As teachers begin the school year, we often spend days, weeks even, building a supportive and positive classroom community. We discuss, model, and practice classroom expectations for everything from sharpening pencils to resolving peer conflicts. We continue to nurture our community as the school year goes on, intent on developing the ideal school citizens.
But what about the online environment?
Now that teaching and learning are connected to online platforms, understanding the philosophies surrounding digital citizenship is so important! These practices should be taught, modeled, and reinforced throughout the year.
When you are creating your digital citizenship game plan, be sure to participate in Digital Citizenship Week. Recognized on the third week of October each year, this initiative aims to build capacity for students and families to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world.
To get you and your colleagues fired up about Digital Citizenship Week, we’ve gathered a few ideas and resources to level up your #digcit game this school year!
Teaching Digital Citizenship to Students
- Engage students through careful planning and implementation of digital citizenship lessons.
- Common Sense Education K-12 Digital Citizenship curriculum
- Learning for Justice Digital Literacy and Civics Skills resources
- Gather a group of students to help promote awareness of the topic and develop a positive social media push.
- Create a #digcitcommit multimedia campaign with posters, videos, or even podcasts– See how teacher Marti Weston empowered her 5th-grade students to write and record podcasts to promote digital citizenship
Teaching Digital Citizenship to Staff
- Devote a staff meeting to information and idea sharing around digital citizenship topics.
- Invite teachers to map their #digcit journey on this great infographic.
What is your current stage?
- Digital Aversion, Anxiety, Awareness, Action or Advocacy? Commit to taking steps toward growth.
- Ask early adopters and teacher leaders to share successes with the group
- Encourage staff to share one way they’ll promote digital citizenship in their classrooms this year.
Teaching Digital Citizenship to Families
- Send routine messages and tips about digital citizenship through your school’s communication channels.
- Host a #DeviceFreeDinner chat on Twitter. Encourage families to tweet photos of their meal sans devices. Provide discussion starters on the topic of digital literacy and citizenship during the chat.
- Consider starting a Parent Digital Citizenship Academy like the one described in this article by teacher George Lopez, “Engage Your Community with Parent Digital Citizenship Academies,” via Common Sense Media
Whether you’re taking your first #digcit steps or well on your journey towards advocacy, we applaud you! Every bit counts when you are working together as students, staff, and families to build a positive, supportive community of digital citizens.