Digital citizenship lessons from a 9-year-old with 18,000 Twitter followers

Liv is using social media to expand her world view, learn from other experts, and even connect with people she admires.

[Editor’s note: This post by Alan November, written exclusively for eSchool Media, is part of a series of upcoming articles by this notable education thought leader. Check back later this month for the next must-read post!]

Olivia Van Ledtje might only be nine years old, but already she has a global following. She loves to read, and she records a video blog called LivBits in which she shares information about the books she has read and her observations about life in general. Her vlog is so popular that she just launched a Twitter account, @thelivbits, last July—and already she has more than 18,000 followers! I think there are two key lessons about digital citizenship that educators at all levels can learn from Liv.

1. Social media is a great way to connect with subject matter experts, extend your knowledge, and even engage with people you admire.

In a podcast I recorded with Liv last October, she revealed that her biggest surprise in using Twitter was hearing from one of her favorite authors, Victoria Jamieson.

“I was reading Roller Girl, and I hashtagged something from the book—‘tougher, stronger, fearless’—and she tweeted at me,” Liv said.

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Imagine how inspiring it can be for students when somebody famous they look up to engages with them on social media! As I said to Liv, when I was her age, that wasn’t something I ever would have dreamed of. But with social media, it’s entirely possible to connect with anyone at all.

(Next page: More digital citizenship tips)

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