Eight Great Resources for Teaching Digital Citizenship

The start of the new school year is a great time to introduce or review good digital citizenship practices with students of all ages. That is why this post is all about resources you can use to help students develop good digital citizenship habits.

Email Etiquette Tips

Good digital citizenship is more than just protecting your privacy and staying safe online. It’s also remembering to be polite and use a nice tone when communicating with others. To that end, last year I created a couple of email etiquette tips posters for students. You can get both of them on this page. If you want them professionally printed, Canva is offering free printing to teachers in the U.S.

I can’t mention email etiquette without mentioning one of my all-time favorite videos on the topic, Emailing Your Teacher, With Captain Communicator. It’s cute, short, effective, and sure to put a smile on your face.

Digital Citizenship for Elementary School

Last year Book Creator partnered with Common Sense Media to create a series of three free eBooks about digital citizenship. The first book in the series is for 5-8 year old students to learn about digital safety by singing along to some songs. The second book is for 8-10 year olds to learn about taking responsibility for how they act toward others online. The third book is for 9-11 year olds to learn about the risks of making friends online.

Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius is a PBS Kids online series of videos and online quizzes designed to help elementary school students understand the importance of things like online privacy, safe texting behaviors, and managing screen time. The series also includes a section on how to conduct internet searches and how to tell the difference between what is an advertisement on a webpage and what is useful information.

Be Internet Awesome is Google’s Internet safety curriculum for elementary school students. The Be Internet Awesome site features a game called Interland. The game is set in a virtual world that students navigate by correctly answering questions about Internet safety. The graphics of the game are great and there are some elements in which students navigate, but there is also a heavy reliance on multiple choice questions in the game. The Interland game can be distributed through Google Classroom. Google also provides lots of supporting lesson plan materials that you can download for free.

Digital Citizenship for Middle School, High School, and Beyond

Google’s Applied Digital Skills website includes a whole section of lesson plans for teaching digital citizenship skills. You’ll find that section here or by simply going to the Applied Digital Skills catalog page and then scrolling down the page to select the digital citizenship category. There is an activity from that category that is great for starting the school year on the right foot. That activity is called Identifying Cyberbullying. In the activity students collaboratively create a Google Document outlining the traits of cyberbullying and steps to take to combat cyberbullying.

Stop.Think.Connect. has a large collection of posters, tip sheets, and videos that you can use to promote good online safety practices in your school or office. The Stop.Think.Connect. tip sheets can be previewed online then downloaded as PDFs to print and distribute to students and adults. Many of the tip sheets are available in Spanish, French, and Turkish in addition to English. Likewise, the posters in the collection are available in multiple languages.

Everfi offers a series of six free online activities designed to help middle school students develop good digital citizenship habits. These activities are best described as interactive cartoons that teach students skills like balancing screen time with offline time, online account security habits, recognizing the permanence of online publishing, and evaluating the credibility of information found online.

It takes practice and patience to be able to disagree with someone in a civil manner. That is why a few months ago the folks at School of Thought released a new project called The Rules of Civil Conversation. It is a website designed to help visitors better understand how to hold a civil conversation in the face of differing opinions. One of the resources on the site is a set of posters outlining eight rules of civil conversation. These posters can be downloaded for free and printed for display in your classroom. (There is also an option to buy printed versions).

I’ll Come to Your School!

Due to the pandemic, for the last two years all of my work with schools has been remote. This year I’m back to offering in-person workshops and presentations. If you’d like me to come to your school or conference, please send me an email or fill out the form on this page.

50 Tech Tuesday Tips!

50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook that I created with busy tech coaches, tech integrators, and media specialists in mind. In it you’ll find 50 ideas and tutorials that you can use as the basis of your own short PD sessions. Get a copy today!