At Windermere Secondary School, students are reflecting upon what it means to be a leader in the physical and digital communities that they may belong to. What does it mean to be a citizen? And how might that look like in the online world? In a rapidly changing world with an increasing amount of problems, how can we facilitate learning experiences that allow for students to discover the tools they will need, to be the change-makers of their communities?
In Applied Skills 8, students reflect on the role of technology and social media in relation to themselves, their communities, and the world around us. Going from linear thinking to systems thinking, students are challenged to think deeper about the words they use, the things they hear online, and the issues that they hear about. What they say matters; whether that be in-person or online, there is a responsibility to be respectful and to stand up to things that might be unjust, false, or hurtful. One model that students use to practise systems thinking is the iceberg model. Where they take something said online, or an issue that they know of/care about, and explore how it is more complex than what they initially thought.
Taking things further, students then create short podcasts about the issues they initially explored in order to create dialogue around them. The goal is to talk with others and learn new perspectives that might have not been explored before. Understanding that the diversity in histories and experiences of various people, shapes how they see certain issues and how they are impacted by certain actions.
At Windermere Secondary, digital citizenship is not just about learning about social media and its dangers, but also about how we can take action and participate in a manner that betters our communities.
Examples of re-designing their own neighbourhoods to be more resilient: