Students in our classrooms today are digital natives — meaning that they have grown up in a world with technology — this often leads to some misconceptions. One major misconception is that because they have grown up with technology, they know how to use it responsibly. We all know this isn’t always the case, so teachers must find creative ways to engage their students and teach them how to be safe and responsible online.
Digital citizenship is about using the Internet and other technology safely and responsibly. The idea is that as computers and technology advance, it will become easier to make mistakes that may have serious consequences. Hence, we need to teach children how to use technology well when they’re young.
As you work digital citizenship lessons into your curriculum, consider framing them in the context of their analog equivalents to make them relevant and relatable to students: knowing right from wrong, understanding consequences, never talking to strangers, always playing fair, and choosing your friends wisely.
In this article, we will explore creative ways to teach digital citizenship in the classroom, such as through games and simulations, so that students can learn about Internet safety and cyberbullying prevention.
1. Internet Safety Quiz
Do your students know the dos and don’ts of Internet safety? Create a fun Internet safety game to test their knowledge and bust myths.
2. Host a Digital Citizenship Day at your school
Part of navigating our online world is ensuring that your students practice safe behaviors every time they use the Internet. So get students to showcase Internet safety by acting out scripted scenarios, creating sketches, and even introducing them to signing a digital citizenship pledge that will keep them safe when using the Internet.
3. Creative Writing Digital Citizenship Activity
Have your students write digital citizenship-themed books geared to younger students, such as picture books and graphic novels. Encourage blogging which is a great way to groom future authors and publishers!
4. Show Children How to Write Online
We can’t always use tone or body language online, and it’s easy for others to misinterpret what we say. Teach your students to use grammar and punctuation online to limit miscommunication. Then, explain to them why serious conversations are best had in person.
5. Anti-bullying Activity
A great way to encourage kindness in the classroom is to start a ‘kindness chain.’ Explain what kindness means, provide examples of ways your students can show kindness to their classmates, and challenge them to find ways to incorporate kindness into their daily routine. Each time you catch a student doing something kind, ask them to write it on a piece of paper with their name and add it to your ‘kindness chain.’
There are many ways to teach digital citizenship in the classroom. You can use the five methods listed above as inspiration to devise a creative way that best suits your needs and teaching style. Don’t forget that you can only teach what you know, so make sure your Internet safety skills are up-to-date skills with Kitso!
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- Introduction To Your Online Presence
- Protecting Your Privacy
- Navigating False Information
- Building Your Online Community
- Digital Tools For The Classroom
- Using Digital Tools To Make A Difference
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