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Are You Ready For Digital Citizenship Week?

October 14-19 is Digital Citizenship week!

Although we should help students understand how to be good digital citizens throughout the year, Digital Citizenship Week is great opportunity to reinforce the important behaviors and actions that make up good digital citizens. 

But, what is a good digital citizen?

There are many definitions of a good digital citizen. Perhaps the most comprehensive definition is as follows:

A good digital citizen is a person with the skills and knowledge to effectively use digital technologies to participate in society, communicate with others, and create and consume digital content.

Below are some things to consider when educating your students on the important responsibilities digital citizenship.

Integrate Into Your Daily Lessons with Role Playing

Digital Citizenship Lessons

The best way to ensure that children begin to understand and practice good digital citizenship is to integrate it into your daily lessons. Through everyday practice, it will become second nature for them. 

For example, to aid in a discussion of the importance of being careful and respectful in online interactions, consider creating a few throwaway email accounts for the purpose of performing role-playing exercises and actively (yet safely) engaging them in online scenarios. 

Use these role playing exercises to help your students remember that there is a real thinking and feeling person on the other side of the screen, giving them the chance to consider others online from a fresh, sympathetic perspective.

In addition, you can use these accounts to show students what a consistently polite email and response looks like in any situation, as well as examples of replies that cool down or deescalate an intense discussion.

By emphasizing the value of respectful communications, and always being courteous when messaging/chatting with others, you are teaching them key strategies for staying safe online.

Focus On Topics According to Age Group

Customize Digital Citizenship Lessons

When you start looking for new and exciting ways to teach digital citizenship, keep their ages in mind. Each grade requires its own approach and has a best “range” in terms of level of complexity.

Make sure the goals and expectations are fitting for each of your age groups. With younger students, it’s a good idea to focus on: 

  • Stranger danger
  • How to stay safe while online
  • Online harassment (cyberbullying) 

Remind your students repeatedly that ALL Internet forums, groups, websites, applications, etc. are monitored and store their information. It is most important that they really understand that “Nothing ever gets truly deleted in the online world” – including photos, videos, comments, texts, chats, and more. 

As your students reach the age when they can join social media platforms, familiarize them with the do’s and don’ts of social media, the privacy settings they need to use, and how to protect their profiles. 

If you still haven’t checked out our digital literacy curriculum, Digital Citizen Week is the perfect time to do so!. Just look though the Tech Readiness and Career Prep Curriculum and you’ll find it covers many of the areas you may want to include in your everyday teaching. The content is manageable for all ages, with lessons and assessments on:

  • Privacy
  • Ethics
  • Surfing Safety
  • Cyber Safety
  • Online Behavior
  • Email Rules and Manners
  • Internet Search Tips

Whether it is dealing with cyberbullying or handling appropriate online behavior, staying on top of students’ learning, understanding, feelings and interactions in regards to technology is one of the most important things we can do to help them now and in their future. 

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