Category Archives: Major Project

Well, that’s a wrap!

dorothy day spoilers GIF
Thanks for following!


To write a summary for my major project, I started to read through all of my posts. I found it interesting that within the first couple of paragraphs into my first entry, I had stated in my initial proposal, “I could learn more about digital identity and citizenship alongside my girls and come up with some fun ways for them to share their knowledge and creatively teach their own peers.  This may also allow us to teach their peers’ parents as well, either directly or indirectly.”

What is interesting about this, you say? I want to point out that I had indicated “fun ways” and “creatively teach” as part of my plan. Well, if you ask my girls, I’m pretty sure they didn’t think it was fun from their point of view. Their interest in completing each questionnaire declined each time. However, I do believe that they learned and are still learning about this aspect of their world.

Prior to knowing this, I polished my proposal to be:

Through the eyes of a child (my daughters), I will use inquiry research to learn about digital citizenship and share this new knowledge with their peers.

I decided to gather my data through Google Forms. There were pros and cons to using a single data gathering tool like this.


  1. After my first usage, I was familiar with the overall formatting options, options to share questionnaires with participants, as well as read/interpret gathered data (charts and/or excel document).
  2. Familiar format and expectations with consistent participants.
  3. Easy to copy and edit kid questionnaire to create a parent version.
  4. Created and stored within Google Drive, which I navigate weekly for work related tasks.
  5. Ability to create a variety of types of questions to suit my project purpose.
  6. Ability to keep participants anonymous.


  1. Found it hard to be very clear and concise with written directions/explanations so they would be interpreted the same by all participants (kids and parents)
  2. Unable to explain, elaborate, or reword questions for participants if they were unclear.
  3. Participants may have become overwhelmed or tired of the same types of questionnaires.
  4. Not overly fun and engaging for some participants (as was my initial intention) due to such a wide variety of ages involved.
  5. Participants were not able to see how their answers compared to the rest of the participants unless they followed up with my blog, which is an additional thing to do (time consuming).

However, as I reflect on what I have accomplished with this project, I feel I touched upon a some of the verbs used to describe digital citizenship according to this graphic, such as research, create, limit, engage, respect, use, participate, identify, explore, and most importantly, talk. To keep the bias out of my own kids’ participation in this project, I decided to let my husband be the one to do the questionnaires with our girls as well to participate from the parents’ point of view. Throughout the semester, I have seen him share and highlight several topics brought up through my questionnaires with many of our friends. This was the exact intentions that I was hoping for with regards to what parents get out of this! I consider this a success. Before I reflect more on the overall project, let me debrief you on each step.


My first topic of focus was about understanding kids’ knowledge of internet safety, specifically sharing information (public or private) online. I used the exact questions used on the  Be Internet Awesome (by Google) website that was brought up in class. I geared my questionnaire to focus on 7-12 years old and decided to include parents in this as well by having them reflect with their child(ren) to create a dialogue on this topic. At this point, I only sent it to family friends as I felt it better to keep my sample size relatively small and familiar to a certain demographic. It took me some time to draft the survey and I enlisted the help from a friend to look over my email as well as the questionnaire to ensure that it was understandable for both kids and parents.

Before I received data from this survey, I got my husband to do it with my daughters and was disappointed that they were very vague about their take aways and I was not satisfied with this. I had no other option but to intervene and go through it with one of them to dig deeper. However, I learned that sometimes things are better left alone and my bias would impact my results. I wanted them to be raw and untainted, so this was the last time I got personally involved.


The results of this initial survey identified that most kids are aware that they should involve their parents in the information they are sharing online. This was pleasantly surprising and reassuring that kids are more digitally aware than I had given them credit for. Parents were equally as proud and some shared that they discuss these topics at home and some schools have as well.

Based on our class discussion on Mike Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship and my exploration of the Web Tools for Kids book that I had been reading with my kids, next I decided to focus my project on digital etiquette.


