Digital Citizenship at KIS

After attending this session teachers will be able to...

  1. Define Digital Citizenship.
  2. Understand the importance of Digital Citizenship within the KIS community and the connection to our ESLR on Exhibiting Citizenship.
  3. Utilize effective techniques and resources for preventing cyber bullying.
  4. Utilize resources to help students avoid violating copyright law.

Digital Citizenship: What it is and why you should care?
Digital Citizenship refers to several concepts that are all related: online safety, cyber bullying, responsible use, fair use, and netiquette. Digital Citizenship is an important concept in the modern age; as more and more information and communication become Internet based, the skills are necessary to be a capable and productive member of society. The basics are communicating with people via digital means in a polite manner, citing other people's work when using it, and protecting your information online. These ideas are tied directly to our ESLR of Exhibiting Citizenship and our Core Value of Global Citizenship.

The elementary school has been using the CyberSmart! curriculum, which provides a vertically aligned K-12 curriculum. Another great place to find resources on digital citizenship is Netsmartz.

Tips on Cyber Bullying
Cyber bullying is simply bullying that takes place online. The terrible part about cyber bullying is that unlike bullying, the victim doesn't have a place to escape to be free from the bullying. Normal bullies are only seen at school, but things posted online can be seen anytime the victim is online; plus, there is the added pain and humiliation of knowing that anyone online can see it. Part of being a good Digital Citizen is helping to stop cyber bullying when it happens.
Guidelines for preventing cyber bullying:

  1. Have discussions with students about bullying in general, but also about cyber bullying. Remember, it is not "just kids being kids," nor is it the victim's fault.
  2. Know the school's policies on bullying.
  3. If a student tells you they are being bullied, encourage them to collect evidence. They can take screen shots of the posts, pictures, or other digital content for documentation proposes. This will make stopping the bullying much easier.
  4. Encourage students to report incidents of bullying to parents, teachers, and administrators.

Avoid Violating Copyright Law
Clearly violating copyright law is something to avoid, but good Digital Citizenship focuses on the idea of properly citing sources and giving credit to people for the items they produce. The best way to ensure that it is not an issue for your students is to always insist on original content from your students -- photos, music, video -- all original. There is a simple guideline to follow with regard to video and audio -- one 10-second clip from a video or audio file with citation is allowed under the law. Photos are tricker, but for most student productions simply citing the source is enough to avoid breaking the law. The US government has recently liberalized many of the rules for educators and students, but best practice is still to encourage original content.

The Ed Tech team will be offering a training on more tools and tips for avoiding copyright violations. You can check out the session for more information until the session is offered again.

More Resources and Information:
Elementary, Middle School, and High School Levels of Common Sense Media
Lesson Plan Ideas
Find out what other educators are thinking about this topic.
Digital Citizenship Starter Kit from Common Sense Media and Edmodo