My passion is quilted in these letters: ad4dcss

Since I have not yet responded to the Passion Quilt Meme, I've been prompted yet again. This seems a time to unleash my biggest passion for teaching today's students.

Forgive me, I may get emotional.

My heart breaks for these parents who are struggling with the kidnapping and beating of their child for the sake of Youtube popularity.

This news show outlines what happens and talked to a psychologist.

My Prediction
We have a small window of opportunity to suggest and create structures of what WE, the educators who use these technologies, suggest we should do about the whole digital citizenship, safety, and success issue.

Then, we will be TOLD what to do because of our lack of action. And we know how that goes.

This came up Sunday Morning, when many of us came together in a little impromptu meeting with Sue Waters and Al Upton in elluminate (I'll post the link to the recording when it is released.) These are the brainstorming whiteboard pages (unedited). NOte that there are a lot of things on there WE WOULDN't do, but sharing the brainstorming screen will help summarize the things we talked about.

A lot of us are passionate about it. And we're sick of “talk” about cooperation on the matter.

So, here is what we have:

  • A Google Group to serve as an easy-to join e-mail based network for discussing what we're doing. I suggest subscribing to a DAILY DIGEST to prevent getting too much e-mail. For now, the group is named Advocates for Digital Citizenship, Safety, and Success.
  • A “tag” to serve as our focal point to “collect the conversation – ad4dcss
  • Everything updated is being put on the Conversation Aggregator page I created on Netvibes. (Note: This comes from some comments from Jon Becker and Kate Olson — wishing that we could “control” and aggregate a conversation. This page is being set up to track all of the things tagged ad4dcss. We cannot control the conversation but we can certainly work to include newcomers and ANYONE interested in the topic… even the Non-Geeks. And this was important enough to set up the tags and tracking.)

Why did we pick that?
Well, it sort of came up as an accident and aggregation of everyone's thoughts, but it stands for Advocates for Digital Citizenship, Safety, and Success.

We're beginning to pull together some activities, much of which will just happen from the fact that everything is aggregated! If you us ad4dcss in your twitter post it goes to the netvibes page and I've found that the most useful thing so far!

Some things already spotting through this new looking glass are:

  • Parents as Partners discussion tonight about how to educate parents with students at – 8 pm EST
  • Professional Learning Board is helping us set up a Moodle Training site for Advocates and others interested in this topic — we need some volunteers to help Kate set it up.
  • Group blog – This is for those who want to share discussions around this topic. If you're interested, contact Vicki by leaving a comment here. It is meant to be a resource for Advocates and those interested in this topic.
  • We will have some upcoming impromptu and planned sessions. If you want to hold a session and you have an elluminate room or online place to “meet” — let me know and I'll give you some talking points of groups that are forming.

Current action items are:

  • Listen to the elluminate recording
  • Ask educators interested in forming a grassroots organization to promote online AND OFFLINE action advocating digital citizenship, safety, and success to join this group –
  • Join the Diigo Group to share links (See for the categories UNTIL group is set up.)
  • Anything you write about the ideas for organizing — what needs to be done! Tag it ad4dcss if you twitter it type #ad4dcss
  • Join an upcoming discussion or plan to host one. Add them to our Google Calendar page (to be posted soon.)

Current ideas under ACTIVE discussion

  • Global Action Days (“Flash Point” Projects) – eVents, Student projects, bringing out the student voice en masse on these topics.
  • Develop of a curriculum wiki by teachers on these topics
  • Online professional development
  • Talking points documents that may be printed and shared offline to administrators, boards, teachers, etc.

OK, so my question to you is this. Do you want to be an advocate? We are focusing on sharing resources ONLINE so that we may all be more effective OFFLINE. We've got to take this out.

We all have different areas and ways that we may share, so share in the way you feel most comfortable.

Hinges of History
But I'm going to say something here. Some of my favorite books are the Hinges of History books.

We swing upon a hinge of history at this moment. IF you are online now and getting comfortable with this technology, there is a reason. And it is probably so that you may do your part to advocate wise, safe, successful use of the Internet in your area.

We are all too busy and can work together to create materials and other things to do this. If you want to be an advocate, for now, we're open for anyone signing up as long as you want to join in the conversation AND spend a little time ACTING on it. Find a group, organize a group — ACT.

I'm busy too, everyone. But, I've already bought the domain names and am going to let this be my “virtual volunteerism” project.

Perhaps we are made for a moment such as this. But I'm telling you, I'm tired of this happening and ready for some SUSTAINED efforts on this area.
If we don't do it, people who don't understand the Internet nor our students will tell us what we will be doing.

In five years when you are implementing those edicts, don't come complaining if you didn't at least try.

The debate over the word “digital”

Now, there has been some debate over the word “digital citizenship” and “digital literacy” because after all aren't these subsets of citizenship and literacy. My answer is, OF COURSE THEY ARE.

