Our space: digital citizenship resources

Our space is a website providing education resources for exploring the ethics of digital citizenship with students.

Our space

Developed as part of the GoodWork project and in collaboration with Harvard Graduate School of Education and Project New Media Literacies, the website offers pages of lessons and fact sheets to support students’ use of social media and the web.

Lessons are grouped under five themes – participation, identity, privacy, credibility and authorship/ownership.

Ethical engagement is at the centre of the program so the focus is on students’ personal responsibilities and behaviours. A great resource to share with colleagues and to potentially look at when planning for 2012.

danah boyd: debating privacy

danah boyd, academic and senior researcher at Microsoft, recently posted her responses to a Wall Street Journal interview on privacy and social media.

danah boyd blog

Some of the ideas she discusses include how people (particularly teens) use complex strategies to maintain their privacy when it matters to them. They’re still public but are deliberately ambiguous so they can control who understands their meaning. Will Richardson in a commentary piece on danah’s post talks about how these skills are a kind of literacy educators need to think about.

There’s also some discussion of how social media environments are easily as complex as day to day social interactions and require the same sophisticated skills we use to make sure our behaviour suits the situations and people we’re with.

danah boyd’s blog is definitely one to follow if you’re interested in social media, privacy and how communication is changing in an online world.

SLAV conference reflections: Hamish Curry

Hamish Curry, Education Manager at the State Library of Victoria shares his reflections on Monday’s SLAV conference where he presented on how to create with library data.

About 200 library technicians and assistants arrived at Etihad Stadium on Monday 17th October to hear more on SLAV’s theme of  ‘Activate the learning with emerging technologies’.

As always, the SLAV conference engaged us with tools, ideas, resources, and networks. There were a series of great presentations from the likes of Jenny Ashby (Epsom Primary School), Greg Gebhart (Australian Communications and Media Authority), and Camilla Elliott (Mazenod College).

Jenny Ashby took centre stage in the morning to help the audience ‘Activate your 21st Century Mobile Libraries’. There could have been no better example of this than in her great discussion of ways in which QR (Quick Response) codes could be adapted for and embedded in library practices. As her presentation progressed, with QR Codes displayed on the screen, audience members madly lifted their smart-phones into the air to decode and access the content.  My take-away from Jenny’s presentation is how easy it now is to integrate mobile phones into the normal business and learning of the school environment. Some of her great links included:

QR Code generators – Kaywa and Gorillascan

QR Treasure Hunt Generator – Class tools QR treasure hunt generator

After morning tea, Camilla Elliott did an outstanding job filling in for John Pearce, who was a late scratching. With a strong focus on motivating us to learn more about how Google works, Camilla also highlighted some excellent search tools that acted as great educational alternatives to Google, such as Boolify , Sweet Search, and DuckDuckGo.

Greg Gebhart from ACMA woke us all up with some startling realities about young people engaging with social media and various networks online. It was hard not to feel frightened of the online environment and worried about the growing numbers of primary school students participating online without guidance from teachers and parents. Cybersmart provides some useful resources and information to address these concerns, but ultimately it is the challenge of educators and libraries to model and mentor digital citizenship and digital literacy for all students.

The afternoon was a mind-blowing smorgasbord of presentations from Judith Way (Kew High School), Tania Sheko (Whitefriars College), Tony Richards (IT Made Simple), Vincent Trundle (ACMI) and Camilla Elliott. I attended Camilla’s presentation and it was chock-full of great sites and resources around maps. Highlights included NearMap, ScribbleMaps and Google Lit Trips.

My own presentation was titled “I’m a Library Hack!” and aligned with a number of the topics from the other presentations around the use of maps, augmented reality, social media, and library data to help engage and enrich the experiences of teachers and students within the school and online environments. A key focus was the Libraryhack competition run by the National State Libraries of Australasia earlier this year. My presentation is available here.

You can also follow some of the conversation from the day on the Twitter hashtag #slavconf.

Today is Safer Internet Day 2011

Safer Internet Day 2011 is organised to promote safer use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst young people. This year’s theme is “It’s more than a game, it’s your life”.


Today is the day to consider cyber safety at your school and in your home. If you are not part of the school’s planning committee for online safety, or bullying, then send them the information that could contribute to creating a safer online community.

Cybersmart, developed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, is part of the Australian Government’s cybersafety program. It is a brilliant site that provides activities, resources, and advice to help young people, parents, and educators safely enjoy the online world. It offers training and resources for schools, and material for libraries. It has appealing portals for ‘young kids’, ‘kids’, and ‘teens’.


The wiki site Raising ‘digital’ kids: Parent workshop by David Truss houses the free workshop ‘Education in the digital age: A reorientation for parents’. This is a workshop by David Truss to develop expectations around the use of technology to play, learn, and connect. Designed for parents, it can be applied to schools. The wiki has an abundant amount of resources. Below is the slideshow of the presentation:

Don’t forget that you can ring your local police station to organise a guest speaker to come to your school to talk about cybersafety and cyberbullying, with just the teaching team, or the whole school. If your local police station does not have the resources, they will be able to point you in the right direction.