Tool #10 - Underneath it All - Digital Citizenship

... Developing the Skills Necessary in the Digital Environment

Digital citizenship has become an essential ingredient in the learning process of 21st century learners. Just like they are taught to "stop, drop, and roll" at the annual visit from the local fire department or learn the meaning behind the Bill of Rights to the Constitution, learners need to know how to operate safely, friendly and ethically  in the digital world. Providing a rich (and safe) learning environment in the digital world is just as important as it is on the bricks and mortar side!

Our job as educators is to help develop the skills necessary for our students to become successful citizens in the world. Today, this job includes helping student safely navigate an unfiltered digital world. As students are developing and maturing, some may make decisions that are inappropriate, possibly even endangering themselves and others. Teachers and staff need to know that some students will attempt to bypass systems in place to protect them. For instance, we have had instances of students emailing inappropriate links to friends and themselves using their SBISD issued email in order to get around the content filter. This type of activity is in violation of the SBISD Acceptable Use Policy and should be addressed as indicated in the student handbook.

SBISD has collected information and videos that will be useful for teaching students about digital citizenship in your classroom. We’ve touched briefly on Copyright and Fair Use in dealing with the previous tools that focused on online media editing. However, there are additional considerations when working with students in the digital world such as online safety and security, digital etiquette and digital rights and responsibilities.

  • A chart of resources by grade level and content is available for your use on the SBISD Ed Tech website.The ages of the learners will determine the information needed and how to provide appropriate digital world experiences. Resources from Brain Pop, Cyberbee, Digizen, CyberSmart and more are on the chart!
  • The iSafe program is a resource available to Spring Branch students and teachers. To access your account, click on the above link. Click on Forgot Password? and then enter your email address in the field. The password will be sent to your account!
  • Atomic Learning has workshops that can help you and your students learn more about:

    • Creative Commons-learn about the licenses to mark creative work (Creative Commons Workshop - Key# 74162 - 74178)
    • Digital Citizenship - touching on netiquette (84039) (84041), email (84040), online harassment (84042) and aavoiding plagiarism (84043) (part of the Effective Online Student Workshop)

Some other resources that will give background and ideas on how to present the topic include:

  1. Vicki Davis summarizes much about digital citizenship on her Cool Cat Teacher blog.
  2. Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship Presentations on Wes Fryer's Moving at the Speed of Creativity blog..
  3. Rhondda "reflects" on digital literacy on her blog.
  4. The ISTE standards (NETS-S [for students]) talk about digital citizenship. And the NETS-T for teachers give a little more detail about digital citizenship.
  5. I-Safe factsheet from TxSSC (Texas School Safety Center). Check out the TxSSC for many more resources including the link to TEA's Internet safety page.

For your Tool #10 assignment:
In YOUR blog post:
1. Discuss at least three things you would want to make sure your students understand about being good digital citizens.
2. Share at least one of the resources mentioned above or on the Ed Tech website that you plan to use instructionally.
3. Explain briefly how you would "teach" the idea of digital citizenship to your students.
4. Explain briefly how you plan to share the idea of digital citizenship with your parents.

Last, but not least... Tool #11: Self Assessing and Reflecting


  1. Students should know:
    they and they're parents signed SBISD digital rights codes.
    you are using property at school and make your decisions accordingly.
    stay safe at all times.
    In digital citizenship Ms. Davis stated in 2006 that 87% of all users researched on the internet at lease once in 2011 it's more.
    To be able to continue to access Technology in SBISD you must be a good digital citizen.

  2. I believe teaching about digital safety and citizenship is crucial so that our students don't fall into the hands of a cyberbully or anyone else with dangerous intentions.

    I believe that helping them learn how to stay safe if crucial so they learn to respect others as they use the internet and communicate across the globe or their classrooms.

    Technology is a positive as long as our children learn to detect the dangers to know to how stay away from it or make the right choices when confronted with it when necessary.

  3. 1. *Blocked access to sites is to protect the safety students. They should respect these messages and not try to access them.
    *Students and parents signed a technology usage form stating the correct usage of the internet and students' responsibilities and rights. Misuse of the internet is serious and will be dealt with accordingly.
    *My expectations are that technology will be used for learning puposes only. Class time is for classroom learning.