To address the concept of digital etiquette, I found a set of questions taken from BrainPop‘s video and quiz on Digital Etiquette, found in their Digital Citizenship video series. Again, I, focused on ages 7-12 to keep things consistent. I then developed a pre-video quiz to assess their prior knowledge of the concept and then a post-video quiz, which was the exact same however the questions were in a different order. Lastly, I sent a parent reflection survey to discuss their kids’ takeaways. Unfortunately, I had a disappointing number of participants and was only able to reflect mainly on my daughters’ responses. Most of this video brought to their attention some terminology that was unfamiliar, such as flamewars, anonymous, and trolls. My husband led this debrief and was able to show a relevant example of a flamewar on Twitter. Again, my intentions for this project was happening within my own household. Winning!

As for my next step, I was influenced by Manoush Zamorodi‘s “How Many People Can’t Walk Without Their Smartphones? video, her Bored and Brilliant Challenge, and once again the Web Tools for Kids book. From these sources, I wanted to explore the purpose of being online. Are you a consumer, participant, or producer? I used the outline of the Ruder Fin Intent Index (2009), which is mostly used to target marketing, to organize my next questionnaire. Due to the lack of participants in my last survey, I decided to open this one up to a larger group of people rather than just kids. Therefore, I shared the link to my questionnaire on my limited social media platforms and the participation was promising.


This was by far my most successful survey due to the number of participants (almost 100). However, the results were not surprising, which I guess is a good thing. The main takeaways were:

  1. People primarily go online to learn, have fun, socialize, and shop.
  2. Personal expression, doing business and advocacy are not common reasons for going online.
  3. Joining a cause was only selected by four out of 95 people surveyed.
  4. Consumer and participant heavily outweighed producer

In addition to the questionnaire, I had a reflection question which asked participants to identify how they might change their online behaviours going forward based on their results. Surprisingly, most were aware of their behaviours and are therefore not going change anything going forward. For those that were interested in changing, they were going to focus more on being a producer, rather than a consumer or participant.

This led me to ponder several things:

  • How much time online is too much time?
  • When is it acceptable to be a consumer? a participant? a producer?
  • How can advocacy (as a participant or producer) be more of an online purpose?


For my last topic, I went back and forth between having families identify the amount of device time each family member participates in each day and differentiate it from purposeful to non-purposeful or having parents help their kids start to demonstrate appropriate digital citizenship through their social media apps using ideas from the March Media Mentor Month resource or I decided to choose the latter as I felt the digital dialogue between parents and their kids and even between families was beneficial and productive as evidence in my own family discussions.

Taken from Keri-Lee Beasley’s blog Tip of the Iceberg

Of course, this is when our current world situation started to impact my project development and it took me a while to gather data on this topic. To collect data, I created two separate surveys, one geared towards kids aged 7 to 18 and another one for adults. Although they were very similar, I added a few questions in both surveys that were relevant to each particular group of participants. Half of the questions were based on the frequency of occurrence and the other half based on yes/no answers. These surveys were influenced primarily by the March Media Mentor Month created by Keri-Lee Beasley

Unfortunately, due to the events out of our control, participation in this survey was once again low, even though I posted to social media. My focus on this survey was not necessarily the individual answers but more so on the reflection from both groups. A brief summary of the kids’ reflection is that they will start to use video conferencing to talk with people instead of texting, continue to be cautious and safe by including parents in online activities, and to try to be on their phone less. As for a summary of parent reflections, they will start/continue to discuss what could happen online and the dangers of online activities, ask permission from their children to post things about them online, will start to do more WITH their children online together, and reflect more often.


Overall, I am happy with the results of my major project, especially with how it has impacted my family’s frequency of digital dialogue. I did find it difficult to gather information with inconsistent participation and through a qualitative approach, but this was easier for me to prepare on my own time and send out rather than interviewing participants and setting up meetings to do so.

Going back to my initial proposal of “through the eyes of a child (my daughters), I will use inquiry research to learn about digital citizenship and share this new knowledge with their peers“, I feel that I have accomplished several aspects:

  1. I used inquiry-based research, more so my own than my daughters’, to develop surveys.
  2. I learned along with my kids and husband about some aspects digital citizenship, including mindful sharing, digital etiquette, online purpose, and most importantly, digital dialogue with family and friends.
  3. I used topics discussed in class to help guide my project.
  4. I reflected on my own online behaviours and have realized the importance of positive involvement with my own kids, not through a fear-mongering lens.