However, at this point, the mass of educators has not yet understood nor accepted the fact that they are a subset and for that reason, now, we are stuck appending the words “citizenship” and “literacy” with the words digital so that we may be clear in our meaning and laser focused in our efforts.

Maybe someone can debate that elsewhere, but I believe we need to birth some cooperative efforts that will accomplish something.

So, what do you think AND what do you want to do. What are your friends talking about “doing.” Let's not just do SOMETHING but do the RIGHT THING, in effective, meaningful, thought out ways.

So, I guess I should tag some people for the passion quilt meme that I hijacked for something I'm really passionate about: Kate Olson, Jon Becker, Sue Waters, Alfred Thompson, and Vicky Hennigan (another newcomer) AND anyone else who wants to!!!

Who's joining in? Who's already doing things? Let's get it started!

tag: , , , , , , , ,

The Rules

  1. Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
  2. Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
  3. Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
  4. Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce etc.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Stephanie Sandifer April 14, 2008 - 8:30 pm


I’m not sure how related this is, but this weekend Bud the Teacher wrote a post about “Blocked Blogs” and needing a new button (think of the “Banned Books” campaign). I responded and here’s my post on the topic: Do You Read Blocked Blogs?

Through Twitter Bud and I just lightly discussed the idea of declaring a “Blocked Blogs” week similar to the “Banned Books” campaign. I proposed the week of NECC and Bud agreed, but we haven’t communicated this to anyone else in the edublogosphere yet — well, I guess this comment is doing that now isn’t it?

If you think there is a connection with the digital citizenship efforts that you describe in this post, then perhaps the “Blocked Blogs” idea can co-exist with everything above. The connection that I see is a simple one — Instead of blocking and filtering online content we should be teaching digital citizenship.


Ric Murry April 14, 2008 - 11:14 pm


Absolutely no disrepect meant to your prior posts of years gone by, but this, to me, is your best, potentially most influential, and important piece you have published.

This is your calling.

You state – We have a small window of opportunity to suggest and create structures of what WE, the educators who use these technologies, suggest we should do about the whole digital citizenship, safety, and success issue.

Then, we will be TOLD what to do because of our lack of action. And we know how that goes.

You have never been so right. We are already being told what to do by people who control filters yet lack an understanding of what it means to educate young people, and even less understanding of how young people think and react to dictates from adults. I’ll not rant here.

Move forward Vicki. Lead us in this area.

Louise Maine April 14, 2008 - 11:28 pm

Great idea! Been to the wiki, and want to be added to the blog! We need to do something!

Vicki A. Davis April 14, 2008 - 8:40 pm


For now the topics that we’ve got are outlined on a project I’m working on with the 9th grade Digiteen.

To me, that would fit under Digital Access which is item #1!

I think filtration is a HUGE issue and should be something that we advocate for. So, you and bud want to join in under that area. We’re working on the wikis and we could have you two working on an advocacy project for Digital Access.

Kristine April 15, 2008 - 12:50 am


It’s a hard decision to chose between student safety and encouraging student’s online development.

I’ve been following your blog for a while and I’m surprised to hear such a firm promotion of school filtering in your comments.

For younger students I agree that filtering and walled gardens are a good buffer, however for students in high school I don’t see the benefit.

Youtube isn’t responsible for that terrible decision made by students to beat up their peer -nor is filtering youtube going to make it any less likely to happen.

I thought the findings by NetDay
( are really insightful:

“Students’ frustration with school filters and firewalls has grown since 2003, with 45% of middle and high school students
saying now that these tools meant to protect them inhibit their learning.”

I think that we don’t need to filter more sites but to encourage positive citizenship – digital in this specific case- from the beginning.

I started a wiki about this for our site as well – in a few weeks our community document on digital citizenship is going to be in a mailing to every new user.

Sorry this comment is so long.

Kim T April 15, 2008 - 12:53 am

Hi Vicki – I will help with the Moodle set up if you would like. Internet Safety is one of my passions and I brought it to my school as a large part of our curriculum. I love to teach my 6,7 and 8th grade students about how to be safe out in this crazy world we live in, and as a technology teacher, I feel it is my job to help the kids understand what it means to be responsible online. They need to know what they do online can have many consequences and kids do not really understand why sometimes. I would love to be part of this project! Count me in!

T'lia April 14, 2008 - 10:04 pm

I think that this is a great idea!!

I would love to help with the moodle site, and have joined the wiki…

Kate Olson April 15, 2008 - 3:18 am

The site for planning the online course is currently at

We’re looking for more people to join in to help form the curriculum and brainstorm!

Carl Anderson April 15, 2008 - 6:25 am

I think what needs to be stressed is how we bring this message offline, into our schools, before our politicians, and to the community. A Google site, Diigo tag, and online conference is all great but using those tools with this issue is like using French to speak to the Pacific Islanders about the weather in Paris. These online tools that we all love and want to preserve for classroom use are best served as a communication platform for behind the scenes planning and discussion amongst those “on board.” However, we need true foot soldiers in this war. We need to consider how we communicate our messages to the non techie public who don’t understand that this YouTube/Myspace issue is not about the tools but about citizenship in a world of an open and free press.