    2. Digital Citizenship - touching on netiquette email, online harassment and avoiding plagiarism

    3. - Review contract signed by parents and students regarding technology usage
    -Discuss Digital Citizenship topics relating to netiquette, email, online harrassment, and avoiding plagiarism
    -Post posters detailimg main points

    4. Send letter home explaining the meaning of Digital Citizenship with a copy of the letter they signed at the beginning of the year regarding technology, usage rights and resposibilities.

  4. http://mracosta3rdgrade.blogspot.com/2012/02/tool10.html

  5. 1. Discuss at least three things you would want to make sure your students understand about being good digital citizens.
    a) make them aware about safety online and tools available to them like iSafe to learn more about this
    b) explain and show how to distinguish good websites from "bad" ones, good online searches vs. not so good ones
    c) explain what digital age skills are

    2. Share at least one of the resources mentioned above or on the Ed Tech website that you plan to use instructionally.

    Atomic Learning
    ISTE website

    3. Explain briefly how you would "teach" the idea of digital citizenship to your students.

    A good way to teach digital citizenship to my students would be to show them how I do my internet searches and use some of the advanced tools, pointing out there are a lot of sites that are not trustworthy or misleading.

    4. Explain briefly how you plan to share the idea of digital citizenship with your parents.

    This can be incorporated in the beginning of year information leaflets that are handed out, but probably this will be incorporated in the CSA guidelines to parents since this is something that applies to all students, teacher and parents.

    I like the blog by Vicki Davis and would share that with the parents.

  6. Digital Citizenship really hits an area we all take for granted. While the students and parents have signed the technology release form, it often times is just another form to sign and the seriousness of the document should be reiterated in a classroom setting. As teachers, it is our responsibility to make sure the students understand the long term affects of what the students refer to as just "a innocent post"

  7. Not everything online is true!!! And even if the argument is based on facts, it is important to recognize the author's POV...wikipedia is a good resource to find an overview and to find other resources!! (by looking at the citations)...the internet is a great resource to find information, but sometimes there is no other replacement for a book.

    I will teach this to my students by modeling how I search and obtain information -- showing them that is a process. As such, I will show them piece by piece gradually how to become a digital citizen.

    I will also share this information with my parents in the context of expectations and/or grading rubrics.

  8. it is important to instill good digital citizenship in our students. The internet is full of crazy people, and opportunities for bad luck. We need to teach the kids to recognize scams and avoid them.

    Website censoring through the school is not there to upset them, its for their safety. Making sure the parents understand and assist the teachers in enforcing the rules is helpful. The technology is not there for their entertainment, it is for educational purposes. I also feel that education against cyber bullying is important too.

    Digital literacy should be taught by teachers. Teachers should be more hands-on in educating students on how to navigate the world wide web.

    Discuss online etiquette and internet safety rules posted in my room.

    I like the idea of a contract for them to sign

  9. Three things that I want to stress to my students about digital citizenship include 1 - guarding passwords and not sharing them with friends, 2 - cyberbullying includes saying mean things to or about another person and should be reported, and 3 - sites are restricted at school for student safety so we should respect the guidelines the school sets up to protect us.

    I really liked the way the Cybersmart Quiz was laid out. I think it could be a great teaching tool for cyber safety. I also like Brainpop, but I was unable to access the site after hours so I will be checking it out later to see what it addresses. I think both of these sources along with modeling safety in the classroom and including it as a part of daily directions will help the students to grasp its importance.

    Informing parents of internet safety in the classroom as well as at home is one way to remind them of the importance of knowing where their kids are visiting online, and how they can be safe at home or school.

  10. In order to collaborate in an online world, students and teachers need to understand the rules of engagement.

    First and foremost, we as educators have to block sites that are inappropriate for students. Students should also respect that these sites have been blocked. If they are communicating with another student somewhere around the country or world, they must also understand if the teacher deems the communication as inappropriate and terminates the relationship.

    The teacher will inform parents of the guidelines of internet usage. Our school sends a letter home explaining the rules. Student should also go through a thorough review of the rules.

    Our school has a discussion about cyber bullying and how to properly use emails. And make sure students know that whatever they write has the potential to come back, so be careful and wise when posting online or through chat or email.