Who here remembers the 1998 film, You’ve got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan? Well, true story, I was out of town last weekend with the family and they were having a Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie marathon and we saw You’ve got Mail. If anyone remembers the film (if not search it). The story was about two book store owners, one a little shop on the corner (original story) and a big box store, Fox books (modeled on Borders at the time). The two using AOL meet in a chat and start corresponding through daily email. In 1998, AOL was all the rage, you had instant chat, email and the classic voice going: “You’ve got mail.” Well, that was seventeen years ago, technology has changed quite a bit in almost two decades. As many of you know, my undergraduate is in Theatre and I once upon a time did work on a couple of TV pilots in the early 2000s. We have a section coming up soon on digital citizenship with our higher elementary students and I thought this would be a great way to teach the uses of technology and safe ways to do it.
1. You don’t have to watch the film but explain the basics of the movie to students and then ask a round of what technology is used these days instead of just email and instant chat.
2. Have students write a story, doesn’t have to be a love story or anything like that. It can be about people who talk through social media, technology, skype, ect from simple friendships to gaming online.
3. Have students create a story in how they use technology safely between the characters. This can be as simple as age appropriate chat while playing Minecraft. A student talking to another one in Germany about the history of the country. Simple message forums on discussing Star Wars.
4. Have the students create their story either by making a presentation, movie or even use digital media tools like screencasts.
5. Have students review each of the stories using a blogging system. Keeping in mind they must respond responsibly.
Its a great classroom lesson that teaches history, digital citizenship, writing and presenting. Give it a try today.