As with everything when it comes to young people, it takes a village. I truly believe this. I spent two consecutive summers in Ghana and another in South Africa. I saw, firsthand, how the villages collaboratively raise their children. I was often invited into people’s home for tea and to chat. Many times, children from the village would be in and out of these homes, curious as to what was going on. I asked (through the translator) if these children lived here, and was told that they live in the village. The adults of the house talked to the children with so much familiarity and closeness, as if the children were their own. The whole village is literally raising the children. In the same sense, EVERYONE is responsible for teaching students to be safe online- just as if a student was a struggling reader, I’d be in communication with the parents and share ideas how they can support their child at home– online safety should not be any different.

I love Gregory’s iPhone Contract! I remember seeing it circulate through my social media circles awhile back, and thought- these parents are genius! It is our responsibility, as humans, to make sure the younger generations coming up are using technology safely and responsibly- just as we would tell them to never get into a car with strangers. Gregory’s mother laid out clear rules and expectations along with consequences of what would happen should those rules not be followed. This is what we do as educators- one of the reasons why it’s so important to have a tech boot camp for our 1 to World program, why we come up with class rules at the beginning of the year, and why we have class meetings, is to make sure students understand what is expected of them and their behavior. It’s important for all of us to be safe at school, both online and our face to face interactions with one another.

Gregory’s contract made me think of Tina Fey’s “A Mother’s Prayer for Her Daughter.” Allison Kerek, a graduate from Philadelphia’s Tyler School of Art created an animation of Tina Fey’s prayer, and I think it’s brilliant. [a tad NSFW because of her interpretation of Tina’s hopes and wishes for her daughter] Watch the video, or just listen, and I wonder if it reminds you of Gregory and his iPhone contract, too.


I think the Four Stage Technology Learning Framework for Teaching Digital Citizenship is great! Mike Ribble states “this cycle of integration helps the user begin to internalize [deciding what to do with the information when they look at a new technology] issues.It is a cycle because there is no real end to learning. We are constantly learning, re-learning, and unlearning information about technology. This cycle helps users to begin focusing on their actions when using technology and reflecting on what they are doing correctly as well as what they need to work on. The four stages in the reflection model are intended to enhance understanding of digital citizenship.” Without sounding too cheesy, LEARNING is a cycle, no matter what it is you’re learning! When I was in high school, I had aspirations of becoming a concert pianist. My piano teacher and I could have probably spent years on one piece of music- there was always something new to learn about it. The same is true for technology. A few weeks back, I gave a talk on using Explain Everything, and why this is my app of choice. I went on to talk about how I was Educreations-out. It was everywhere. I was using it everywhere. My students were using it everywhere. I also didn’t like how in order to save something, I had to record. During my talk, a colleague informed me that they upgraded and changed some of the features, recording being one of them. Never-ending changes to technology!

It’s important to have these talks with our students. Technology is always changing, and we must be sure that we’re aware and up-to-date with the changes to ensure that we’re safe and responsible users of this technology!