In our teach-infused world today, educating our students about being responsible and ethical online will not only keep them safe but also allow them to enjoy and utilize all the opportunities available online. Digital citizenship helps them learn to use technology responsibly and safely. Students need to understand their rights as content creators and respect the rights of others. They need to be aware of the privacy issues, the risks of online interaction, as well as their rights, roles, and responsibilities in a digital world.

To empower our students as responsible digital citizens functioning effectively, ethically, and safely in the digital world, we decided to design a K-12 digital citizenship curriculum for our school and integrate digital citizenship resources into our program.  You can see all the resources we have checked so far in the slides below. With the help of the digital citizenship curriculum, we want our students to answer the questions such as who they want to be online, which ethical rules guide their interactions and the content they create.

One of the reasons why we blog with our students almost at all levels is to enable them to practice digital citizenship rather than learning about it from external sources. Here, you can see the digital citizenship page of my class blog. While reading all the posts on the blogging guidelines and the digital citizenship pages, my students posted their opinion on the important concepts they had learnt and their questions on TodaysMeet. They then started doing the comic strips project they had been assigned. The aim of this project was to see how much they understood from what they had read. You can see the comic strips my ESL students created on the home page of our blog. Later in the year, they are going to make their own videos on plagiarism , watch this TED talk by Juan Enriquez, have a class discussion, and write a blog post about it.  This talk is a great way to teach  students about the significance of their digital footprint.

As their digital citizenship project, we asked our grade 10 students to prepare a digital poster on a tool like Glogster or a presentation on tools like Prezi or Buncee or a flyer on a tool like Smore for middle school students. Grade 9 students played the the Digizen game after watching the movie Let’s Fight it Together and wrote a blog post about the movie. They also created their own digizen to express their online values and wishes. Digizen also has good resources you can use with your younger students to teach social networking.

We chose a game-based approach to teach digital citizenship to our primary and middle school students. Common Sense Media, Carnegie Cyber AcademyPlanet Nutshell, Media Smarts, and ThinkUKnow have great games for students at different age groups. Wild Web Woods is an online internet safety game for young learners by the Council of Europe available in 27 languages. After playing the games in these websites, students wrote game reviews and created their own digital safety rules using the information they learned.

How do you teach digital citizenship at your school? I look forward to your feedback.


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