EDTC6433: Preparing Students for a Digital World

Standard 4: Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices.

My triggering question is: How can I teach students digital citizenship and safety so students are prepared to use the internet appropriately throughout their education? My question addresses Standard 4 because it addresses ways teachers can advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology. According to Ribble (2012), “Starting at a young age, educational leaders need to begin making parallels for students between being good to each other in the classroom and in the digital world” (p. 139). Students need to also follow online rules and protect themselves and their information (Ribble & Miller, 2013).

My research led me to the resource Digital Passport. This resource is appropriate for grades 3-5 and provides online lessons, collaborative activities, games, and videos. Badges serve as incentives for students to meet learning goals and receive a digital passport. Students learn about topics related to digital citizenship, which include: communication, privacy, cyberbullying, searching online, copyright, and plagiarism. My classmate, Andrea N., shared the article, “10 ways schools are teaching internet safety” (Stansbury, 2011).  One idea is to use the printable curriculum by Common Sense Media (2014). The curriculum is “designed to empower students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world (para. 1)”. You can search the curriculum by grade level so the topics are appropriate for each age level. The third grade lessons include: talking safely online, solving digital citizenship problems, privacy rules, cyberbullying, and stereotypes. Students can participate in games to learn about digital safety such as scavenger hunts from USA-SOS. Students can also use role-playing to learn about digital citizenship. Students  look at different websites to determine which websites are authentic by comparing information to non-fiction resources. My classmate, Darryl S. led me to the resource, NetSmartzKids (2001-2014). Songs, interactive games, videos, and e-books teach kids about internet safety and digital etiquette. My classmate, Audrey M., shared a blog, “ask a tech teacher” (Murray, 2012). Murray (2012) recommends the programs, Digital Passport, CarnergieCyberAcademy and NetSmartzKids, and also provides a scope and sequence for teaching students how to be good digital citizens.

Although my third grade students may have limited access to the internet or online programs, they will need the skills to navigate the digital world throughout their education. There will be multiple opportunities to use the internet for education and social media.  According to Lindsay & Davis (2010), we should begin educating students “as soon as they start using digital tools for communication, collaboration, and creation through connections offline or online” (p. 14). The resources available provide engaging ways to introduce students to digital citizenship so students are safe and use the internet appropriately.



(2014). Reviews & Age Ratings – Best Movies, Books, Apps, Games for Kids. Scope and Sequence | Common Sense Media. Retrieved March 2, 2014, from http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/scope-and-sequence

(2001-2014). NetSmartzKids. Retrieved March 2, 2014, from http://www.netsmartzkids.org/

Lindsay, J., & Davis, V. (2010). Navigate. Learning & Leading with Technology, . Retrieved , from https://bbweb-prod.spu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-920426-dt-content-rid-1636491_1/courses/EDTC6433_28657201342/Navigate%20the%20Digital%20Rapids.pdf

Murray, J. (2012). Ask a tech teacher. How to Teach Digital Citizenship in 2nd Grade. Retrieved March 2, 2014, from http://askatechteacher.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/how-to-teach-digital-citizenship-in-2nd-grade/

Ribble, M. Educational Leadership in an Online World: Connecting Students to Technology, Responsibly, Safely, and Ethically. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17(1). Retrieved , from https://bbweb-prod.spu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-920424-dt-content-rid-1637768_1/courses/EDTC6433_28657201342/C631F5EC-A504-431F-8386-E36EEDFB9978.pdf

Stansbury, M. (2011) 10 ways schools are teaching internet safety. ESchoolNews: Daily Tech News & Innovation. Retrieved March 2, 2014, from http://www.eschoolnews.com/2011/11/11/10-ways-schools-are-teaching-internet-safety/

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2 Responses to EDTC6433: Preparing Students for a Digital World

  1. Andrea Rose says:


    What a great wealth of resources! I appreciate how the resources you present span grade levels, media, and topics – from plagiarism to cyberbullying. Even if students have limited access to the Internet, they still have access – and any access is a chance to show what they’ve learned about digital citizenship and how their expectation of respect in the classroom translates to the web.

  2. Courtney:

    Providing quality instruction on digital citizenship and internet safety should be a priority for all teachers. The resource Digital Passport was of interest to me; it provides teacher training, lesson modules, and engaging activities for students. From my experience in elementary school, not enough time is spent on instruction students receive in digital citizenship and internet safety. To add consistency with grade level bands (3-5 grades) the use of the Digital Passport would be an effective tool for both teacher and student. If the opportunity arose, I would suggested it.

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