5 Reasons to Teach about Digital Citizenship

After doing the same digital citizenship lesson in 7 classes, grades 3-5, I’m not surprised to find out that not one student knew the definition of digital citizen. In all 7 classes, however, students were successful at giving a definition for citizen and digital. That discussion made it much easier to put the definitions together to correctly define digital citizen. It made for a great start to our lessons, and it allowed us to eventually start blogging in the classroom.

No matter what grade level you teach, digital citizenship is an important topic that needs to be covered in every K-12 class. Ideally, it’s a topic that you want to cover at the beginning of the school year, before having students interact with technology, but even though it is more than 6 months into the school year, it’s never too late to start.

Here are 5 reasons you should teach about digital citizenship:

  1. Digital citizenship is SO Common Core! –  CCSS focuses on college and career readiness. Digital citizenship is a a 21st-century life skill that will definitely help students through their college years, career, and beyond.
  2. Free Lessons – Common Sense Media has a webpage dedicated to K-12 Digital Literacy and Classroom Curriculum.
  3. Protect Your Students’ Digital Footprint – Digital Citizenship gets students to really THINK before they post something online. Students don’t always remember that whatever they post online can follow them forever. Start teaching this to students early!
  4. Prevent Cyberbullying – Promote positive interactions between students and teach students how to deal with cyberbullying. You can give students the knowledge and power to be online upstanders.
  5. It’s Fun! – Digital Citizenship leads to fun, engaging classroom activities using social media in the classroom. Sites I love using are: Kidblog, Storybird, Padlet, and Today’s Meet. Eventually, I would love to start using Twitter, Instagram, and Google Hangouts with students.

It is now our job as educators to raise model digital citizens. Have fun with your 21st-century digital citizens! Once you do, the learning possibilities in your classroom are endless!


Week 3 Comment 1: Ketsana Phommalee

Ketsana’s Original Post: WEEK 3 READING-LIVE, LAUGH, AND LOVE

Posted by Ketsana in Media Asset Creation and tagged with , November 4, 2012

Life is a journey. Live, laugh, and love.

In this week’s reading of The Art of Possibility, I am left thinking about my young learners. This year, I am happy to spend time teaching and learning with my sixth graders. These students are young enough to still enjoy school and learning. When I see their eyes and ears perk up, I know that they are still in the stage of “I like school.”
Then I wondered about the older students and what happened to them to make them hate school. Last year I taught eight graders and it was a challenging nine months for me. The students did not care about learning, some had terrible records, including police records, failing grades, and had no intention of attending college.
What I have seen in the past years and some this year is the negative attitudes from the students towards learning something new. If the answer is not visible and right in their faces, they automatically say,” I don’t get, ” or, “I can’t do it.” Whatever happened to thinking and pondering the possibilities? Why can’t they try to seek out answers, even if it leads to more questions? Is thinking too much effort? Sometimes I become very frustrated with my learners, but I am determined to continue encouraging better thinking skills and enjoyment of learning.
I goal as a teacher is to share my knowledge and, more importantly, my deep passion for knowledge with my students. May they realize that life is a journey. Live, laugh, and love.

My Response to Ketsana:

I’m so glad that you are having a good experience with your 6th grade students this year! It’s hard to say exactly what it is that gets students to change their mind about learning and their educational possibilities. It’s something that happens over time with all of the negative experiences that get these children to look at life and their education in a different way. There comes a point when students have enough of getting bad grades, or not meeting up to the standards or expectations of teachers, parents, siblings, or peers. It’s not that these students are failing; I think that our education system is failing these students. Behind that negative attitude and the wall that they have built up is a tremendous amount of possibility and potential. This makes our job as teachers that much harder.

Despite all of these obstacles, how do we excite and awaken that potential in each of our students? We may not be able to reach them all, but the fact that we are in this EMDT program together means that we are seeking ways to better our teaching practice, in order to reach and motivate more students, using the technology that is such a big part of their lives. Listening to all of the progress that you’ve made with your AR project, I know that you are making a huge difference with the students at your school. Teachers at your school are starting to take notice of your success, so slowly; many others will start to catch on!