Digital Volunteer Start-up Guide

Kathy Laffoon, PEAK ELA

Thank you!

Thank you so much for volunteering to be a digital volunteer! Hopefully your participation will encourage our students and inspire them to enjoy writing more than ever before.

Benefits of Digital Volunteering

  • Authentic Audience
  • Diverse Perspectives
  • Relationship Building between School and Community
  • Increased Feedback on Student Work

Step 1: Get Set Up on

You will have two identities, one will be as a "Parent" (if your child invites you), and as a "Parent" you will be able to see all of your child's work. You are also invited to be a "Guest." As a Guest, you will be able to see all of the work in the class and will be able to respond to the class posts. I will email you the class website link and "Join Code."

Step 2: Set Up Your Profile

Click on your name in the right-hand corner to edit your profile.

  1. Change your display name to Mr./Mrs. __________ add: (DV) for Digital Volunteer after your name (Example: Mrs. Jones-DV)
  2. Upload your picture for your avatar

Step 3: Reply to My Welcome Post

Introduce yourself by telling us about:

  1. Your job or interests
  2. How writing and reading are important to you
  3. Digital Alert: If you mention your child's name who is in our class, note that if we post things publicly, someone maybe be able to put your last name together with your child's first name.

Step 4: Finding Your Group of Students

You will be reading the posts of just a small group of students so that you will have time to write quality comments and interact with the same students throughout the semester. Here are the groups:

SVMS Digital Volunteer Groups

LMS Digital Volunteer Groups

If you have time and would like to read more posts, by all means, feel free to comment on other posts as well.

Step 5: Making Helpful Comments

I will send you an email with the blog assignment with the students' due date. Please comment about the CONTENT of the post. Please engage the students in dialogue about the topic discussed, and above all, ENCOURAGE them in their blogging efforts.

Here are some example of some effective DV comments from last year:

  • I love to see your excitement about looking at life as full of opportunities, rather than obligations. Changing your viewpoint can be helpful to everyone in life, both young and old. I'm excited to read that you want to do great things when you get older; do you have a specific goal in mind? I ask, because it's fun to track your goals as you mature! Life can be very fun when everything is FAST, but remember to slow down every now and then- even when you are writing exciting blogs! When we go too fast, we tend to make punctuation and grammar errors, which makes our communication a little harder to understand. Have you had a chance to turn an obligation thought into an opportunity thought yet? Keep up the strong work and I look forward to reading your next blog! SV-7 9/2015

  • Great post, the extra quotes added a nice piece of flair and made it more impactful for the reader. What if anything have you changed in your outlook after having seen the videos? How would you convince a fellow eighth grader to embrace the opportunity of an education? I would have liked to have read more about how we take the technology we have today granted. Great post, I can definitely tell you put a lot of thought into what you wrote. LMS-8 9/2015

  • Your summaries of the videos were excellent. I feel like I know exactly what I would be watching after reading this. I would love to hear more specific examples of what you see as your opportunities and how you're going to take better advantage of them. I also wondered if Malala's story has the same impact on the guys in your class as it does the girls. It obviously wasn't part of the assignment but something I think you would be able to explain well based on the writing ability you've shown here. LMS-8 9/2015

Digital Citizen Alert!

As a Digital Volunteer, you will have the opportunity to help students learn about creating a positive digital footprint throughout this project. It is important to remember to gently encourage students to edit their work when necessary and to explain why making good decisions as a digital citizen are important to their future.

Such comments may include:

  • Asking students to explain how the image or multi-media they used strengthens or detracts from their intended message.
  • Reminding students to give credit where credit is due.
  • Sharing the importance of thinking about their intended audience and whether or not their post is appropriate.

Students hopefully are aware that they should NEVER post their...

  • last name
  • birthdate
  • address
  • phone number
  • ...or any other personal information
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Thank you so much for participating !