Reflection on Think Digital

Think Digital through the Seasons    


After the AUA’s were signed, and an assembly was held, MacBook Pros went home with the kids at the end of September.  E-mail accounts, with lessons on strong password, were established as well as class YouTube channels and blogs.  For parents, two sessions were held about technology and children, one at Back to School, and one in October sponsored by ES PTA.

It took over 8 weeks to cover “Think Digital”.  Teachers and I are well aware that this is a topic that needs to be discussed throughout the year in class as well as in our team meetings.

Unit Plan:Think Digital

Essential Question:

How do I use technology responsibly, respectfully, honestly and safely?



  1. My words and actions, both positive and negative, impact others
  2. I can protect myself, my online identity, and the identity of others
  3. I can make appropriate choices about when and how to use technology
  4. I can be respectful of the work and ideas of other’s.


  1. Good digital citizens communicate respectfully
  2. You can protect yourself and your online identity
  3. ​You can make appropriate choices with technology
  4. ​Online communication can be easily misinterpreted
  5. ​How to email
  6. ​When (​time of day & how frequently), who (audience), and which tool (email, chat, message, face-to-face) will help me communicate most effectivel
  7. ​Strategies to protect online identity
  8. ​How to deal with ads, pop-ups, personal information in a form, adult content, hurtful material, downloads
  9. ​The difference between consumption and creation
  10. Giving credit is a sign of respect for other people’s work​
  11. The consequences of illegal downloading / piracy / file sharing
  12. What a healthy balance between online/offline looks like
  • Compare and contrast online communication with face-to-face communication
  • Identify the components of face-to-face communication that don’t come across in online communication
  • Empathize with those who have received mean and hurtful messages
  • Judge what it means to cross the line from harmless to hurtful communication
  • Write an email containing a subject line indicating the email’s content, has a salutation, includes clear message, end with a closing
  • Proofread and reread by paying attention to tone
  • create secure passwords
  • determine information that is safe to share online
  • When you post something online it becomes public and permanent
  • Know how to deal with ads, pop-ups, personal information in a form, adult content/hurtful, downloads
  • List the different types of tech use (Steve’s slideshow)
  • Monitor type of tech use and time spent on each (Steve’s slideshow)
  • Define plagiarism and describe its consequences
  • Cite for an image
  • Reverse image search in Google to find the most likely originator of an image
  • Prior Knowledge Survey
  • Formative: Technology Project
  • Respond to a series of questions t about prior knowledge of AUAs and the behaviors of good digital citizens.
  • Cyber Academy PAL

Successfully complete all Carnegie Cadets training missions to:

       *recognize and filter spam from good email
       *recognize unsafe chatroom behavior
      *distinguish the difference between advertising and legitimate content
      *manage a cyberbully
  • iMovie Project: Generate practical solutions to digital problems commonly faced by fifth graders.
  • Student Reflection
Strategies / Activities

1.       Word bundle

2.       Survey

3.       Introduce and play Carnegie Cadets (3 lessons)

4.       Bull’s eye chart: Am I being safe online? & CommonCraft video

5.       Slideshow: Using strategies to create a strong password

6.       What do I need to know about email? (2-3 lessons) – see attached document

  • what is appropriate to email?
  • what do I do if I receive an email that feels funny or makes me uncomfortable?
  • what do I do with my strong feelings like when I am angry with someone?
  • what is an email thread?
  • Is it okay to tell someone I like them over email?
  • how often should I email people?
  • what is the difference between an email to my friend and an email to my teacher?
  • emails don’t use text language
  • address, CC, BCC
  • reply, reply all
  • folders
  • attachments
  • dealing with SPAM
  • subject lines, greeting, farewell

7.       Being honest: plagiarism by CommonCraft

8.       Trifold document: AUAs

9.       Manage your technology; don’t let your technology manage you

10.       Assessment: iMovie (6 lessons)

iMovie Projects on Digital Citizenship

Grade 5 Team Reflection

Unfortunately, I could not be a part of this meeting on account of a crisis; but here are meeting notes.

  • Overall, it was a great unit. Much better start this year than last.
  • ​liked the focus on AUAs
  • ​liked the time spent on Carnegie
  • ​good to focus on being a producer not just a consumer; use it as a device for learning
  • parents as partners
  • liked having Naho involved in team teaching

Suggestions for next year:

  • adjust words in word bundle activity
  • share movies between classes
  • Be more intentional about assessment next year. Be sure to build in the self reflection at the end of the unit, sharing things they’ve learned and how they feel about technology.

My Reflection

I was pleased with how this unit went over all.  Systematic approach to introducing 1:1 program through Social Studies unit gave us plenty of time to get students ready for this  adventure.  There is absolutely no way to do this right without having it in the curriculum.

I loved co-teaching with the classroom teachers.  The down side was that other teachers and other grades were not seeing me that much at the beginning of the year.  I have over 50 new grade 1 students to get to know, and it is taking a little slower than I would like.

Swim team study hall was a pitfall we didn’t anticipate. With fairly limited supervision, it’s difficult to carefully monitor students’ tech use.  Next year, we will not let the kids use their laptops during that time.

Overall, kids have been really good about including adults when something happens, parents are well aware of what is going on in the classrooms, and there have been no hurtful interactions online — as there were last year.

The process of getting children ready to use technology in learning takes tons of planning and conversation, and I believe that this process is as important as actually using the technology per se.

Thank you Kim for offering COETAIL in Japan. I have grown leaps and bounds as a semi tech savvy counselor.  I will continue integrating technology in my guidance classes.


*image from|mt:0|

About Naho Kikuchi

Elementary school counselor at The American School in Japan. Living and working in West Tokyo since 1997. Forever trying to figure out how to balance work, family and time for myself.
This entry was posted in 21st Century School, COETAIL, Digital Citizenship, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Reflection on Think Digital

  1. You are such a superstar Naho! It’s so fantastic to see how much things have moved forward, and how much the whole team has been able to benefit from your participation in COETAIL. How wonderful to see how much they appreciated have you co-teach! Well done!

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