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Help students do good and avoid the bad during digital citizenship week

Help students do good – and avoid the bad – during Digital Citizenship Week


October 14-18, 2019 marks Digital Citizenship Week in the United States, a week during which schools and organizations across the country participate in events and activities to raise awareness about the importance of responsible use of technology. It’s the perfect time for conversations with students about the role technology plays in our everyday lives – including how to avoid potential dangers associated with the use of that technology, and how they can use it in positive ways.

First, it’s important for students to understand what it means to be a good digital citizen. According to Common Sense Media, the term “digital citizenship” refers to how we think and behave online. This includes:

  • Thinking critically about online information and not trusting everything we see
  • Online safety, including being careful about what information we share and who we connect with online
  • Acting responsibly in how we communicate and behave online

5 school activities this Digital Citizenship Week

Students’ use of technology in schools is growing every day which puts teachers in the perfect position to promote digital citizenship. As Common Sense Media puts it: “digital citizens aren’t born—they’re taught by teachers like you!” This can be as simple as teaching students about the balance between screen time and other activities, or delving into some of the more complex issues of cyberbullying and the long-lasting ramifications of one’s digital footprint.

Looking for some ideas? Try these:

MONDAY: Take advantage of free curriculum. Common Sense Media, as one example, offers free activities in the form of short videos that can help teachers incorporate digital citizenship activities into the elementary, middle school and high school classroom.

TUESDAY: Hold classroom discussions about what it means to be a good digital citizen. For example, discuss online etiquette, the dangers of cyberbullying and sexting, and the impact students’ online activity can have on their ability to get into college or get a job.

WEDNESDAY: Create an activity to teach media literacy. For example, pick an article and have students decide whether it is credible. Discuss the prevalence of misinformation online and walk students through how to tell if an article is credible before they share it on social media.

THURSDAY: Teach students how to use the internet to do good. Offer a project in which students create a social media campaign for a good cause so they can practice online etiquette and learn how to harness the power of the internet and social media to promote positive change.

FRIDAY: Discuss what a ‘digital footprint’ means. Get your students to write down a list of all the websites they’ve accessed, videos they’ve watched or searches they’ve posted into Google for the past 7 days. Discuss these findings and talk about how digital footprints can affect their reputation not only now but in the future.

How does Impero support digital citizenship?

Impero Education Pro provides keyword detection and real-time monitoring of students’ activity while they are using devices on the school network. Schools and districts have full visibility of what students are accessing online, while also capturing any keywords or phrases associated with concerns such as cyberbullying. Impero helps schools detect potential safety concerns and provides insight that can inform classroom conversations and help teachers support digital citizenship. Learn more about Impero Education Pro by booking a demonstration here.

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