“The Waldorf School’s Cyber Civics program uncovers the complexities of computer use in the modern age. This class, creatively guided by Dirk Tiede, has given my daughter the rare moment to contemplate the power, potential, and pitfalls of this technology.
From the basic mechanics of how computers work to navigating an on-line presence, students explore through thoughtful discussions and assignments. Cyber Civics has prepared my daughter to successfully navigate her way in cyberspace.” – 8th Grade Parent, Christine Garcia-Akers.
One of the myths about Waldorf schools is that we have no relationship with technology. It is true that the teachers directly deliver the curriculum to the children and do not rely on computers in the classroom. In fact, Waldorf School at Moraine Farm classrooms have no computers, with the exception on occasion in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. The school believes that enthusiasm for learning is best fostered through human-to-human relationships and hands-on experiences.
Despite the fact that we provide limited exposure to computers in the classroom, Waldorf School at Moraine Farm does have a relationship with technology and is actively preparing its students for the digital world. Now for a third year, the school has been teaching its sixth, seventh, and eighth graders the Cyber Civics curriculum created by Diana Graber. Cyber Civics is a digital citizenship literacy curriculum that prepares students to learn how to use technology ethically, safely, and wisely.
In sixth grade, students learn citizenship literacy:
- what is it to be a responsible citizen on-line, how to be aware of cyberbullying, of privacy and identity.
In seventh grade, students learn information literacy:
- how to search the web for information while being mindful of online safety and security.
In the eighth grade, students learn media literacy for positive participation:
- how to be more of a producer than a consumer, how to develop critical thinking skills so as to be able to detect fake news.
While computers are becoming more necessary in our lives, the most important digital literacy skills can be taught the old-fashioned way: in person and face-to-face. Cyber Civics uses discussion, engaging activities and occasional take-home assignments to use a computer at home to stimulate thinking and real conversations and about what happens online. In this way, the class can work in harmony with the traditions that Waldorf schools have been teaching since they were founded 100 years ago.
As they enter their second century, the motto of Waldorf school’s worldwide is Learn to Change the World. To do that students need to be prepared to be a contributing citizen of the digital world.
Students of our Cyber Civics program learn how to use technology as a tool, recognize and self-regulate appropriate use, identify the impact of their online behaviours and digital footprint.
Cyber Civics Curriculum is Now Available Through Our Homeschool Program
Besides being a part of our middle school curriculum, we are now offering the first level of the Cyber Civics program in our Winter homeschool session, starting Dec. 2, 2019. Cyber Civics II will be offered in the Spring session. Homeschool families can also take advantage of this curriculum.
Thank you to the Sandpoint Waldorf School in Idaho. This blog post has been adapted from their recent Cyber Civics blog post.
Helping Kids Build a Healthy Relationship with Technology
October 9, 2019