focus. I originally planned to address all 9 elements of Digital Citizenship in my project, thinking this would make the most sense and be all-encompassing. After looking at his DigCit progression chart, however, I see that the focus for the early years remains grounded in the “Safe” category of skills. Therefore, I will primarily focus my curriculum resource document on activities and lessons that help young children learn the different aspects of online safety.
How did my Content Catalyst assignment help contribute to this project?
Fortunately, the Content Catalyst topic that I signed up for (“What does it meant to be a good digital citizen?”) aligns closely with my Major Project and helped me to build a foundational knowledge of what DigCit is, so I can target these skills of ‘being a good person online’ in my curriculum resource. While researching this project, I stumbled across “The Digital Citizens” characters by Common Sense Media. This child-friendly way of the breaking concepts of DigCit down into cute characters really resonated with me, and I am definitely going to include it in my final product.
What do I envision this project looking like at its conclusion?
Since the beginning of this class, I have been grappling with the tensions between learning digital skills and discouragement of excessive screen time in the early years. I have since had an epiphany that teaching young children these DigCit skills of being safe and kind online doesn’t necessarily equate to being on a screen for large amounts of time. In fact, many of the activities and lessons that I envision including in my final curriculum resource document don’t revolve around using technology at all. Through the use of hands-on activities, we can introduce many of these knowledges and skills to children in a “real-life” context; the knowledges and skills can then be transferred to an online context. For example, Ribble’s progression chart recommends that the K-2 age group should learn about Digital Inclusion and Digital Exclusion. Understanding inclusion and exclusion is important in face-to-face social interactions as well. In summary, I hope to introduce the overarching skills and knowledge encapsulated in DigCit through hands-on approaches that can, subsequently, be connected to online situations as well.
Thanks for continuing to follow my Major Project journey! I am excited to continue to expand my understanding of DigCit and Media Literacies from an ECE perspective! If you have any thoughts or comments, I’d love to hear your feedback!
Until next time,
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I totally agree with your thoughts Kara! Its very difficult to make our early learners learn about digital citizenship. It is very important o give hand on experience to our students. I am happy and is always curious to see your posts as I am also into ECE learning process.
I’m glad you think my methods will work, Gunpreesh! Lots of resources include the K-2 age range, but I’ve yet to find something really targeted to Pre-K, so I think this will be a worthwhile learning experience!
Kara, I agree completely first when you make reference to Baby Steps. I totally felt the same way in January regarding being immersed. I felt I was floating in the middle of the ocean at times looking for a piece of lumbar (vision for my major project) to hold onto. Your photo from CC by is a great representation on how I am and hope to be feeling in the future. I have one idea regarding use of technology in the early learning environment. Have you ever thought of using technology for your students to use to create stories? At this time I am looking at the app Little Story Maker. I have included the link below.
Thank you for your feedback, Gerry! Glad to hear I was not alone in feeling overwhelmed! I will check out Little Story Maker – thanks for the suggestion!
You’ve hit the nail on the head with baby steps. Like everything, building a strong foundation is key to building on top of it. If we don’t have a strong foundation then whatever we place on top won’t be sturdy. Doing a bit year by year, and introducing kiddos to DC earlier will help in their future years, and hopefully give them good learning for how to be more safe when interacting with technology. That Little Story Maker sounds interesting! I wonder if it would work for older kiddos too.
Thank you for your encouraging comment, Kelly! I think the February break will be a good time to make some serious headway on my project as well!
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