The recent bad press about My Space should be a wake up call to educators that students need guidance on being digital citizens. Students feel they are relatively anonymous on My Space. They don't realize that what they post anywhere on the internet is easily searchable and archived.

Using Web 2.0 tools like blogs, podcasts, and wikis can be a positive way to guide students in digital citizenship and ethics. Students can be guided to make meaningful, constructive comments and contributions that foster a collaborative learning environment. For more information on Digital Citizenship , listen to this interview with Dr. Mike Ribble on Podcast 41 - Digital Citizenship by Wesley Fryer.

Digital literacy is a critical skill that all of us need to acquire. Students need to understand that all sources of information need to be verified. Traditional education has taught us to trust authority of information. This no longer can be the case. All information, even textbooks, should be verified for accurate information. Wikipedia can be a wonderful tool to begin examining sources of information. Students can find information in Wikipedia, then verify the information with other sources. Learning to verify sources of information, like backtracking web pages to find where the source of the information is coming from is essential. For a more indepth examination of Digital Literacy, read Wesley Fryer's Digital Literacy Now!.

Copyright issues are also very important in the new world of shared connectivity. Copyright on photos on Flickr, music on Podsafe Music, media of all types needs to be respected. Fortunately, because of this shared connection, a new type of copyright is becoming established. It is called Creative Commons. It allows people to share content legally and easily. Watch this short flash video from the Creative Commons website to learn more about it.

We are fortunate in our district to have IT leaders who embrace the new technologies and the impact that they can have on student learning. Some school districts block blogging sites and even Wikipedia! Our district is offering online courses for students and teachers using Moddle. They are exploring new ways to allow our students and teachers to enter into the conversation. Let's move into this new world of conversation and collaboration and guide our students to make meaninful contributions in responsible and appropriate ways.