Some things that I wish I could have addressed include:

  1. Making this project with kids and parents more engaging rather than completing surveys.
  2. Using my daughters’ inquiries guide more of my work rather than my own.
  3. Use a mixed methods approach to gather data than relying solely on a qualitative approach in order to have participants give me a better look at their online behaviours and understanding.

As a cherry on top of this major project, I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of Nancy Smith‘s book “Social Citizens: A Positive Approach to Social Media & Parenting in a Digital World”. I look forward to reading this as it will give me more ideas and insight as to how I can continue to navigate and support my daughters and their experience with digital citizenship. Wish me luck!

Digital Dialogue

It has been a while (almost a month) since I last posted about my major project. There are a couple of reasons for this (in order):

#1 – unsure of what direction to go next with my project
#2 – lack of interest/participants for my new direction (I’ll explain more below), so I left the window to engage open longer than usual

It’s nearing the end of the semester, so I thought I’d better reflect on the limited amount of data that I did collect and share my musings with you.

My new direction focused on the digital dialogue that parents/kids have together. I took the suggested activities found on March Media Mentor Month as well as other questions I had and formed a plethora of questions. Some questions included:

  1. How often do you play a video game with your child(ren)?
  2. How often do you ask your child permission to post a picture of them online?
  3. How often do you share things with your parents/guardians that you’ve created online?
  4. Have you shown your child(ren) how to determine if something is true or “fake news” on social media?

I once again created a survey separately for both parents and kids and sent it out to the world to inspire me like my last survey of almost 100 participants took part in it. I was sadly disappointed, even though I had wonderful classmates helping to spread the word (thanks, Dean and Shelby). I had less than 20 for both surveys. Regardless, I have some data to reflect on.

Kids Survey Reflection

  • I received at least one response for each age from 7-16 years old.
  • About half of the kids share things they’ve created online or video conference with friends/family (prior to the pandemic) at least once a week or more
  • More than half of kids play a video game with their parents at least once a month
  • Almost all kids listen to music on a speaker for the whole family to enjoy each week
  • Most kids have conversations with their parents about their online activities at least once a month
  • Not many kids ask permission before posting a picture of someone else or get asked for permission themselves
  • Devices usage interferes weekly with in-person communication between parents/kids
  • Not one kid has posted a video to YouTube; must be consumers only
  • Most kids have device guidelines set by their parents. I’d be interested to know what these are.
  • Most kids have not discussed “Do Not Disturb” mode or how to safe search on YouTube with their parents
  • Half of the kids have been shown by their parents how to determine “fake news”. This is a positive!
  • Majority of kids have their device/online activity checked by their parents
napoleon dynamite technology GIF
Kids these days!

At the end of the survey, I asked kids to share what they’ve learned and will start to do after answering the questions. Here is a summary of what they said:

  • Start to use video conferencing to talk with people instead of texting
  • Continue to be cautious and safe by including my parents in my activity
  • Try to be on my phone less

Overall, there wasn’t anything that shocked me about their survey answers. I am relieved to see that from the kids perspective that parents are somewhat involved with their digital activity. I have personally learned some things about social media apps from my own kids. I still don’t know how to use SnapChat effectively as I find it to be pointless, but mostly because I don’t understand it. As for some positives, I’m glad to see that kids realize that involving and being open with their parents is beneficial. However, I am interested to know how open they truly are!

Parent Survey Reflections

  • More than half of parents, with their kids, video conference with friends/family at least once a week.
  • Most parents will listen to music with their family through a speaker for everyone to enjoy
  • More than half of parents discuss their kids’ online activities with them several times a week, however, they don’t discuss their own online activities with their kids as often. Interesting!
  • Only 3 parents out of 18 ask for permission from their kids to post pictures of them
  • Most parents admit to ignoring their kids once a month due to device usage, but they say that their kids ignore than at least once a week due to the same reason
  • Most parents talk to other parents about the digital guidelines in their households at least once a month
  • Much like the kids have said, most parents have not discussed “Do Not Disturb” mode or how to safe search on YouTube
  • Just over half of parents have shown their children how to properly search online and how to spot “fake news”. Bravo!
  • Only 3 parents have had a discussion with your partner/spouse about how to talk to your child(ren) about online pornography in an age-appropriate way
confused the simpsons GIF
Have you ever felt this way about technology?

