You don’t want kids learning about the birds and the bees on the playground. And when it comes to navigating social media, online games, smartphones, and the Internet, it’s best for kids to get their info from a trusted source. With 92 percent of teens going online daily and nearly three-quarters of kids age 0–8 using apps, having The Talk is an essential rite of passage.
As parents and educators, we want to raise kids to be safe, responsible, and ethical in the digital world. Giving kids a solid understanding of how we expect them to behave — both online and off — starts everyone off on the right foot. Plus, it’s actually a lot easier than that other talk. Check out the following resources for parents and educators on Digital Citizenship.
- Netsmartz: NetSmartz is an interactive, educational program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) that provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on- and offline. The program is designed for children ages 5-17, parents and guardians, educators, and law enforcement. With resources such as videos, games, activity cards, and presentations, NetSmartz entertains while it educates.
- Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum for K-12: Common Sense Media’s interactive curriculum offers something for every grade level. Check out the “Scope & Sequence” tool to find the perfect lesson for your classroom. Plus, you can incorporate Digital Passport activities in lessons for students in grades 3-5. The interactive assessments and videos are super engaging, as well.
- Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum From iKeepSafe and Google: Co-produced by iKeepSafe and Google, this digital-literacy curriculum for middle school and high school students provides three lessons to help kids find reliable information online, manage their reputations, and recognize scams. Additionally, check out iKeepSafe’s educator resources for professional-development modules for teachers and a variety of activities to use with students.
- CyberWise Resources for Parents and Educators: CyberWise is a hub of information related to all things digital. The site’s focus is on educating parents and educators about digital trends, and there are topic hubs for a range of subjects including Digital Citizenship, Cyberbullying, and Online Security. If you’re new to the subject, this is a wonderful place to jump into the conversation.
- Lessons for Teaching Digital Citizenship From Cable Impacts: InCtrl is a series of lessons for students in grades 4-8 designed to introduce digital-citizenship concepts. Topics covered include media literacy, copyright laws, and privacy. Teachers can browse lessons by subject and topic, and each lesson includes plans and materials.
- Resources for Teaching Digital Literacy From Digizen: Digizen is a repository of useful and engaging resources to teach students of all ages about becoming upstanding digital citizens. Produced by the U.K.-based child safety nonprofit ChildNet International, Digizen features videos, lesson plans, and games, and there are different sections for parents, students, and teachers.
- Digital Citizenship Videos From Teaching Channel: This Teaching Channel playlist of 30 videos, developed in cooperation with Common Sense Media, highlights ways classroom teachers are introducing digital citizenship concepts to students. There are resources here for every grade, and each video provides a lesson plan, as well.
Common Sense Education https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/digitalcitizenshipweek
More Resources From Edutopia
- Social Media at School: Teaching Safety on the Virtual Playground, by Mary Beth Hertz (2015)
- Digital Citizenship: Resource Roundup, by Edutopia Staff (2014)
- What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship, by Vicki Davis (2014)
- 4 Ways to Tap Into Teens and Technology Leadership, by Matt Levinson (2014)
- A Starting Point for Ensuring Student Online Privacy, by Anne O’Brien (2014)
- The Path to Digital Citizenship, by Andrew Marcinek (2013)
- Ideas for Digital Citizenship PBL Projects, by Andrew Miller (2013)