Guiding students down a path to becoming responsible digital citizens is no longer the responsibility of the school counselor, librarian, or local school safety officer. It is the responsibility of every teacher. As classrooms become increasingly digital, students must learn to sift through the volumes of information on the Internet and separate helpful information from Internet “noise” in a safe and productive manner. While we may be experts in our respective content areas, sometimes teaching Internet safety and digital citizenship can take us out of our comfort zone.
Fortunately, there is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to creating an effective digital citizenship lesson plan. On Edmodo, teachers and administrators can join the Common Sense Media community to access a fantastic, free, and ready-to-go digital citizenship curriculum that includes a unit on Internet Safety. The curricula also includes facilitator guides to make sure teachers are prepared to guide students towards becoming digital citizens.
Common Sense Education provides free research-based digital resources that include interactive games for students to build and practice their Internet safety and digital citizenship skills. Here is an idea on how to use Edmodo to teach and reward progress on digital citizenship:
- Create an assignment using lessons from Common Sense Education.
- Grades 3-5: Check out the Digital Passport game which helps young students develop skills in digital safety, respect, and community.
- Grades 6-9: Try the brand new Digital Compass interactive, choose-your-own-adventure saga.
- Ages 13 and up: Enjoy the Digital Bytes interactive lessons that help students make difficult decisions in real world dilemmas.
- Award a badge to your students for successfully completing the digital citizenship lesson/activity.
- Send a note to your students to discuss a real-world Internet safety scenario. Empower students by asking them to share and comment on how they stay safe when surfing.
- Ask your students to teach their parents what they learned about Internet safety and digital citizenship. Encourage your students to share their experiences with the class!
Edmodo provides a teacher-moderated, safe experience for students. It is in this environment where students can grow and explore on their path to becoming digital citizens. Celebrate Internet Safety Month by empowering your students with the skills they need to safely unlock the power of connectedness!
How do you teach Internet Safety in your classrooms? Share in the comments below!