What I Really Really Want – Teaching Digital Compassion

On a very basic level, I would like to learn strategies for teaching digital citizenship to middle/high school students. Specifically, I’d like to know more about developing their digital compassion/empathy. To me this isn’t just “How do we prevent cyberbullying?” (though that is in there somewhere). It is usually more productive to approach a topic from what you “should do” or “can do” versus what you “shouldn’t do,” and most importantly, discussing why. Part of this topic is certainly web presence, but I’d like to go beyond thinking about how others see us and focus on how we’re engaging with others. I want to know how to encourage students to act with compassion towards people they can’t immediately see, both on a small scale (their classmates after school hours) and globally. Too often we use the refrain “Well, would you say that to their face?” We try to explain the reasoning behind digital citizenship with tenets of in-person citizenship, which may have many correlations but shouldn’t it be able to stand up for itself? We know people have a tendency to act differently online than they do in person. So, how do we teach that online version of a student in its own environment? Can we find a way to better address the development of students’ digital moral compasses?

Pertinent Pages:

ISTE: 9 Resources for Teaching Digital Citizenship

Building Empathy and Compassion in the Digital Age

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