Introduction to Digital Citizenship from Common Sense Media (For Teens)

Introduction to Digital Citizenship from Commonsense (Parents and Teachers' link)

Digital Citizenship Unit Resources for Teachers
More Digital Citizenship Unit Resources for Teachers...

Assessing All Things Digital for Teachers

Tips on Text Messing for Parents

5 Essential Facts of Digital Life

  • Kids are the creators. It’s all about participating; communicating; making music, images, and videos; and posting written content. And the content that’s there? As students, you must be able to know whether it’s credible or not.
  • Everything happens in front of a vast, invisible, and often anonymous audience.
  • Once something is out there, it lasts for a long time. Everything leaves a digital footprint.
  • Information cannot be controlled. Anything can be copied, changed, and shared instantly.
  • Distance and anonymity separate actions and consequences. Sometimes students think they can get away with unethical or unacceptable behavior because they don’t see immediate consequences.
    Why is this NOT TRUE?

Digital Citizenship Tips for Teens

Things to keep in mind with Technology... There are five simple rules of digital citizenship to help you create a world you can be proud of -- and inspire others to do the same.
Think before you post or text -- a bad reputation could be just a click away. Before you press the "send" button, imagine the last person in the world that you’d want seeing what you post.
What goes around comes around. If you want your privacy respected, respect others' privacy. Posting an embarrassing photo or forwarding a friend’s private text without asking can cause unintended hurt or damage to others.
Spread heart, not hurt. If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online. Stand up for those who are bullied or harassed, and let them know that you’re there for them.
Give and get credit. We’re all proud of what we create. Illegal downloading, digital cheating, and cutting and pasting other people’s stuff may be easy, but that doesn’t make it right. You have the responsibility to respect other people’s creative work -- and the right to have your own work respected.
Make this a world you want to live in. Spread the good stuff. Create, share, tag, comment, and contribute to the online world in positive ways.

Rules of the Road for Kids

1. Guard your privacy. What people know about you is up to you.
2. Protect your reputation. Self-reflect before you self-reveal. What’s funny or edgy today could cost you tomorrow.
3. Nothing is private online. Anything you say or do can be copied, pasted, and sent to gazillions of people without your permission.
4. Assume everyone is watching. There’s a huge, vast audience out there. If someone is your friend’s friend, they can see everything.
5. Apply the Golden Rule. If you don’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else.
6. Choose wisely. Not all content is appropriate. You know what we mean.
7. Don't hide. Using anonymity to cloak your actions doesn’t turn you into a trustworthy, responsible human being.
8. Think about what you see. Just because it’s online doesn’t make it true.
9. Be smart, be safe. Not everyone is who they say they are. But you know that.

Lesson 1 - What is a "Digital Life"?

Key Vocabulary
  • media: communication, including television, radio, and newspapers, that often reaches and impacts a large audience
  • digital media: electronic devices and media platforms such as computers, cell phones, digital video, social networking sites, the Internet, video games, and virtual worlds that allow users to create, communicate, and interact with one another or with the device or application itself
  • simile: a literary device for comparing two unlike things

Digital Life 101 - Double Click, Download and Print (unless your teacher did already for you)

Pre-Video: What are some differences between digital media and traditional media, such as TV and radio, and how digital media generally allow people opportunities for interactive communication — for creation and self-expression? Instant Messaging, for instance, is more “two-way,” because people are talking with one another. Media such as TV and radio are generally more “one-way,” because people generally do not interact with one another through these technologies. Innovations in digital media enable us to create, share, and communicate in addition to consuming media.

What are examples of things you do with one-way media, such as TVs or radios?

What are some of the ways that people communicate with or share with others over digital media?

Watch Video (10 minutes) 
Digital Life 101
You are going to watch a video about how digital media are a "24/7" part of our culture – that video game consoles and portable devices, such as cell phones, seem to surround us. However, the media lives of all kids and families are not the same. Some kids are allowed to use more digital media than others, and some kids like these tools more than others.
Watch the video “Digital Life 101.” The video touches on the different types of media and digital media that exist, the actions that people take with these technologies, and even specific programs and applications.

What are some things you learned from the video?
  • Digital media are a 24/7 part of our culture.
  • Digital media are social. They allow people to build friendships, join new communities, and provide amazing opportunities for creation and self-expression.

In your notebook, CREATE a concept map that contains the following headings: “Types” of digital media, “Actions” people take with digital media, “Your Feelings” about digital media, and “Your Parents’ Feelings” about digital media.
BRAINSTORM about all four parts of the concept map. List items that are both general (e.g., cell phones) and specific (e.g., playing World of Warcraft).


Create Similes (10 minutes)
DEFINE the Key Vocabulary term simile. What is a simile?
Complete the My Media Life Is Like … Student Handout in which you will create and illustrate a simile about your digital lives. When you are finished, you should share your similes.
Place your similes on your desks and rotate three to four times so they can see different people’s similes. What do you notice about your classmates’ similes, every time you rotate? 
Does everyone have the same level of interaction with media?

What are digital media? 
Digital media and technologies are electronic devices and media platforms such as computers, cell phones, digital video, social networking sites, the Internet, video games, and virtual worlds, which allow users to create, communicate and interact with one another or with the device or application themselves.
What are two important characteristics of digital media?
(1) They are a 24/7 part of our culture
(2) They are social – people communicate over digital media

Why might people feel differently about their digital lives?
Some people use digital media more than others. People like and dislike different things for different reasons.


Complete the Got Media Smarts? Student Handout – a quiz about basic media terms and concepts – along with a parent or another family member. Tell your family member that your class assignment is for you to go head-to-head against one another to test their knowledge about digital media. You can also quiz their family member on the terms and definitions listed on the Digital Life Glossary Student Handout.



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