Thursday, July 2, 2015

     Students as young as Kindergarten should be taught digital citizenship. By kindergarten, most students have had some experience with a digital device, whether it was a parent's Smart phone, a computer at home or the library, or another device such as an iPad.  At school, students as young as kindergarten have been exposed to the Internet and use passwords for assessments such as STAR Literacy and Lexia. It is important to start teaching digital citizenship at the primary level in order to establish a foundation that can be built upon as students mature. It is our responsibility to teach students to protect themselves online, just as they are taught to look both ways before crossing the street. 
     I decided to examine digital citizenship and see how it could be integrated into the curriculum at my PK-2 school.  In the Fall, students will have access to technology like never before. Between iPads in the kindergarten, and Chromebooks in first and second grade, our school will have transformed into a technology-rich environment.  I want to make sure that I am ready for it, and that classroom teachers are as well.  I recognized the fact that I will need assistance from classroom teachers, as I only have my K-2 students once every six day rotation.  So I thought I would create a very simple tutorial for classroom teachers identifying what digital citizenship is, and what we need to teach students at this level in order to make them good digital citizens.  I thought if I provided them with this, they could reinforce the skills I would be teaching in the library each time they used the computers with their students in the classroom. I knew I had to make my point short and sweet or else teachers wouldn't open it.
     I knew I already had an abundance of resources at my fingertips.  I used Common Sense Media, ( and Ask a Tech Teacher ( for my research. I will be using videos and other materials for teaching my own lessons to students from Net Smartz Brain Pop Jr 
     I decided that I would start with a very basic idea of digital citizenship. As the year progresses, I will integrate more digital citizenship into lessons as I do them.  For example, in my unit researching butterflies, students will learn about using images legally. They will choose their butterfly picture from a site where images are safe to use such as www.photosforclass.comhttp://www.pics4learning.comor even draw/edit a picture of their own. I really liked the idea of having students create their own pictures. It would be very easy for students to do with the butterfly project. They would just have to make sure the colors they use represent the butterfly they researched!
     I am anxious to start going through my lessons to incorporate digital citizenship wherever I can.  I'm embarrassed to say that I should have been doing more to teach it, even without a set of my computers in my library. I will be sure to start making the connection for students every time I use the SmartBoard in the library.



  1. I think the number 1 idea that I came away with is Digital Citizenship. I had never given it much thought. I didn't really think of citing sources like I should be doing. I have spoken about this topic to my principal and he said the same thing. I believe this is a topic that we all need to address.

  2. Great post! I have never thought about giving credit to images and finding out if I can legally use them. Thanks for posting the sites that we can use for images. We are in a similar situation where I teach in a PK-2 school on a 6 day rotation. It's very difficult to teach keyboarding skills or really anything where they need continuous practice. In my school, we have something called "Team Time" where the principal takes the kids, one grade level each day for a week, and the teachers work together on a common topic. As the Digital Learning Specialist I'm going to meet the the students and discuss Digital Citizenship with them as a whole group. Then we can continue the discussion in their computer classes.

  3. Well done. I like your collection of websites and your strategy for scaffolding learning year-to-year. Common Sense media has an older version of the Digital Citizens poster which is great for 5th and up.

  4. Laura,
    I've always been pretty good about talking to my students about giving credit and not "stealing" other people's work-just because its online doesn't mean you can use it or even that it's fact. However, I have to work on taking steps to have my students cite sources on their own. I did a little research and found this idea from the Big6 could work very nicely with my primary level students

  5. Dierdre,
    I like your idea about meeting as a group to introduce Digital Citizenship. It gave me the idea to meet with teachers as a group (maybe during PLC) to share my presentation and expectations.
    I've been very conscious about the images I use, whether it be for class, reading incentive programs, etc. When I first started in my current district, I found a really cute idea online. It was a flower shape and said something like read, learn, grow. I wanted to enlarge the flower, add it to a dowel, and stick it in a green sand pail with shredded paper to look like grass to display in the 3-6th grade library I worked in. I was very concerned about using the image without permission. I actually emailed the source to get permission! They emailed back and were thrilled I wanted to use it, and impressed that I had asked permission. It turns out they were located in Australia!

  6. Jacqui,
    I stopped by the Netsmartz booth in the exhibit hall at ISTE. I spoke in length with the representative who told me that I could request training via webinar, and all of the free materials that we have access to. He also gave me print copies of the ebooks.
    I also went to the CommonSenseMedia booth where I spoke with the vendor not only about the awesome, free Digital Citizenship materials, but also about Graphite which is a great resource for teachers. Using Graphite, teachers can find the best sites, apps, and games as well as ideas for integrating technology into lessons.