We also need to be extra careful that in our fight to preserve what we know is a free speech platform that belongs in schools and in the hands of the people that we go out of our way to recognize and empathize with the pain and suffering experienced by this tragic event. The last thing we need is to be viewed in any way as being on the side of the accused or sympathizers with the eight students who carried out this horrible display of violence.

Our best chance at taking this policy window and swaying it our way is through empathy for those hurt by this tragedy. Empathy shown in non web 2.0 media.

Vicki A. Davis April 15, 2008 - 12:32 pm

@t’lia – Welcome! Let me know if you need help getting in touch.

@ric – Thanks for your encouragement — join in– where do you want to help?

@louise – Yeah! You are so amazing to me!

@kristine – I’ll have to reread my post — support of school filtering? What? That is not what I’m saying AT ALL!!!!!! I’d love to know the piece that was misinterpreted, I’d like to fix it RIGHT NOW!! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

We need to take action about the RIGHT way to do these things. I use Youtube IN my classroom and don’t advocate filtering it. My point is that Youtube Filtration is a joke and that we need to aggressively handle this about how Youtube can be used despite the bad press it is getting. It is a fine line. How do you do it?

Any implication at full on filtration is wrong. I do, however, advocate some filtration to keep pornography and certain words out.

@kim — come on and join in

@kate — Thank you for taking the bull by the horns.

@carl — You are right on! Please HELP US! How do we take it offline. I’d like to see us develop some handouts for people to give to school boards each month. Other vetted information for politicians — I hope you’ll listen to the podcast I’m going to post in a moment to my blog. You are RIGHT ON! Your down to earth wisdom is so needed — please please help us!

Kristine April 15, 2008 - 5:09 pm

Phew – sorry must have been my interpretation of the comments! I’m glad to see your fervent reaction!


Carl Anderson April 15, 2008 - 7:45 pm

I have been working on this puzzle in my head all day. Here is what I have:

1. This is a policy window. We have to approach this on three fronts: politics, PR, and action.

2. People in our network need to write their politicians and propose legislation (we need to draft something up pretty fast) that will address the issues of citizenship in a free and open press world. Perhaps a mandatory curriculum in our schools coupled with stiff penalties for crimes that take advantage of the free press (similar to hate crime legislation). The other side already has a bill (DOPA). Supporters of it will see the recent events as a policy window for their bill as well. We are weakened in this struggle since I don’t think we have an alternative ready to go (Please correct me if I am wrong). Congressional lawmakers can be reactionary and like to be able to go to their constituents and say I supported such and such bill which shows my support for kids, safety, environment, etc. Without a bill to push through this window we don’t stand a chance.

2. We need to publicize this by reacting in the public square to the horrific events shown on YouTube. We need to sympathize and show how we are being reactionary. We need to show that the appropriate and effective solution is through education coupled with stiffer penalties for crimes committed that exploit the free press. Members of this network need to contact their local, regional, state, and national newspapers, television stations, and radio stations immediately with a unified message.

3. We need to act on the message we are sending. Teach the curriculum we develop in our schools. Blog about it. Engage in multiple discussions with students, parents, teachers, administrators, school boards, etc. on the topic. Bring awareness at the local level.

This whole thing feels a lot like history repeating itself. Marilyn Manson being blamed for Columbine is just one example I can think of right now but I know there are countless others. We need to think deep about how what is the real issue here and how similar problems have played out in the past. The problem, as it usually is, is fear of the unknown. Those who are not active users of web 2.0 see things like this and react out of fear. Such reasoning sounds like this: “Obviously YouTube must be the cause of this problem because YouTube is the one variable in the equation I don’t fully understand therefore if YouTube went away this problem would go away.” However, the reality is that once you give the masses a freedom like YouTube you can’t take it away. Look at peer to peer file sharing. The record industry can fight until they are blue in the face but there will always be a way around it. Where there is possible reactionary action is in the schools or other publicly funded institutions. I am not to worried about the future of web 2.0 or even web 2.0 in the classroom. The wave is too strong and the new generations of teachers entering the workforce are indoctrinated. What we are really fighting against is the removal of a temporary roadblock toward the development of 21st century pedagogies. What I am worried about is how we react to situations like the YouTube beating. If we react in the correct manner we can minimize the reoccurrence of events like this. If we react inappropriately we will distance ourselves from the control to have a positive impact.

If web 2.0 is ever taken away from the teacher toolkit the online world will become the virtual equivalent to Lord of the Flies. It will exist somehow. If it is pushed underground our kids will find it and it will be a more dangerous place. If we are there with them their experience is safer.

I know this goes against my own advice but I created a video last summer that addresses these issues and outlines why we need to be there (online) with our students. Maybe it can be used somehow in this cause.

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