Say what you wanna say

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photo by  mkhmarketing

We learned how to use silverware at the dinner table because it’s polite. We were taught to hold the door at the grocery store for the young couple behind us struggling with their toddler; it’s just the right thing to do. At stop signs when more than one person has arrived at the same time, we wave them on. Why? because it’s the Midwest no one’s really ever in too much of a hurry. And best of all none of us can walk across campus without receiving a greeting, smile or a wave. We do all these things because they are how the culture we grew up in functions. Today kids are growing up completely surrounded by technology with little idea of how to be a polite, smiley citizen in this society. Present generations get to pioneer the concept of digital citizenship, so let’s do this right!

Digital citizenship is the way anyone represents themselves online and in the digital world. Previous eras have experienced situations like this; how many authors have we studied with pseudonyms to hide a personal trait or politicians who were known by colored nicknames painted by their views or actions? The digital world is our new frontier and space to create yet another persona. One article comparing the learning habits/outcomes of two different technological experiences, linked here, mentioned teaching students to post “as if an adult is in the room”. With a mind set like this, students can stay true to themselves and still thrive as a digital citizen.

In the spirit of staying true to one’s self, let me talk about language for a minute. Those of us who endured Grammar & Linguistics  know all too well how a child’s environment will have endless impacts on their language and dialect. Teachers must remember a child’s (in)ability to use Standard Written English DOES NOT make them stupid/hopeless/dumb. Another article I read talked about this topic and I found it incredibly fascinating. If a student types the way he or she speaks, does that make them a poor digital citizen? I don’t think students should have to alter their learned language to be a part of the digital world. Here is the article from a national journal analyzing this topic. I believe every student should be given the tools they need to say what they have to say and teach the world how they see us all, no matter how they are gonna say it.

 

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11 thoughts on “Say what you wanna say

  1. ashleycosmt says:

    I like all of the examples of politeness you start out the blog with, most of us don’t think about it because it was taught to us and is now second nature. I think that is how we need to teach digital citizenship teach it for so long and so well that it becomes second nature to our students/children/youth/ourselves. Great post. I write on the internet the way I speak, I’m not sure of any other way to write because when I start to use larger words I sound too photosynthesis 😉 and people get jealous, lol.

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  2. charitywyatt says:

    I also like all the examples! I agree that we have to teach kids how to represent themselves digitally. Kids need to have accountability when using technology and I feel that it is the responsibility of the adults in their lives to teach them, follow up and check into what they are up to on their devices. We have to help them learn how to be responsible digital citizens.

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  3. ashton95 says:

    The fact that you mentioned that we just wave people on at stop signs and smile and wave at people we see made me smile. When I started attending McCook Community College, I would always smile at all of the other kids that were walking to and from class. At first, some of them kind of ignored me or just stared at me. Once they got used to people doing (because I was not the only one) they began to do it back. Using the correct written language does not make a child dumb; thank you for mentioning that! It is important for children to know and understand the correct written language, but I also feel like people need to get used to reading Internet “dialect” and understand its different meanings. The way people talk to each other on Twitter and Facebook is different than how they talk to each other in person (although I do know some younger kids who use many acronyms when speaking). Great post!

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      • ashton95 says:

        I agree with you! I’m only 21, but there are new acronyms and “hip words” all of the time! It is really hard to keep up with, and I just don’t let my life revolve around stuff like that, but it is expanding our knowledge greatly!

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  4. skylerc22 says:

    I agree that we just need to be ourselves and not try to make ourselves sound better than we really are and we should also not judge others because they do not speak, write or express themselves like we do. We are all different, that’s what makes us unique right? I think the only limit there should be is to make sure that we are always being polite and courteous which what we say/post. We don’t like to be judged, we shouldnt judge others or jump to conclusions. It is too easy to take things wrong on the internet because we often do not see or hear the full story from that person’s mouth. An exclamation mark could be for excitement or anger. We need to always be considerate of others and we need to teach that to youth. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you right?
    Skyler

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  5. aftonburns says:

    This was such a great read, from the beginning until the end it had my attention. I would like to take the time to thank you for your thoughts, because they were good! Students should be given the opportunity to say what it is they want/need to say no matter their technique of doing so. Every one is entitled to his or her own opinion. Expressing oneself gives the opportunity to continue learning! Thanks again Maryanne!

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    • maryannejblog says:

      Thanks Afton! I think it is important for students to write the way they want because it is easier for them to communicate their thoughts. There are times I can understand the material I am assigned but can’t communicate it in ‘fancy English major talk’, but I can in my own words. We need to let students learn the way that is the best for them!!

      Liked by 1 person

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