A Lesson In Netiquette!

Last week I wrote about the significance of Social Emotional Learning and how it benefits students’ development. This week I’ve decided to share a lesson that Mrs. Krider did with our 6th grade students on “Netiquette”. After a discussion on what etiquette is and why it’s important, students then explored why netiquette is important. Discussion included not just e-mail, but also texting and social media. Students learned the basic dos and don’ts of netiquette.

Here’s the basic dos and don’ts:
1. Always assume that anything you write could be viewed by others – anyone and everyone – for that matter. The use of technology is not a private format.
2. Remember that you are writing to a person, not to a computer. Communication over screens does not show body language, tone or emotion so messages can be interpreted differently than intended.
3. Emoticons can be helpful to convey your intended meaning but don’t over use them.
4. Keep your communication short and to the point. Stay on topic.
5. Do not use capital letters to emphasize a point. They imply that YOU ARE SHOUTING!
6. Check your e-mail and communication formats regularly as people expect responses to their messages. Some messages, however, are just for information and do not require a response.
7. Use your best grammar, check your spelling (it matters) and use your most respectful language online. It is, however, considered to be poor netiquette to be critical of other people’s spelling and grammar.
8. Use only polite conversation. Do not bully or be disrespectful.
9. Do not talk about friends, family members “behind their back”. This is disrespectful.
10. Do not say something on the internet or through social media that you would not say when looking someone squarely in the eye. (Source: West Virginia Links Student Advisement Program)

Students went on to answer a series of questions regarding netiquette. Questions like:
1) Are there different rules for school versus home when using social media?,
2) Are there different rules for communicating with peers versus adults?, and
3) List 3 rules you think should apply to social media etiquette?
Discussion continued…discussing responses…and then Mrs. Krider asked the big question:
How do you think the environment at Clariden has or will contribute to your ability to apply good netiquette?

Here’s a couple of the responses we received from students:

“I think that the environment at Clariden has contributed to my ability to apply good netiquette by providing a lot of technology like computers and also trusting us with that technology. The teachers also play a big role in teaching us good netiquette. They teach us how to be respectful and responsible on the internet. They also teach us things that we will not just need when we are in school but things that we will need to apply for the rest of our lives.”

“The Clariden environment is great. The teachers are so kind to everyone…If you need help with anything you can always ask a teacher because they are helpful and smart…they really show good netiquette when teaching us. Clariden is really a one of a kind place…”

Teaching students appropriate on-line communication and the power of the written word is no small task. Having discussions, sharing information, and setting expectations are all things we actively do on a consistent basis to aid our students in learning appropriate netiquette and etiquette.

Sallie Wells, Head of School