Posts Tagged ‘Citizenship’

I have long been a fan of Common Sense Media‘s resources. I encourage parents to use the site. I encourage teachers to use the site. I have the opportunity to work with various groups of students in grades K-8 in my role as the Technology Integration Specialist for our district. My focus with many of those groups and classes is on Digital Citizenship. I strongly believe in the value of educating students about the many aspects of Digital Citizenship and I also believe that it is our responsibility, in schools, to do much of that work.

Common Sense Digital CitizenshipI have utilized many of the lessons Common Sense Media offers via their Scope and Sequence. I’m incorporating the NearPod form of the lessons into my work this year. I have also used the Digital Passport application and iPad app with students. This year, as we roll out more Chromebooks to students, our middle school students are using Digital Compass to begin the conversation about Digital Citizenship with one another and their teachers.

As a result of my enthusiasm about their products and offerings, I am a Digital Citizenship Certified Educator (one of two in Vermont- come on Vermont educators, join me!) and recently became an Ambassador as well. Our next step is to get our school recognized as a Digital Citizenship Certified School.

It does take a village to educate and care for our children. In today’s world, helping them become responsible digital citizens is is of critical importance.

I’m not here as a salesperson for Common Sense Media. To me, it just makes sense.

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I recently had a conversation with our District Leader (the administrator with whom I work) about why we use technology in schools. We realized that it is important to have those reasons at the tip of our tongues, especially during budget season in our town. Rather than the two of us developing the list, we asked faculty and staff for their input. We got great responses! We looked through them for common themes and narrowed it down to 7 big ideas.

I’m sharing our list here – hoping for feedback on the wording (For example, is ‘digital tools’ the best term?) and the content. Do you have suggestions or thoughts on what else might be added to this list? We wanted to keep it short and sweet and as jargon-free as possible so that any member of our town or community would understand them. Do you think we’ve accomplished that?

reasons for tech

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For the past few years I have been especially focused on Digital Citizenship in our schools. I believe the topics that fall under the umbrella of Digital Citizenship are of critical importance in all of our work. It will take a team (a village?!) to regularly introduce, teach, expose, and review these topics with our students. That team is composed of all educators, administrators, parents, and the students themselves.

Some of the topics include:

  • Internet Safety
  • Privacy and Security
  • Digital Tattoo and Reputation (I call it ‘Tattoo’ rather than ‘Footprint’ after a great session at ISTE on this topic)
  • Information Literacy
  • Cyberbullying
  • Creative Credit and Copyright

I have been promoting and using the Digital Citizenship curriculum and Scope and Sequence  developed by CommonSenseMedia. Not only is it great to have it at hand and ready in all aspects, but the lessons are well-developed, appropriate, and engaging. I highly recommend it. There are many other resources, sites, people, and curricular materials available as well.

I recently found out that educators can become Digital Citizenship Certified by CommonSenseMedia by undergoing some training online. I completed that this week. You’ll see that I earned a badge to put on my blog. My goal wasn’t the badge, but to help spread the word of the importance of this work with our students.


I participated in a Twitter chat about a week ago about Digital Citizenship using the hashtag #digcit. There’s always a lively conversation and great resources shared using that hashtag. Here are some of the quotes I took away from that chat:

(I’m sorry I’m not properly attributing them)

  • My understanding of Digital Citizenship is RAP: Respect; be Aware; Protect
  • Be a global citizen and a digital citizen
  • The very best way to teach digital citizenship is to model digital citizenship behavior. A close (and necessary) second is to talk about it.
  • Digital Citizenship is using the Internet ethically and responsibly to keep yourself safe and secure.
  • Parents are the key. They are the first teachers of digital citizenship.
  • One thing for sure: Citizenship can’t be citizenship if it’s DICTATED to the citizens!
  • It is important to model proper digital citizenship with children. Listen to them.  Be there for them and care about them.
  • One definition of digital citizenship could be “life literacy”. Kids are ahead in some areas but we cannot assume that they all digitally literate.
  • It takes a village to raise a good Digital Citizen!

Digital Citizenship topics are popping up in the news and online posts regularly.  Shouldn’t we all do our part to have these conversations with our students?


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