Digital citizenship, according to Common Sense Media, is “a way of thinking critically online, being safe with your information and who you connect with and acting responsibly in how you communicate and behave.”
As part of Digital Citizenship Week, which took place the third week of October in California, the nonprofit organization created a guide for educators for promoting digital citizenship. The 35-page guide, “Digital Citizenship and Social and Emotional Learning,” aims to help educators connect challenging digital dilemmas to social and emotional skills through discussion questions, lessons and digital tools that build students’ character. From the guide:
A key aspect of digital citizenship is thinking critically when faced with digital dilemmas. Navigating these challenges isn’t just about rules and procedures; it’s about character. Students won’t support someone being bullied if they don’t have empathy. They won’t see a problem with plagiarism if they lack integrity.
Topics tackled include social media and body image; cyberbullying; sexting; digital footprints; privacy, surveillance and self-disclosure; distraction; digital drama; video games and violent content; and selfie culture. Each section features discussion questions and teaching tips.
Common Sense Education also has a resource section on digital citizenship on its website. It aims to empower students to make safe, smart and ethical decisions online. From the website:
Being a good digital citizen is more than knowing your way around the web. It’s about connecting and collaborating in ways you didn’t even know were possible.
When you teach digital citizenship to your students, you help create a positive school culture that supports safe and responsible technology use. Our K–12 digital citizenship program includes comprehensive learning resources for students, teachers, and family members. Our 65 grade-differentiated lesson plans are based on the research of Dr. Howard Gardner and the Good Play Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The program addresses real challenges for teachers and students to help schools navigate cyberbullying, internet safety, and other digital dilemmas.
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