At the end of the survey, I also asked parents to share what they’ve learned and will start to do after answering the questions. Here is a summary of what they said:

  • Discuss about what could happen online and the dangers of online activities
  • Ask permission from their children
  • Do more WITH them online together
  • Reflect more often

Overall, I feel the kids and parents answers lined up for the most part. The sense that I got from kids is that they share what they are comfortable sharing with their parents so they don’t get themselves in trouble and parents are involved with their kids’ online activities to protect them.

Parent involvement has normally revolved around the idea of internet safety. Our engagement with our kids needs to start to focus on other things, as mentioned in this article by the Family Online Safety Institute, such as netiquette (as previously focused on in my major project) and kindness. As Nancy Smith mentions in her book “Social Citizens: A Positive Approach to Social Media & Parenting in a Digital World” (thanks again for sending me a copy to read), “social media can have positive effects on your teens” (pg. 35). She goes on to explain how connection, communication, creativity, confidence, learning, and compassion can all be obtained through interactions on social media. The question is how can parents help to bring out the positive aspects rather than focusing on the dangers? Digital dialogue!

How do you regularly engage in digital dialogue with your kids or students?

Enjoyment vs. Business

Conclusions drawn from this survey are mostly my personal opinion, and are not all derived from specific research-driven facts.

As mentioned at the end of my last post, the next step in my project was to get participants (any age) to analyze their purpose for going online. I was inspired, once again, by the Web Tools for Kids resource that I’ve been using with my kids along with a study called the Ruder Fin Intent Index (2009), which identifies the capacities for which people go online:

  1. Learn
  2. Have fun
  3. Socialize
  4. Express yourself
  5. Advocate
  6. Do business
  7. Shop

Each of these categories are separated into more specific aspects of each which include:

The number of participants was pleasantly surprising (almost 100 people) and this gave me a burst of excitement as my data allows me to draw decent conclusions. The results weren’t overly surprising but did give me some things to think about.

  1. People primarily go online to learn, have fun, socialize, and shop.
    1. access to information is very quick and easy
    2. easy to pass time while waiting by playing games, watching videos, scrolling through feeds, etc.
    3. easy way to get a hold of people (messaging/calling) due to many people having a mobile device
    4. easy way to shop (access to more options) anywhere, anytime, without leaving your location
  2. Personal expression, doing business and advocacy are not common reasons for going online.
    1. from the age groups that participated, personal expression is likely demonstrated more so offline than online; could be due to the risk of being judged (on identity) unless it’s your job or passion
    2. I was surprised that doing business wasn’t higher as online banking is common practice (again, depending on age) or using the internet for your day job
    3. advocacy and activism are becoming more popular, but it can be personally risky
    4. perhaps how these three categories were interpreted may have contributed to their low rating
  3. Joining a cause was only selected by four out of 95 people surveyed.
    1. one word – slacktivism
  4. Consumer and participant heavily outweighed producer
    1. producing/participation requires time and creativity; consumerism is mechanical

Here are the main themes that came out of the reflection question, which was:

Reflecting on your answers, is there anything that SURPRISED about your purpose for being online? If so, is this going to change your online behaviours going forward?

  • most were not surprised by their answers because they are aware of their online purpose
  • most not likely to change their behaviour because it’s normalized to be online and everything is easily accessible this way
  • some were surprised by how many apps they use to go online
  • it made some them more aware of how much they are online and will look to decrease their mindless browsing
  • very few mentioned changing their behaviour to be more of a producer (create/collaborate) instead of a consumer (solely to get information) or participant (communicate/contribute)

After going through the results of this survey, I have some questions:

  • How much time online is too much time?
  • When is it acceptable to be a consumer? a participant? a producer?
  • How can advocacy (as a participant or producer) be more of an online purpose?

As for my next steps, I am drawing a blank. I may go the route of having families identify the amount of device time each family member participates in each day and differentiate it from purposeful to non-purposeful. I may also go back to having parents help their kids start to demonstrate appropriate digital citizenship through their social media apps using ideas from the March Media Mentor Month resource or I’d appreciate any help with my direction going forward!

Hard to Tell

This week,  I addressed the idea of digital etiquette.  I did this by searching and eventually finding a resource on BrainPop, a common online resource used in both primary and middle years.  They have a great section dedicated to Digital Citizenship, accessible without a subscription.  I encourage you to take a look and see if the videos and resources match what you may be teaching or interested in teaching your students.  Topics range from social media, media literacy, and plagiarism.

