There should always be a focus on digital citizenship as students continue to use their Chromebooks at school and home.
We recommend using Common Sense Media's online interactive game, Digital Compass, to introduce digital citizenship to your students. Using an avatar, the game allows students to make right or wrong digital citizenship choices and see the consequences of their decisions. There are many different paths the students may take during the game and students are encouraged to repeat the game to see different outcomes.
Below you will find various resources to use with students and staff.
Attachments, Handouts, and Other Resources
The lesson plan above includes many links to documents you can use to help teach students digital citizenship. The attachments, handouts, and tools used in the lesson are also linked to below.
- This handout includes all of the reflection questions from the lesson above (make an editable copy)
- This handout will help teachers assign students to Digital Compass avatars and topics (make an editable copy)
- This spreadsheet can easily be formatted to help you assign students to random groups (make an editable copy)
- Do you want to use a mail merge to assign students to an avatar and topic? Use these resources:
- Familiarize yourself with how to use the autoCrat add-on in Sheets that will allow you to perform the mail merge
- Collect student contact information using a Form like this one (you will have to make your own)
- Copy and paste your student's info into this spreadsheet (make an editable copy)
- Use this template to complete the mail merge (make an editable copy)
Digital Citizenship Implementation Recommendation
Common Sense Media provides lessons on teaching Digital Citizenship to all grade bands. The recommendations below are include information on how to implement Common Sense Media's lessons in a middle school.
"Taming the Social Networking Beast"
Whitney Tynes-Carson Middle School Counselor
This parent resource was created by Whitney Tynes to help with parent education around digital citizenship.
Resources for Digital Citizenship
This blog post, written by Jacqui Murray at Ask a Teacher, provides a collection of resources for teaching digital citizenship. Nineteen topics are broken down by grade level and include resources.
"To make the most of the Internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions on their own. Be Internet Awesome teaches the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so kids can explore the online world with confidence. In addition to a robust curriculum for teachers, the program includes Interland, an adventure-packed online game that puts these critical lessons into hands-on practice. Access resources and help your students play their way to Internet Awesome.
You may recognize this from the Nevada Ready, Set Go course. While BrainPop is a pay service there are some things that you can find for free on their site. You can utilize these (or something like these) to assist your students in developing good web-etiquette, especially when using the Chromebooks in your class and when interacting with classmates and peers in the online environment.
While the game is no longer supported and designed for fourth and fifth graders, you still may find some information that you can use with middle school students. The site uses training missions to teach cadets cybersecurity as they earn a Gold Badge for completing each training mission. The 4 training missions are spam, personal information, website dangers and cyberbullying.
This guide from the Federal Trade Commission covers issues to raise with kids about living their lives online. You will find information of how to talk with kids about socializing online, using mobile devices, and making computer security a habit.
This site offers materials and information for not only teachers but parents and students as well. Information on topics such as Copyright and Media Literacy are also found on this website. Every teacher in every classroom every day should make digital citizenship a priority.
There is a lot of information and resources to be found on this site. A drawback to this site might be that the videos were made in the UK so some of the questions and materials relate to policies in the UK not the US.
The Online Safety Roadshow is a 45-minute digital citizenship assembly for teens that strives to be like a Drivers Ed for the web. The presentation covers five key tips to staying safe and successful on the web.
This is the link to the Online Safety Roadshow Activity handouts for teachers.
"The NAMLE vision is to see media literacy be highly valued by all and widely practiced as an essential life skill for the 21st Century." Take a look at their resource hub which " is a collective ‘smackdown’ of curricula and other useful links that serve, intersect and represent the broad array of stakeholders in media literacy education that comprise our membership."
You can find resources for parents, teachers, and kids. There are some excellent resources that you could use for a parent night or just to pass along to parents. You can order booklets in English and Spanish. They are free and so is shipping.
"NetSafe Utah provides online videos and resources for kids, teens, parents and educators, including Internet Safety information that Utah schools need to meet the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requirements." Even if you don't live in Utah, you will find valuable resources that can apply to any school in any state on this site.
NSTeens.org was created through a partnership between Sprint® and the Internet safety experts at NetSmartz® Workshop, a program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children®. Through animated videos, short films, games, and interactive comics, NSTeens teaches tweens and teens about making safer choices online. Teaching materials are available for intermediate, middle school, and high school educators so they can bring these engaging lessons right into the classroom.
"Cable Impacts brings you InCtrl, a series of free standards-based lessons, originally developed by Cable in the Classroom, that teach key digital citizenship concepts. These lessons, for students in grades 4-8, are designed to engage students through inquiry-based activities, and collaborative and creative opportunities."
If you are looking for lessons for grades 6-8, you need to check out this website. Union SD is a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified District. The USD ToSAs have gone through the Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship curriculum and added more lessons to package into ready-to-go Google Slide Presentations.
Dr. Jason Ohler, who is an advocate for digital citizenship, has begun a series of posts on the importance of digital citizenship and provide strategies for integrating digital citizenship into schools. The series began on February 17, 2017. New links will be added as blogs are published on Teaching4Tomorrow's blog on Big Deal Media's website.
- "Partycipate" Like It's 2022: The Case for Digital Citizenship in Education
- Three Activities to Give Students a Voice in the Digital Citizenship Conversation
- Seven Strategies to Get Students Talking and Thinking About Digital Citizenship
- Three Skills Students Need to Become Good Digital Citizens
- Using Character Education to Teach Digital Citizenship
- How to Create a Successful Character Education Program That Teaches Digital Citizenship
5 Things Every Digital Citizen Should Know
Check out this podcast from Vicki Davis, The Cool Cat Teacher. Vicki's guest, Alice Chen @wondertechedu, teaches everyone about digital citizenship. She discusses five things every digital citizen should know. For each digital citizenship item, she gives classroom examples. Several important topics arise including internet safety issues, positive online identity, and helping students interact online successfully.