This year, Digital Citizenship Week runs from October 19-23. In other words, this important period for teaching students about responsible digital platform engagement is fast approaching. But don’t panic! There’s still time to fit some media literacy instruction into your upcoming lesson plans thanks to an assortment of free online resources on the topic.
What is Digital Citizenship?
So, what exactly is “digital citizenship”? And more importantly, how can an educator like you fit it into your regular curriculum?
In short, “digital citizenship” is a way of thinking and acting online that promotes positive, honest, and critical discussions among digital community members. Digital citizenship also involves practicing safe digital routines, including creating secure passwords and carefully sharing private information.
Digital citizenship is designed to empower all internet users to make the most of their time online. Just as traditional citizenship helps build strong communities, digital citizenship can help foster strong online institutions – both in the academic realm and beyond.
An Ounce of Common Sense
As you may have gathered, “digital citizenship” isn’t just a single action. Instead, digital citizenship can be viewed as a mindset that students must learn by engaging several key practices, day after day. To start your students down this prosperous path, numerous education organizations have put together resources geared toward different learning levels.
For example, ILTPP affiliate Common Sense Education has created a variety of curricular resources that can help students take ownership of their digital lives. In particular, Common Sense provides educators for grades 5-18 with age-appropriate activities that students won’t soon forget. Their Implementation Guide can also help you weave digital citizenship into your future lesson plans without any added hassle.
Evaluating Media with Nearpod
A key part of digital citizenship involves the critical evaluation of digital media – especially the kind shared on social media. With that in mind, ILTPP vendor partner Nearpod has worked with a variety of trusted partners to make 400+ learning experiences available to all educators.
In their collection, educators will find lessons on a variety of timely topics, including sourcing online resource, analyzing appropriate behaviors, and fighting cognitive bias. Through these resources, students will also gain the ability to assess their own digital footprint, as well as shut down cyberbullying at its source.
More Resources for Fostering Digital Citizenship
Of course, there are many more fantastic digital citizenship resources out there now. Make plans to celebrate Digital Citizenship Week with free resources from DigCitCommit.
DigCitCommit is a coalition of leading educational organizations who want to make digital citizenship accessible and relevant to all educators, regardless of grade or content focus. In particular, their resources from ISTE, KQED, BrainPop, the National Constitution Center, and the National Writing Project can help jumpstart any classroom’s digital civic engagement.
Be Internet Awesome
Be Internet Awesome is a recent Google-led initiative to empower students to make educated decisions online, both in and out of the classroom. This initiative’s curricular materials focus on teaching students both the knowledge and practical skills needed to be smart, alert, strong, kind, and brave online. Google has even produced a high-quality, interactive adventure that students of numerous grade levels will enjoy.
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Common Sense Education helps educators find the best edtech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to think critically and use technology responsibly. Go to Common Sense Education for FREE resources including full reviews of digital tools, ready-made lesson plans, videos, webinars, and more.