Once I found this resource, I decided to create a survey to send out to both kids (ages 7-12) and parents like I did last week.  I took the quiz questions right from the website itself and create a pre-video quiz to see what kids knew prior to watching.  I also create a post-video quiz using the exact same questions to assess what they learned from watching the video.  Lastly, I provided parents with some discussion questions before they filled out a reflection survey based on their child’s understanding of the topic.  These questions were:

  1. What are some ways that you can share your opinions and ideas with others online?
  2. Describe a time when you’ve demonstrated poor digital etiquette (if applicable). This could be via text, email, social media, gaming chats.  What was the result of this? What would you do differently next time?
  3. Describe a time when you’ve demonstrated good digital etiquette (if applicable).
  4. What is something new that you’ve learned from the video that will change the way you will communicate with others online?

Unfortunately, participation in this part of my project was next to nil, which I was disappointed in.  However, sending this out over the break wasn’t likely the best timing for most families.  Overall, I had four participants, two of whom were my own kids.  Therefore, I cannot draw any conclusions like I did last week, but I will speak more about my own kids’ understanding of digital etiquette.

The major difficulty with this topic was the terminology used in the video.

digital netiquette
formal communication

The pre-video quiz used a lot of these terms and therefore posed a lot of questions for my daughters when taking the quiz.  It was hard not to explain them, but I wanted to get them to make sense of what they could mean based on the answers provided.  Clearly, a skill that needs to be taught; context clues.  

Once the video was viewed, there didn’t seem to be any questions asked about the post-video quiz questions as they were familiar with them from the pre-video quiz and the video explained most of them in detail with relevant examples.

Where I find the most valuable information is within the discussion questions after the video between parents and the kids.  I have found value in this as it brings awareness to what parents think their kids know and what they actually know.  It allows them to fill the gaps of unknown information and to be able to provide examples based on their own experiences.

I always get my husband to have these discussions with our kids because I want him to be involved with these conversations instead of just me and for him to add another perspective on digital participation, as he is far greater than mine. I am very much a consumer, not a participant. After their discussion, he went on to Twitter to show our eldest a flamewar (this was a new term to him as well). It was a great teachable moment!

As for the other participants of my survey, I was intrigued by the response shared in the parent reflection.

I believe having access to the technology they utilize and being open about the access is important as they (and parents) navigate those digital world. I also believe that having more communication, sharing positive stories and maybe ones that ignite more discussion of the repercussions of negative interactions online is also important. I think anytime we can increase awareness and communicate in an honest (age appropriate way) is beneficial not only for the child but for me as the parent. They are growing up with technology where as I was already an adult when the web and other technologies were created. It’s great to learn from each other.

I appreciate how open they are about their lack of understanding and the importance of learning alongside them through positive and negative examples. We must learn from our own mistakes as well as others.

This led me to discuss with my daughters the article Nancy posted regarding the 9-year-old boy being bullied about his disability and the actions that his parents took to remedy this. Although their intentions were good, the impact that their actions will have on their son isn’t all positive.

The next step in my project is to get participants (any age) to analyze their purpose for going online. I was inspired, once again, by the Web Tools for Kids resource that I’ve been using with my kids along with a study called the Ruder Fin Intent Index (2009), which identifies the capacities for which people go online:

  1. Learn
  2. Have fun
  3. Socialize
  4. Express yourself
  5. Advocate
  6. Do business
  7. Shop

Although there isn’t a study more recent than 2012, and it is mostly used to target marketing, I’m interested to see why people go online in 2020, especially with more people and younger people having more access to it.

How can we use this information to address digital citizenship, media literacy, and increase social activism?

Stay tuned for my link to my survey via my Twitter account @CmorTeach.

And the results are in!

So, it seems as though the kids that took part in my survey are more aware of what information they should share with particular audiences than I gave them credit for. That’s a positive!

Let me backtrack a bit.

