You are the Digital Superhero!

A lower-elementary STEAM lesson that facilitates classroom discussion, students creativity and self-empowerment in a digital world.

Photo of Ling Lam
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Research - Why it works 

It's more than adorable that kids think of themselves as Superhero.  Our (teachers) superpower is to empower kids of how to use create their own superpower to be upstanders. Character Is Common Sense: A Report on an Initiative Linking Media, Kids, and Character Strengths

Recently, more of my students have told me they got a computer or tablet for their birthday. My first response is  - "That's awesome! But what do you  need to remember when you are on that computer/tablet?" I can't be prouder to hear my students say, "My Digital Superhero rules." 

Build - Prototyping a Curriculum

To ensure students understand Digital Citizenship is a life-long skill, I asked my students to reflect upon their actions using a media (writing, drawing, etc.) any choice of their own. One of my 3rd students wrote a poem.



Digital Citizenship has always been one of my passionate subjects in Education Technology. This year, I have a new responsibility in leading Digital Citizenship PD for our faculty and parents. I also started the school year with a Digital Superhero project with my students. As a school community, I had the opportunity to share this common, yet complicated subject with other educators and parents. With my students, I have so many teachable moments that I do not need "teach" them how to behave online, instead, we have a Socratic format class discussion online where everyone gets to participate and share their thoughts. As a facilitator, we pondered what were the essential qualities of digital citizens.

Since there were a few superhero movies came out during summer, I used the superhero theme and empowered to think about ways that they are Digital Superhero. Grade3 students then listed out their qualities as a Digital Superhero. Students later used Wordle to create and design their word cloud. Lastly, students took a picture of themselves and used to PhotoShop to blackout their face so they remember the importance of protecting themselves online from the privacy and security rule.

For Grade 2 students, it was a similar process except they use PaintBrush instead of PhotoShop.

For Grade 1 students, I direct them to a pixel art website and have them create their superhero instead of free draw.

For Kindergarten students, I asked them to create a superhero robot so they can stay focus on the topic.

Share research or student experiences that informed your idea!

My Reflection Questions for the students are: 1. What is the most important thing you learned in this project? 2.What do you wish you had spent more time on or have done differently? 3. What part of the project did you do your best work on? 4. What was the most enjoyable part of this project? 5.What was the least enjoyable part of this project? 6. Did you struggle? How did you overcome the struggle? 7. How could Ms. Lam change this project to make it better next time?

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Photo of Paul Kim
Team

Hi Ling,

First of all, thanks for participating in this collaboration between the Teachers Guild and ISTE. We really appreciate your contributions!

We’re in the last week of the build phase of the challenge on digital citizenship so it’s time to fine tune your idea before final voting begins next week.

Here are some things to consider as you continue to build on your idea:
- is your idea clear and will it inspire action from other teachers?
- would it be easy for a teacher to incorporate your idea about digital citizenship in their classroom?
- does your idea include some component of research and are there shareable resources?
- is your idea student-centered and does it promote agency?

Thanks,
Paul

Photo of Alysha English
Team

Ling, I love this so much! At The Guild, we often use Superpower Cards by SYPartners. I wonder if there's a variation of this where you could incorporate something like this into the curriculum. The examples of student work are incredible. This is very cool. Thank you so much for sharing!!

Photo of Ling Lam
Team

Thanks Alysha! I just look up the Superpower Cards and they look super awesome! I think I am going to use that in together with Greg's comment and create a "Justice League"/Superhero team! Thanks so much again for the additional resources!

Photo of Jennifer Gaspar- Santos
Team

Love your input Ling! My thoughts> "students took a picture of themselves and used to PhotoShop to blackout their face so they remember the importance of protecting themselves online from the privacy and security rule." I love this-- Have you tried using PIXLR for photo editing: https://pixlr.com/ and have the kids add glasses or draw on a wig to protect their identity?

I love this feedback loop you've built in for the kids: "How could Ms. Lam change this project to make it better next time?"


Reminds me of this>
https://code.org/curriculum/course3/20/Teacher#Shmocab

Photo of Ling Lam
Team

Thanks, Jen!

My school is fortunate to have Adobe so we used Adobe PhotoShop instead to tight more into the curriculum. I do love your idea that they could add on "props" to disguise themselves! Loved all extended ideas here!

Photo of Greg Lau
Team

Do the kids get superhero names and unique digital citizen powers? If they do, I'd love to ask them what they would use that power to do.

Photo of Ling Lam
Team

Yes! Students get to name their superhero and give them special powers! Some of them said their superhero stands up for or walk away from bullies, kind messages when someone is sad, really smart, etc.

Photo of Greg Lau
Team

That is awesome!!!!! I hope you'll share more of their heroic imaginings. Thank you!

Photo of Ling Lam
Team

Were you able to take a look at the attachments? Some of them have very interesting superpower!

Photo of Greg Lau
Team

Thanks for directing me to the attachments. They're wonderful--brought a smile to my face today. I love that element very much because it opens a lot of possibilities on how we can stir the imaginations of young kids. Maybe kids can create their super powers and learn to apply them to digital crises and situations. This will let them not only have super powers, but also use them for good. Maybe a team effort like the Avengers... each specialty tackles one aspect of a problem or crises, and let the teamwork develop.

Photo of Ling Lam
Team

I am glad you enjoyed them. They brought a smile to my face every time when I review them. Thanks for your wonderful idea! I will have that in my mind for my next Digital Citizenship lesson.