Grade: 6‎ > ‎

Digital Citizenship


Adults may think of students' online, mobile, and technological activities as "digital life" but to young people they are just life. The lessons in this unit are designed to harness students' enthusiasm, encouraging them to talk about the impact of digital media on their lives, their communities, and our culture. Students discuss the positive and negative aspects of digital life and are introduced to the concept of digital citizenship.

Digital Life 101
Students are introduced to the 24/7, social nature of digital media and technologies, and they gain basic vocabulary and knowledge for discussing the media landscape. They watch the Digital Life Student Intro Video – Digital Life 101, which highlights how in today's connected culture we consume, create, collaborate, and communicate with digital media. Students then make similes about their own digital lives. For the Extension Activity, students turn their similes into songs about digital life, and for homework they challenge their parents in the "Got Media Smarts? Quiz."

Digital media provide countless ways for people to communicate and connect with others. The lessons in this unit explore the ethics of participating in and building positive online communities. Students also explore when community dynamics are upset because of cyberbullying and other damaging behaviors. The lessons explore the impact of students' individual actions – both negative and positive – on their friends and on the broader communities in which they participate

What's Cyberbullying?
Students explore how it feels to be cyberbullied, how cyberbullying is similar or different than in-person bullying, and learn basic strategies for handling cyberbullying when it arises. Students discuss positive and negative aspects of interacting with others online. They learn the definition of cyberbullying and help the teacher fill in a chart that compares traditional bullying with cyberbullying. Finally, they read a story of a student who is cyberbullied, identifying the players involved and how the target must feel. For the Extension Activity, students write email advice to a fictional student who has been cyberbullied.

Cyberbullying: Be Upstanding
Students learn about the difference between being a passive bystander versus a brave upstander in cyberbullying situations. They read and answer questions about a scenario that involves many bystanders to a cyberbullying situation. They then create a diagram of the players involved and generate ideas about how bystanders can become upstanders. Finally, they identify concrete solutions for dealing with cyberbullying situations. For the Extension Activity, students create a Cyberbullying Survival Guide for students two grades below them.

Students show who they are to the online world with avatars, social networking profiles, and posts. The lessons in this unit are designed to help students explore their online versus their offline identity. Students learn how the way they present themselves online can affect their relationships, sense of self, and reputations.

My Self Online
Who am I really? Students ask important questions as they investigate their identities online and offline. By reflecting on their own online and offline roles, students discover that they have choices about how they present themselves to others on the Internet.