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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Digital Citizenship Week: 6 Resources for Educators

I recently sat through a bullying prevention session for parents, and the conversation inevitably migrated to a discussion of cyberbullying, smartphones and other forms of digital media. Considering how ubiquitous smartphones have become, especially in high school, and now in middle school, questions about managing smartphones and educating students about digital citizenship are on a lot of parents' minds.

This year, in conjunction with October’s Connected Educator Month, Common Sense Media is hosting Digital Citizenship Week from Oct. 21-25. Throughout the week, there will be a webinars and other ways for schools and educators to get involved. But really, now is the perfect time to discuss digital responsibility, safety and citizenship with students, and there are plenty of valuable events and resources that you can use. Here are six of my favorite:

  • Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum for K-12: Common Sense Media’s interactive curriculum offers something for every grade level. From Digital Passport -- an award-winning trove of resources for grades 3-5 -- to free lessons for high schools students on iTunes U, their resources feature videos, lesson ideas and classroom posters for parents, teachers and students. Also, check out Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship advice for parents and teachers for links to a bunch of useful articles.
  • Understanding YouTube and Digital Citizenship: YouTube’s online curriculum for secondary students is a perfect resource for Digital Citizenship Week. Teachers will find ten lessons, all of which take between 20-50 minutes to teach, and they cover extremely relevant topics like managing online reputation and protecting privacy online.
  • Digital Citizenship Learning Center from CyberWise: CyberWise produced an extensive list of digital citizenship resources, including videos, games and toolkits from a variety of sources. The CyberWise Guide to Digital Citizenship is also available for free download, which features overviews, tips and strategies for teaching digital citizenships and links to other valuable resources like MediaSmarts and iKeepSafe.
  • Cable in the Classroom’s Digital Citizenship Resources: Cable in the Classroom (CIC) is a one-stop-shop for digital citizenship resources for teachers. Here, you’ll find useful and engaging articles, videos and other resources for teaching digital citizenship, and students can work through CIC’s InCtrl lessons to learn the ins and outs of digital citizenship.
  • BrainPop Jr. Spotlight -- Free Digital Citizenship Resources: BrainPop's Digital Citizenship resource page is perfect for younger students, and there are two sections on bullying and Internet safety. Each section features a video overview, quizzes and lesson ideas, as well as other interactive resources.
  • Digital Citizenship Teaching Channel Video Overviews: Here, the Teaching Channel has produced “Super Digital Citizen,” a behind-the-scenes looks at how one educator teaches digital citizenship to elementary students. Other digital literacy video resources cover understanding fair use and tracking media use online; there's something here for every grade level.

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Comments (4)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Diana Graber's picture
Diana Graber
Co-Founder, CyberWise.org

Thanks so much Edutopia for including us in your round-up on this important topic. Like you, we believe every child (and parent!) should be taught how to be a good digital citizen! Thanks for shedding light on all the great tools there are to help educators do just that. Hoot, hoot!

Melanie Link Taylor's picture
Melanie Link Taylor
Educational Consultant/Author, Southern California

Excellent article. It is true, the power of the peer group is now overwhelming due to the digital age. A hurtful nickname from seventh grade can now follow a student over state lines--and that's minimally what can happen. Aggressive kids can organize and harass with the expertise of a D Day invasion. Hopefully, with parents and schools collaborating with specialized supervision and counseling, the effects can be minimized.

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