25 Tips for Dealing with Digital Distractions

flickr photo by Kris Krug http://flickr.com/photos/kk/4059160242 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

In truth, it can be hard to focus among the delights presented by a never-ending machine of distraction available on the Internet.

TeachThought has a great post with 25 tips, ideas, and tools to assist us with this endeavour.

  1. Use Apps Like StayFocused

    “You don’t necessarily have to be prone to being distracted to sit down to work only to find yourself shopping for pearl snap shirts on eBay and wondering how you got there. StayFocused is a Google Chrome plug-in that lets you decide up front how much time to allow yourself to burn on those time-wasting sites before it cuts you off cold.


  1. Track Yourself With Resources Like RescueTime

    If you’re not quite ready to let StayFocused dictate your web browsing, try RescueTime. It records where you click and how much time you spend there so that you can see the depressing results in all their graphed glory. If and when you decide to make some changes, it also includes the option to start blocking sites altogether.”

Read the entire post and the other 23 tips here.


Good Resources for Teaching Digital Citizenship & Online Safety

flickr photo by Games for Change http://flickr.com/photos/gamesforchange/18168320615 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

flickr photo by Games for Change http://flickr.com/photos/gamesforchange/18168320615 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

Common Sense Media continues to have some of the best resources out there to support schools and families in teaching young people about digital citizenship and safety.

Mindful Messaging:

5 Social Media Musts:

Other resources include the digital citizenship scope and sequence, educator videos, and posters.

Keeping Up-To-Date With Digital Citizenship

Photo Credit: ToGa Wanderings via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: ToGa Wanderings via Compfight cc

TeachThought recently published a great reflection about not assuming that students (or adults) really have a deep understanding of digital citizenship.

Digital Citizenship is huge.

Or so it seems by the countless articles we read on the topic each week. As plugged-in educators who are putting together the first annual Digital Citizenship Summit, we are swimming in a sea of amazing advice concerning cyberbullying, empathy online, public shaming, tech balance, digital tattoos, and more. To us, it often seems like everyone is well-versed in digital citizenship and everything it entails. They’re not.

Planning the Digital Citizenship Summit has provided us with a great deal of insight into how the digital citizenship community, and education world at large, can better promote the concept of digital citizenship. We have been able to see firsthand the major gap in understanding between digital citizenship evangelists and the general masses, and have discovered some potential ways to decrease the gap.” Read the entire article here.

If you are looking for resources and ways to teach about digital citizenship, some of the best resources for students, teachers and families can be found here at Common Sense Media.

It’s Time to Use Twitter in Your Classroom

flickr photo by Rosaura Ochoa http://flickr.com/photos/rosauraochoa/3939487692 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Twitter is an excellent tool for connecting, learning and sharing resources.

For primary students, a classroom Twitter account is a great way to authentically teach about digital citizenship. Each time you post a tweet, you’ll naturally talk about how it will be visible to everyone. You’ll model careful word choice. You’ll ask students about how the tweet might be perceived by readers. This scaffolding of digital awareness and skills is difficult to teach behind a firewall. And without those lessons, students are less prepared to navigate the world of social media.

There are numerous authentic uses for older students as well, including researching and connecting with industry experts and college professors, exploring trends and following various agencies, governments, and non-profits.

The tool can also be used for students to post questions and connect online around a specific class or unique hashtag.

Looking for other uses for Twitter in the classroom? Check out more ideas here, here, and here.