Getting Started with Digital Citizenship

Eden and I decided that the best way to jump into our project, while waiting for all of the permission slips to come back to get started planning and teaching our Digital Citizenship Unit in health.  As I reflect back on what we have been talking about a class, I don’t think that digital citizenship should be a separate unit, but it was a good starting point or introduction that we could use to reflect back on throughout the year.  Together Eden and I created 3 powerpoints to go through that would be helpful in teaching.


We wanted to get the students started thinking about what it means to be in the digital world today so I found this video just to get them thinking and generating some ideas about how we connect with the world.


In the first few lessons we wanted to spend some time talking about what is digital citizenship.  I was surprised at first that they didn’t really realize what we were talking about when we used the word “digital”, when we got into the examples of digital, they knew exactly what we were talking about. It was helpful that Eden was also teaching about “citizenship” in general during this time because we could use some of the examples of citizenship from social to draw from to extend to what digital citizenship could mean.


When then continued with a discussion around what are our rights and responsibilities as digital citizens.  It was interesting to me that when we talk about digital safety or responsibility a lot of the discussion seems to focus around “cyberbullying”.  I think that has been the majority of the teaching has taken place for our students around the idea of cyberbullying, like it is the only bad thing that could ever happen online.  We initiated a discussion around the idea of “bad posts” or negative comments.  They agreed, but commented that they hadn’t really seen too much of that.  I thought that was interesting, as I guess it depends on where they are spending their time online.  But when I brought up online gaming, many seemed to recognize that a lot of negative stuff gets said there.  We spent some time talking about if the things that they saw there were a reflection of what those people would say or do in real life.  Many thought not, but again it became a good talking point about how our digital identities and whether or not they were separate entities or the same.  Great thing to think about as we saw a lot of “lightbulbs” go on for kids and making that connection.

We then wanted to give them some examples of digital citizenship, so we included the following videos for them to make some connections to and generate more ideas for the next class.



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