by Ashlen Fierros
Working at a youth site, I see how much time my students spend online. Teaching economics online, I have gotten a chance to interact with many of them in a online setting as well and while I was impressed with their willingness to try something new, I immediately recognized that they needed help being “online students”. I honestly didn’t know what that would like look as far as lessons went.
It wasn’t until I took a class with Dr. Tim Green at California State University, Fullerton that I realized my students were missing the fundamentals of how to be a digital citizen. Up until that point, I had no idea that was even an official thing. It was such a light bulb moment for me and I immediately started making notes of the lessons I wanted to do with my own class.
That is how I eventually came to create a unit on digital citizenship and information literacy. The idea behind this is that we should be teaching students how to conduct themselves online; What information should be sensitive, how we can protect ourselves online, and why we should consider the digital “tattoo” we leave behind. The unit I created touches on all of these things, as well as why it is important to be able to recognize credible sources. This is really just the tip of the iceberg though. There is so much more information out there that teaches these concepts and so many websites with ready to use lessons!
If this is a course that you think your students could benefit from, I encourage you to use this as a starting point and do you own digging as well! This could easily be a larger lesson taught over a few weeks or something small taught in a day or two, depending on how in depth the teacher would like to go. Not only is it valuable, real world information for our students but it is also pretty interesting and usually a lot of fun to cover in class!
To view the unit, click here.
more digital citizenship resources
CYBER WISE DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP HUB
COMMON SENSE DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP
CENTER FOR MEDIA LITERACY
Curriculum Development Team