In my post “Beyond Private and Public in Social Media” I called for an approach to teaching students about digital citizenship that does more than try to mitigate risk:

“Students need adults who will guide and support them as they navigate the complexities of relationships and online sharing. They need adults who can help them find answers and solve problems, and who understand that they’re going to make mistakes. Adults who will help them clean up the messes.”

In response Lisa Neale asked me for some possible questions we can use to promote self-reflection in students about their digital identities.

I shared a few through social media, but Sheila Stewart suggested that they might be useful to others who are trying to help students consider the “big issues” that come with being a digital citizen.

I hope they’re useful:

  • Describe something about yourself that you’d be comfortable sharing online. Explain why you’d share it, what network you use to share it and why that network?

  • Describe something (or an example of something) that you wouldn’t share online. Explain why not. What would have to change to make you comfortable sharing it online?

  • In a chart describe the positives and negatives of the various social networks you and your friends use. How are the audiences for each one different?
  • If a friend shared something with you that they probably shouldn’t, what would you do? What would you not do?

  • If an adult could see all your online posts and messages what would they like and what would they dislike? Why?

  • How do you decide who to share something with and who not to share something with?
  • Are there different rules if someone tells you something online rather than in real life? Why?
  • If you make a mistake online, who can you go to for help?
  • Should adults be allowed to see everything you put online? Why or why not?
  • If you could completely remove something you put online forever, what would it be? Explain why.