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Monday, October 23, 2017

Breaking the Internet with Positivity!

One of the aims of my #DigCit course is to help cultivate the leader in each of my students.  By the end, they need to show that they have transitioned from being a good digital citizen to being a digital leader.  One of the ways that we accomplish this is by tackling the negativity that haters and trolls put out there.  This is the intro that one of my students wrote for this project...

"Doing this project about haters and trolls has taught me more than I expected it to. During this project we were asked to find a platform we have never used before, you can access the platforms here. This forced the class to go out of our comfort zone, but ultimately helped us because next time we go to chose a platform we will have more knowledge on some sites.
This task greatly increased our knowledge of haters and trolls. One fact that really stuck with me personally was about feeding the troll. I always thought it was best to stand up for yourself and other people while being bullied or trolled. However after learning that trolls feed off of the reaction of others, it’s clear that the best thing to do while being trolled is unfollow, block and ignore. We had a choice of how to do our projects and some of us did presentations and others in the class made videos and narrated it as it played which was a very effective learning method.   Keep reading to find all about how we combat haters and trolls!
One of the things that I was most excited about with this project was our Twitter chat on Friday, October 20th. Unfortunately real life intervened in the middle of our study of haters and trolls. The Monday after we finished our presentations, we watched the tragedy in Las Vegas unfold. We could not believe the amount of negativity that was being spewed at the victims before we even knew who the victims were! It was unbelievable!! We felt that after learning about all the negativity that haters and trolls were putting out there, we wanted to break the internet with positivity!! We were the #1 trending hashtag for the half hour of our chat! That was unbelievable to me! There were over 1000 tweets in that half hour and you can see from this map below, we really were able to spread positivity all over the world!!"

I am so impressed with all that they have accomplished during this project!  Most students were outside their comfort zone (both with process and product), they are now more cognizant of the fact that they can in fact be a source of positivity and that a group of students in Endwell, NY really can make a difference!!!  If you would like to see their projects, click here.  If you would like to read their blog reflections (and maybe give them some feedback!?) click here. (Some of these links will not work after September 2018 because the graduating student's accounts are deleted).

Here is a link to an example of the parent email I sent home afterwards.  It has all of the links you would need for all that we did. Email Example

If you have any comments or feedback you would like to share with my class, fee free to comment below and I will share it with them!  Thank you!

I would love to hear how you and your students are helping to spread positivity and kindness!


  1. Hello Rachel,
    This created such a powerful narrative for many students. I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the positivity chat. I'm confident the shared messages left a lasting impression on many people. Kudos to you and your students!

    1. Thank you! They are still talking about it today! They are also excited to curate evidence from it to put in their portfolio. This portfolio will be presented to an audience of classmates, teachers, guest judges and virtual judges at the end of the semester. The judges will evaluate their presentation and curated evidence to determine if they have proven that they have indeed become digital leaders. We would love to have you as a virtual judge if you are interested!

    2. You and your students can count on me. Thanks for the opportunity to connect and collaborate!

    3. Awesome! So excited! Thank you!

  2. This is such a great project! I hope to encourage our connections with IT teachers here to take a look and consider doing something like this. I was very impressed by your list of platforms you offered your students. I was expecting to see maybe 6 but your list is massive! Did your students have trouble choosing?

    1. For students who are overwhelmed by the list, I ask them what they envision their project looking like and then pick 5ish platforms that will meet their vision.