Digital Media in the Classroom

With my subject matter being technology, it’s a necessity my students work with technology in a positive and responsible manner.  Face it, it’s a necessity for all of us; it’ become an extension of common etiquette in everyday social interactions.  With that being said, I’m trying to explore different ways of laying the ground work of cyber ethics for my students.  In the past, my ultimate goal was to help my students develop technical skills using a particular software program such as Adobe Photoshop for graphics, but I can no longer exclude the importance of being responsible users of technology with the surge of social media.  This responsibility is beyond the days of instructing my students to stay away from inappropriate sites and no downloading during class.  Our students were born into this social media environment with no direction on how devastating and long-lasting poor digital use can affect them and those around.

How do you think the students will benefit? What resources will be needed? How might you assess it? . . .

I’m excited to try this lesson in class!  Using xtranormal, a free online video creation program, I created a digital introduction to my class about their cyber citizenship assignment along with a project example.  Along with a partner, students are to create a skit or informative dialogue about being digitally responsible in the area of Internet safety, social networking, cyberbullying, or cyber ethics such as copyright.  To get started, one student per group will need to setup an account at

(sorry, couldn’t get the video to embed into the html)

I will provide students additional project details in the form of a handout until I have the class set up in Edmodo where they can access details online.  First, students will research their topic of choice being sure to note their sources in their video.  I will also list a variety of note worthy sites to cover the aforementioned topics in depth.  Secondly, they’ll work together to produce an informative dialogue/skit in xtranormal.

I feel my students will benefit in a number of ways with this lesson.  Rather than the lesson being teacher led, it becomes student led with them taking ownership of their learning through a partnership of researching and the creation of a new media piece reflecting what they’ve discovered.

Unfortunately, with all assignments, there’s the process of assessing a student’s work.  This project could be assessed in the following areas:

  • Teamwork participation? (yes or no) – assisted in research, typed in their portion of their dialogue or skit into xtranormal
  • Completion of video using xtranormal?
  • Did video project a specific detail of cyber ethics ranging from Internet safety, social networking, cyberbullying, or cyber ethics?
  • Did students cite their sources of research?

As I’m typing this entry, it got me thinking that maybe having 4 topics to choose from may be too broad.  Perhaps I should divide it up by having all students create an xtranormal video about a specific issue of Internet safety.  Then, in another lesson, I could have students focus on responsible social networking using a different form of digital media such as animoto, responsible cyberbullying using prezi, followed by glogster for cyber ethics.  In the past, I have had my students choose from a listing of technology topics and collaborate with a partner to create an informative wiki page about the topic.  So a wiki could also be used for covering the cyber ethics topics.


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