Last week, I sent out a survey to both kids (ages 7 to 12) and parents related to information sharing (online or offline). I received 18 completed surveys from kids (two 7-year-olds, two 8-year-olds, two 9-year-olds, four 10-year olds, five 11-year olds, and three 12-year-olds) and 15 completed surveys from parents (assuming there were families that had more than one kid complete the survey). The questions I used came from Google’s Be Internet Awesome website, which were:

Who would you share the following information with?
Your parents, friends, everyone, or trash it (you can choose more than one)

  • Best friend’s phone number
  • Your location
  • A rumor about someone in your class
  • A selfie of you and your best friend with their new hairdo
  • A silly video of your friend that they don’t know that you took
  • An article about a band that you like
  • A funny lip sync video of you and your friends
  • An embarrassing picture of your sibling
  • A live video from your class field trip
  • Meet up details for a school dance

The results showed a resounding awareness that most, if not all, information being shared should be shared with parents. This pleased me as it shows that some kids at this age understand the importance of parental involvement.

**I’ve kept in mind that my survey sample was small and completed by families that fit a particular demographic.**

The parent survey consisted of the following three questions:

  • After I asked my child “Which type of audience do you think you selected most when answering the questions?”, I felt….(why?)
  • After I asked my child “What did you learn about the types of information that can be shared with others? Why?” I felt….(why?)
  • After I asked my child “When you share information with others, what are you going to be more aware of now?”, I felt….(why?)

Most parent comments were positive and reassuring that their child understands to ask or involve parents when sharing information. The word TRUST was used often. There was a SATISFIED and PROUD feeling noted by most parents, including myself. Some parents felt that their kids were able to know the difference between public and private information and that permission should be asked before any information is shared with others. One parent has stated that their kid’s answers weren’t surprising because they “talk about and/or share those things already” at home. It was also noted that they “learned these things in school and they know that being private is important”. I was impressed to hear that schools were addressing topics like this. Overall, there was more of an awareness piece by both parents and kids about information sharing, whether it was already known or now recently learned through this survey.

After exploring more of Mike Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship with the help of ISTE, I’ve come to realize that my major project is primarily focused on the elements of Digital Communication and Digital Etiquette. These two elements have a focus on student responsibilities in our digital world.

In each of the elements listed within this resource, Ribble identifies essential questions to help focus and reflect on with students.

Digital Ettiquette Essential Questions
Are students aware of others when they use technology?
Do students realize how their use of technology affects others?

My survey of information sharing directly relates to the second question. Students need to be aware of how their actions of sharing can affect others, directly or indirectly. “Very often, parents and students alike are learning these technologies from their peers or by watching others use the technology” (pg. 29). It’s important for parents to help their child understand proper digital etiquette so good digital citizens are born.  “A good digital citizen seeks out feedback from others to evaluate their use of technology, and then makes personal adjustments based on this feedback (pg. 29). This will lead to more appropriate technology behaviour and an attempt at breaking the cycle of poor netiquette with peers alike.

Digital Communication Essential Questions
Do I use email, cell phone, texting, and social networking technologies appropriately when communicating with others?
What rules, options, and etiquette do students need to be aware of when using digital communication technologies?

Within my major project, I have dove into etiquette as well with getting students to identify which types of information are sharable with specific audiences.  Knowing your audience is important as it dictates the level of etiquette needed to communicate and interact with them.  Something you send to your best friend isn’t something that should be sent to everyone to see and comment on.  

I plan to continue to dive deeper into Digital Communication and Etiquette to bring to light how kids can use technology more appropriately.  “Too often, people send emails, texts, or posts without considering who might see them or how they might be interpreted” (pg. 23).   It’s easy to respond quickly to someone and send it without thinking of the long term consequences, for which your message cannot be retracted even if you delete it.  “In some situations speaking to someone face-to face can solve a situation faster than multiple emails or other communication methods” (pg. 23).  I want kids to understand when this would be the case.

After watching a video created by Manoush Zamorodi this week with my daughters titled “How Many People Can’t Walk Without Their Smartphones?“, we had a discussion about what this meant to them and to others.  Zamorodi observed how many people walked by her with or without interacting in some capacity with their phones.  Out of the 1000 people that walked by, 315 of them were using or holding their phones.  That’s 1 out of every 3 people. 

