Teaching digital citizenship year round

Oct 10, 2017 | For the Classroom

teaching digital citizenship year round


Erin Harding

Head of Content | Hapara 

Digital Citizenship Week is quickly approaching and we’ve been thinking a lot about what exactly digital citizenship is, and the many pieces of our lives it encompasses. As we unpacked the question, “What does it mean to be a good digital citizen?” this week, we realized that helping students answer this question involves figuring out the answers to a lot of smaller questions first:

How do I keep myself and my information safe online?

How do I consume digital content responsibly?

Where can I locate trustworthy digital content?

What is fake news?

How do I respectfully interact with others online?

How do I manage my digital identity?

What is a digital footprint?

Digital Citizenship Week is just the start

While it’s always a good idea to raise awareness about such an important topic, one week is definitely not enough time to cover it all. Digital citizenship is something that should be taught all year, and we should be constantly modeling what it means to be a good digital citizen for students.  

So how do you help learners build these critical skills when you also have to cover reading, writing, math, science, social studies, art and so much more?

Digital Citizenship resources

First, turn to the experts. Common Sense Education has some great classroom resources available specifically for Digital Citizenship Week, as well as all year long. Google came out with Be Internet Awesome this year, offering free resources that you can use with students.

You can also make digital citizenship part of the day-to-day routine in your classroom. No matter what the primary subject of a lesson is, you should be modeling what it means to be a good digital citizen for learners, and reinforcing positive behaviors as students work online by offering praise and feedback.

And of course, turn towards your educator-peers to see how they’re tackling this topic in their classrooms. Below are some of the amazing Workspaces that educators have created to help students navigate a digital world, and made public for other teachers to use!

Example Workspaces:

Common Sense Digital Citizenship Lessons by Egmond Boon

These Common Sense Digital Citizenship lessons were created by Egmond Boon and empower learners to think critically, behave safely and participate responsibly in our digital world.

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7th Grade Technology Elective by Erin Conrad

Erin Conrad created this lesson for middle schoolers to help them develop digital literacy skills.

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Digital Citizenship by Sarah Parker

In this lesson, students work in groups through one area of digital citizenship, and then peer-teach the class.

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Do you have a great teaching resource to help students navigate a digital world? Share it in the comments!

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