On September 11, 2015, my school’s 1,100 plus students participated in a service project. We worked with Servants With A Heart, a nonprofit group which provides raw materials for people to put together into bags of beans, rice and vitamins which will be given out to people who need it in my home town and in poverty stricken communities in Nicaragua. A generous gift was given to our school to allow our students to participate in this project. Students came into the gym at assigned times and each had jobs along an assembly line to put together, weigh and pack the food bags. Our students packed just over 50,000 bags of food! There are already plans to raise money to host another food packing session for the 2016-2017 school year! It was absolutely amazing to see adults and children working alongside each other to accomplish a goal that would make a direct impact on other children in our area and in another part of the world!
This service project has allowed students to work together to make a difference in the world. Some of my first graders used the app called Super Duper Story Maker Free to draw a picture and write a sentence about the project. Fourth Graders described how they made a mark on the World during the Dot Day Observance Week in mid September by designing special dots that described how they put the food bags together. They used an Augmented Reality app called Quiver to hover over the Dot and cause it to pop out and spin while looking at it on the iPads. They loved being able to describe what they did and how they’ve made a big impact on the world. Fourth Graders have also been creating Google Spreadsheets on poverty figures by county in my state from 2012 to 2013. They are opening their eyes to differences in rates and speculating about what could have caused decreases or increases in county poverty rates.
Recently, I came across the Kid President Video above where he calls us all to action, to open our eyes to the problem of poverty and world hunger and to do whatever we can to end poverty and hunger. I plan to share his video with my fourth graders and ask them to analyze what makes him persuasive. Next, I will ask them to develop their own digital presentation in the form of a public service announcement where they will describe how to make a big impact on the world by being a digital citizen. These are the days when students need to have opportunities to participate in service projects and in creating digital projects that call others to action. The digital creation which they create will be done using a platform such as We Video or iMovie where students will provide images and cite their image sources. The purpose of their public service announcement videos will be to cause others to consider elements of digital citizenship when communicating in online environments. Students may not be able to end world hunger or online bullying, but they can get others to notice that they can make a difference in the words that they choose to say online, when sharing personal information online and when citing their work.
Kid President asked us to open our eyes to what is happening in the world concerning world hunger and poverty. I will ask my students to open their eyes to how they can be influential role models when creating online digital projects and when they communicate online. The Kid President video gives us a great act to follow when making our own digital citizenship videos. My students will enter their digital public service announcement projects into a district contest where they will have opportunities to win robots for our school. I am excited about the collaboration that will exist among students as they develop storyboards for their digital citizenship projects, communicate by writing scripts and create their public service announcements by putting their ideas together! We will begin these projects during late October which is Digital Citizenship Month and Connected Educator Month!
Another great resource on Digital Citizenship can be found at the following website: http://venspired.com/giving-back-day-6-all-about-digital-citizenship/ What will you do to celebrate and open students’ eyes to the importance of having traits of a digital citizen?