Learning Module Four

Digital Citizenship

Step One

Read the Lesson

So much of our human engagement takes place in digital form and so much of our identity is immortalized via our digital footprint. Therefore, students must be prepared for the responsibility of communicating and representing themselves, their school, and someday their employer in an increasingly connected and tech-driven world. Indeed, digital citizenship (sometimes called dig cit) is one of the most important skills for both the current and future social and professional environments. Because it is technically a collection of critical skills, we gave digital citizenship its own pillar as an extension of Skill Building with the Class Intercom Pedagogy Pillars.

Important at All Levels

With so much focus on students’ need for digital citizenship skills, it’s easy to forget that faculty and staff often need to be explicitly educated on these skills, too. Although the youngest generation of educators may have received some training in online safety, the majority of our workforce has learned these skills on the fly, if at all! The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Education Leaders recommend that “educators inspire students to positively contribute to and responsibly participate in the digital world.” Specifically, educators should “mentor students in safe, legal, and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property” (3c). And so, if educators in your school are going to mentor students in these skills, they should be given some level of formal, front-loaded training in digital citizenship.
Similarly, as you begin to involve students in the content creation process, be sure there is a plan in place to ensure a foundational knowledge of digital citizenship principles. For students who have already completed formal instruction through district curriculum, a brief refresher is recommended. If your school does not offer formal training, refer to the article below for a number of ISTE-recommended resources.

Experiential Learning in a Safe Format

As with the myriad skills covered in Pillar 3, the best way to practice and master the principles of digital citizenship is through hands-on experience. Class Intercom allows for real-time, hands-on digital citizenship training for all participants. In the webinar with Midland ISD, Robert Pryor notes that his teachers are not trained social media experts and may not always know exactly what they are and are not allowed to post. But with Class Intercom’s moderation function, they can submit their content for filtering and feedback from trained moderators. For both students and teachers using Class Intercom, this feedback loop allows them to learn and improve in a safe, low-risk environment with each piece of content they submit.

Step Two

Explore Additional Resources

Dive deeper on this module’s materials by exploring the additional resources below. 

Report Shows Schools Tackling Social Media Issues by Allowing Students to Create Their Social Content

(Blog; 2 minutes)
A look at unique issues facing schools and how social media programs are flipping the script.

Organizing your District-Wide Social Media

Webinar; 30 minutes
A webinar outlining broader-scale implementations for district-level PR professionals and administrators.

ISTE: The Five Competencies of Digital Citizenship

Article; 2 minutes
A published piece from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) outlining the component parts of digital citizenship.

5 Awesome Resources for Learning about Digital Citizenship

Article; 3 minutes
A published piece from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) recommending additional resources for digital citizenship.

School Law Expert Talks Rogue Social Media Accounts, Supporting Staff, Official Policies & More

Article; 4 minutes

We sat down with KSB School Law’s Bobby Truhe—experienced attorney and school law expert—for answers to some of our most pressing questions

The Urgency of Digital Citizenship in the Time of Social Media, AI, & Evolving Technology

Article; 2 minutes

At the same time, they are tasked with providing the resources, information, and tools students and staff need to engage online safely and responsibly.

School Law Attorney Shares Insights on the Legal Importance of Digital Citizenship

Article; 3 minutes

Social media is everywhere, and schools must reckon with the impact it has on students, parents, schools, and communities–both good and bad. On the legal side, there exist some serious risks and challenges. We connected with school law expert and attorney Karen Haase of KSB School Law for answers to some complex questions about the legal side of digital citizenship.

Step Three

Reflection Questions

Use these self-guided reflection questions to consider the preceding material in the context of your school or district’s current or planned school social media program. Considering these questions in the context of this learning module will also prepare you for the final capstone project.

1

What (if any) digital citizenship training is being offered to faculty and staff at your school/district?

  • If any digital citizenship training is being offered to students at your school/district, share data or anecdotes you’ve collected on the impact this has had on your students.
  • What specific changes or improvements have you observed?
  • What areas are lacking?
2

What is the correlation between online infractions, behavior incidents related to social media, etc. and formal training in digital citizenship?

3

List at least two specific ways you can use Class Intercom to cultivate stronger digital citizenship skills in your content creators.

  • What steps would you need to take to implement these practices?
  • What barriers or obstacles (if any) might be preventing you from implementing these action steps?

Share & Inspire

What recommendations would you have for someone interested in implementing or evolving their school or district’s approach to digital citizenship? Share your top three tips for instilling digital citizenship in the classroom and beyond in your cohort’s Facebook group.

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