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I’d planned to write a post about our #oneword experience in my classes today. It was cool, and students chose many thoughtful and insightful words. I’ll have to save it for another post, though.

What I’m going to write instead is how I screwed up. How I had a teachable digital citizenship moment in my hands, and I let it drop. ┬áIt starts like this…

All morning, students created their #oneword graphics and uploaded them to a website to share with parents and stakeholders.

Then after lunch, I click on the site to do a double check of the previous class’s work, and to my shock, I see a screen that says my page has been taken down for review. Our page had been “reported” for breaking a code of conduct, which could range from anything from copyright infringement to pornography.

Needless to say, I fumed. I couldn’t even access the page to double check that a student hadn’t done something inappropriate. Quickly, I had to set up another page for my afternoon classes to post to.

Toward the end of the class I finally had time to email the company and share my concerns with their procedure. This is where I messed up.

I sat at my desk and pounded out a frank email about taking down a page without reviewing it first or sending an email to the owner. Essentially, I ignored my students for five minutes to feed my frustration.

I should have taken some deep breaths. Then I should’ve turned this perfect teachable moment around. Computer trolls would be out there. Mistakes would be made in internet land. And while my students and I talked about this issue today, I should have taken it one step further.

I should have written the email with them. I should have asked for their input. I should have modeled how to write a frank but tactful message.

Everything turned out fine in the end. Within ten minutes of my email, the company apologized and re-instated the page. They were prompt, polite, and apologetic. I’m still not thrilled with the process of taking a page down on the invalid report of some troll, but it all turned out okay.

But I’m disappointed in myself. I let my emotions get the best of me. I got too defensive of me and my students instead of staying objective and showing students how to deal with issues with online issues.

The person who learned the most in my classroom today: Me.