Me:  Is that number high or low?
11-year-old: low
9-year-old: high
Me: When we are engaged or on our phones, we don’t experience boredom.
11-year-old:  I HATE being bored.
Me: I also struggle with boredom but I’ve been using puzzles to help deal with boredom and to stay off my phone when I don’t need to be.
11-year-old:  That doesn’t help me with boredom because I get mad when I can’t find a certain piece.
Me: (to the 9-year-old), what do you do when you’re bored?
9-year-old: Gymnastics, like flips around the house. At school, I play with my markers or swing my arms and legs around.
Me: So it seems that you always have to be moving than when you are bored.  Can you ever just sit still?
9-year-old:  Ya, when my teacher is reading to the class.
11-year-old:  I can’t!  My mind is always thinking about other things and what I could be doing instead.

This discussion brought my attention back to the  Bored and Brilliant Challenge by Manoush Zomorodi.  I want to ensure that my daughters’ have a purpose for being on their devices or online, not just to curb boredom, as this seems to be the number one reason. 

I’ve gone back to the book Web Tools for Kids, as mentioned in one of my previous posts, to help my daughters, their friends and parents reflect on how they use the internet or identifying the purpose of going online.  

For my next survey going out to kids and parents, I am going to address this topic in addition to other related topics using BrainPop’s video series on Digital Citizenship, in particular Digital Etiquette.  Much of the focus will be on terms such as flaming, flame wars, trolls, anonymous, and of course, netiquette.  

Stay tuned!

And we’re off….

Since my last post for which I shared my proposal for my major project, I’ve started to figure out the direction I want to go.

First, I searched online for some information related to digital citizenship for kids and came across a website called Be Internet Awesome (by Google), which Leigh tweeted about as well.  Kids can explore several different islands with titles such as:

  • Mindful Mountain – Be Internet Smart (Share with Care)
  • Reality River – Be Internet Alert (Don’t Fall for Fake)
  • Tower of Treasure – Be Internet Strong (Secure Your Secrets)
  • Kind Kingdom – Be Internet Kind (It’s Cool to Be Kind)
  • *No Island* – Be Internet Brave (When in Doubt, Talk it Out)

I loved the idea of this but wanted to now the results of the questions being answered.  So, I went through each activity, (yes, it was tedious), but I copied down all of the questions and answers for each of the activities.  Unfortunately, this takes the fun out of it for the kids since the game part of it is taken away, but they’re none the wiser, right!?

Next, I created a Google Form for the Mindful Mountain activity to create a survey to send out.  I decided to select the ages of 7 to 12 year olds as both my daughters fit in this age range.  I also choose 7 years of age (Grade 2) as my low end because many kids use their parents devices to send snaps to friends, or look at Instagram (mine do for sure).  I choose 12 years old (grade 7) as my high end because I know most of my daughter’s friends are pretty savvy with technology but may not necessarily be digitally aware of their interactions online.  Lastly, the questions used on the website seemed to fit this age range as well.

My initial intentions were to only involve kids in the survey to see what their knowledge was on each topic, but as I drafted up the survey, I was interested to know how much parents knew about their kid’s understanding.  Therefore, I created three questions for parents to ask their children related to the topic of information sharing, and posed them in a way for them to express how they felt about their kid’s answers.

Next, I sent it to a friend to look over for me to ensure I had expressed my intentions properly and described things succinctly for a clear understanding because I tend to drone on.  With a few edits, and a thumbs up for approval, I sent the email with a brief description of my project, an explanation of the survey, the list of three parent questions to ask, and a link to both the kid and parent survey.  I sent it to families that I know well through either school or sports interactions over the years and set a date of Feb. 10 for completion.

The next step is to gather the data from the surveys to understand the kids’ level of knowledge on the topic as well as how aware and comfortable parents are of their kid’s awareness.  I’m excited to see the results!

happy chris pratt GIF

In the meantime, I had my husband help my youngest daughter go on to the Be Internet Awesome website to complete one of the activities.  This was my gauge to see if this is something that would interest her, and it did!  I didn’t stick around to hear their conversation, but I did follow up with her myself to see what she learned from it.  To my disappointment, she had difficulties, or lack of desire, in sharing her knowledge.  She should know me well enough to know that I’d press the issue, so I went through each question and discussed her answers in detail.  We had a really good discussion and she was able to share with me that she would share information with her parents the most and make sure to get permission before sharing information with others.  Parenting win!

Stay tuned for the results of the surveys!