Toeing the Line With Tech Use

Look around. Most kids don’t think twice about picking up a device. The ubiquity of technology is truly changing our way of life. At Hopkins School, we are hoping to change the way our students approach technology by asking them to THINK and USE Responsibly.

Thinking before posting is essential for everyone. Consider whether your post is Thoughtful, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, and Kind. This simple checklist can save you from the regret that often accompanies an inappropriate post. If you can answer “no” to any of the five qualities, then reconsider or reword your comment and think again. It’s a strategy that makes sense for users of all ages. For kids, it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Students face more of a challenge, however, understanding the right way to use technology. With the world at their fingertips, it’s no wonder that children sometimes struggle with virtual boundaries. What is acceptable use in personal space may not make sense in the school place.  The USER acronym reminds students that when using school devices and accounts, like Google Apps for Education, their work is always viewed through an educational lens. Hopkins students are taught the THINK USER strategy through discussion and role play scenarios outlined below.

virtual line2

The final component to the THINK USER campaign is an effort to encourage students to share their digital workspace with their parents. Google Classroom and Google Drive are like a virtual backpack and binder. They are meant to be opened together and shared as a family. So I ask the parental readership, when was the last time you looked inside your child’s virtual backpack? Go ahead; join the movement!

By: Steph Doty
 Technology Integration Coordinator
 Hopkins School
 @HopkinsTechLib / @BlendedTeaching
Cross-posted to blendedteachingtimes.wordpress.com

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