The best decision I made in the past week was to log in to the Zoom Room ten minutes before class began. Up to this point, I had imagined the major project as an integration piece, using Snapchat as a teaching tool and explaining the process. But after listening to fellow students and receiving confirmation from Alec, I know understand this process to be incorrect. Instead of integration, this assignment is to focus on a critical view of Snapchat, and how the digital citizenship elements relate.
Mike Ribble highlights nine elements of digital citizenship and my goal is to focus on a few of these themes and how they relate to my upcoming major project.
Digital Communication: Ribble explains “the expanding digital communication options have changed because people are able to keep in constant communication with anyone else.” In high schools, Snapchat has become the primary method for communication between students. Rather than trying to (unsuccessfully) attempt to stop this, I instead want to learn from the students about why this method of communication is so appealing to them.
Digital Etiquette: Ribble explains “many people feel uncomfortable talking to others about their digital etiquette. Often rules and regulations are created or the technology is simply banned to stop inappropriate use.” If students engagement with Snapchat is to continue to grow, then students must be taught the proper way to interact with others.
Digital Law: Ribble explains “users need to understand that stealing or causing damage to other people’s work, identity, or property online is a crime. There are certain rules of society that users need to be aware in an ethical society.” Unfortunately, child pornography and sexting have become major issues with Snapchat. Despite the uncomfortable nature of this discussion, students must be made aware of the potential dangers and permanence of this issue.
Digital Health and Wellness: Ribble explains “beyond the physical issues are those of the psychological issues that are becoming more prevalent such as Internet addiction. Users need to be taught that there are inherent dangers of technology.” Regarding Digital Health, my focus will centre on the idea of Snapchat streaks. I want to learn why these are so important to my students and what if anything can be done to move past this. When a 17 year old student states: “when you lose the streak, you lose the friendship”, you know this is a problem that must be dealt with.
So what does this all mean for the project?
My goal is to create a resource/activity package for my students regarding Snapchat. Upon completion of this package, it is my hope that the students will not quit using the app, but instead will be more aware and critical of the information they are receiving and transmitting through Snapchat. The presentation of my project will focus on the package I have created, as well as student testimonials illustrating their newfound critical thinking regarding their favourite app.