Tech in the Library: Digital Codes of Living

Back when I was a camp counselor, one of the first things I did with a new group of kids in my cabin was to create a code of living. This would be a short list of guidelines for everyone to follow so we could handle living together for a week or two. When making a code of living, it was important to:

A) Take suggestions from the kids first and let others add to what was already there

B) Phrase guidelines positively as much as possible. Pick “Be respectful” over “Don’t do ______”

C) Everyone must sign the code of living.

D) Post the code of living in a spot that is easy to see.

Fast forward to last week. I am introducing Edmodo to my twelve fifth grade classes during library. We’re going to use it to review some digital citizenship skills and to manage our projects for Digital Learning Day. I’m also going to use it to promote book discussions, share book trailers and promote our Battle of the Books (What can I say? Ninja book promoting is fun).

Since Edmodo is new to my school, I wanted something to remind the students of what we wanted our community to be like online. That’s when I remembered the code of living. I knew I didn’t want to make giant posters to put up in the library since the students can access Edmodo from many different places. I had to come up with an adaptation that I could put right into our Edmodo groups.

Here’s what I ended up using:

1 iPad
Notability (a note taking app. Any app that allows for typing and writing would work).

Here’s how it worked:

1. Students brainstormed pros and cons of social networks
2. Using an adapter, I projected my iPad screen after opening Notability
3. Students gave suggestions for guidelines. We clarified and rephrased as needed.
4. After I typed the guidelines into notability, I turned on the guided access feature so the only app that could be open was Notability.
5. While half the class created their Edmodo accounts and joined our group, the other half signed the code of living before checking out books. After 10 minutes, the two groups switched.
6. After class, I created a PDF of the code using Notability, emailed it to myself, and then posted it on Edmodo.

This is the code one class came up with (minus their signatures)

I still need to think of how I’m going to adjust our codes of living when new students come. I’ll probably add a handout to our new student welcome packet and maybe I’ll have them ‘digitally’ sign the code by making a comment under the code’s posting. I also want to explore to see if there is a way to keep our code at the top of our feed.

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