On March 5th, I’ll have the opportunity to participate in a Health Fair. Unlike the runners, the walkers, the health advocates, I’ll be engaged in what some may see as a sedentary activity–sharing ideas about digital citizenship…encouraging people to play with their mobile phones even more. In this blog entry, I share some no-cost apps that promote the positive in our lives within the context of digital citizenship and being kind to others. I certainly welcome any suggestions you might have!

A quick aside: Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve considered digital citizenship in this blog. It may be because I believe that developing strong relationship with your child is essential to the trust needed for conversations about this topic. The best content filter is between their ears, right?

What Should I Call This Health Booth?
I’ve played around with a few ideas for naming my booth at the Health Fair:

  • Get a Blood Transfusion at the Digital Citizenship Blood Booth
  • Tattoos for Free – Digital Tattoo Designs Worth Having
  • Lower Your Cholesterol, Your Blood Pressure and Enhance Your Life

 Well, you get the idea. It’s kinda funny, right? Ok, maybe not so much.

On a Quest
In my quest for resources, I wondered, what mobile apps are available to share with students, staff, and/or community members? You know, my phone is one device I always have with me–except, when I’m swimming although I hear some folks take their phone in the pool, too–so it makes sense to have easy access to mobile apps.

Here are a few worth sharing with colleagues and young folks:

No-Cost Apps that Promote the Positive
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Learning.com’s Digital Citizen app
DigitalCitizen App from Learning.com provides middle and high school students with instruction on online safety, the ethical use of digital resources, and cyberbullying. Through engaging videos, interactive games, and a quiz, the app ensures student understanding of these important concepts. Note: Requires Learning.com account code from your school district.
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Common Sense Media’s Digital Compass app
Digital Compass is a choose-your-own adventure, interactive game for iPad and iPhone. Developed for 6th to 9th graders and available in English and Spanish languages, Digital Compass lets students step into the shoes of one of eight characters to experience the twists and turns of daily digital life.
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University of Kentucky’s iDriveDigital app
This is a companion app for iDriveDigital.com and the Digital Driver’s License (DDL). This is an open source innovation lab project with OTIS at the University of Kentucky. iDriveDigital.com helps expose users (students & teachers) to content focused on valuable digital citizenship skills and concepts. Note: Be sure to get an account through their web site first.
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European Union’s Happy Onlife app
This engaging game aims at supporting children aged 8-12 — along with involving their parents and teachers — in initiating active mediation of digital technology. The game presents key messages about children’s use, overuse and misuse of the internet, together with risks such as cyberbullying. It also presents simple and clear strategies of prevention, mediation or remediation of internet issues.
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iKeepSafe’s Incident Response Tool app
The increasing use of technology in the classroom brings with it many new challenges for schools. From sexting to cyberbullying; privacy concerns to ethical considerations; schools are dealing with a growing number of digital incidents. The IRT is designed to increase school confidence and competence when handling a digital incident while minimizing the risks and impacts to student’s health and wellbeing.
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Australian Government’s Take a Stand Together app
The Take a Stand Together App was developed by all Australian education authorities, working together to create safe and supportive school environments free from bullying, harassment and violence.
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SAMHSA’s Know Bullying app
Research shows that spending at least 15 minutes a day talking with your kids can build the foundation for a strong relationship, develop their resilience to peer pressure, and help prevent bullying.

Uknowkids

Some apps to avoid that may lead to inappropriate usage or violations of digital citizenship:

  • Kik – My son introduced me to this one. When I joined, he was overjoyed (not!).
  • YikYak – This one needs to be banned on general principles. So much cyberbullying happens on YikYak from what I’ve seen. Of course, it’s only an extension of the school culture…that’s why restorative discipline is important.
  • Snapchat – Short video shares. Still learning how to use this one.
  • WhatsApp – Great app for communication. Consider Telegram as another alternative. Both are great for communication.

Apps that are used to “keep” inappropriate content private or away from others…this is relevant because they may be used for sexting (View some sexting stats) or sending nude images of other students…most of these apps are explored in this Mashable article:

  • Best Secret Folder
  • Fake Calculator
  • KYMS
  • KeepSafe Private Photo Vault
  • Gallery LockLite
  • Private Photo Vault
  • Vaulty

Appify Digital Citizenship
Another idea that I’ve been considering is creating a Google Site with all the neat stuff and then creating an app with Yapp to facilitate sharing with others. Of course, there are many web sites that have tons of resource links…would another really be worthwhile?

Example Yapp App…waiting on education pricing since number of installs (10!) for the trial won’t work!

Online Course
There are tons of online digital citizenship courses, not to mention webinars and videos on YouTube. If you don’t know about digital citizenship, it’s probably because you haven’t spent some time looking. One district made online digital citizenship course available to parents in their district. The main benefit? You can curate the barge-load of content available in this area, each competing for your attention.

You might also jump into online communities via Edmodo, as well as visit the DigCitSummit.com event planner, that enable you to have more conversations with concerned folks.

iDrive Digital, a Univ of Kentucky creation, features an online course that appears to be free for students, staff, and schools!

A few courses for educators include the following:

Conclusion
While numerous resources abound, I’ve found that the “reality test” involves real conversations with young adults, and helping them understand why they should avoid negative digital tattoos at all possible costs.


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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