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Digital Citizenship in the Classroom: How to use Common Sense to Promote Healthy and Safe Digital Citizens

Hi guys! Today I wanted to share what I'm doing in my Media Arts class to help them become responsible digital citizens.


I have been using Common Sense Media's online curriculum. Have you heard of this? It's AMAZING. It has everything you would possibly want. They have a dedicated page for educators and you can download the PDFs for free. Um, yes please!!!



The lessons are aligned to Common Core ELA standards and the ISTE Technology standards. Every lesson comes with a family tip sheet and a student activity sheet as well as student assessment. They've thought of everything!

The kids loved it. They have learned so much about their digital footprint. I'm unbelievably impressed. These kids have been born into the digital world and most of them have had phones and iPads handed to them since before they could talk or walk. But oftentimes they haven't been given any information or instructions about protecting oneself in an online world.

We started with Common Sense Media's first lesson for middle school, Digital Life 101. The objectives as listed on the lesson plans are:

"Students will be able to ...
-learn about the 24/7, social nature of digital media.
-explore their digital lives.
-learn that it is important to act responsibly when carrying out relationships over digital media."

So, me being in love with all things digital, made this assignment virtual! We are very limited in our copies here because we are an environmental science school and trying to cut down on paper use. 

We started with the concept map: I just inserted circles in a Google Drawing to match the Common Sense worksheet. I pulled it up and pushed it out to all students. They added information together. 


I taught the lesson using Common Sense's lesson plan, but didn't make copies for the kids. Instead, I assigned the project in Google Classroom. The kids had to create a simile about their media life, titled My Media Life Is Like....

Again I gave them a Google Drawing and I typed directions on the side. 

I created a blank slideshow with each student's name on one slide. They had to save their simile, download it, and insert it into their slide. Then we had a slideshow presentation and got to hear everyone's similes. Absolutely perfect! 

There was no paper, no time spent collecting papers, and since it was all done virtually in Google it was automatically saved to their Drive and my Drive as the teacher. 
They "turned" in their drawings via Google Classroom. 
I can clearly see who has and who has not turned in a completed drawing. So simple.

We presented the slide show and I graded it right then and there via a Google Form. 

Teaching like a boss. 

You can check out their presentations HERE and HERE.

Thanks for reading!

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