Written by CUE Member and Guest Blogger Stephen Politzer @swpolitzer
Digital Citizenship… While we usually hear about promoting appropriate online behavior and protecting against cyber-bullying, many topics can be thrown together under the Digital Citizenship catch-all umbrella.
CUE Education Partner, Common Sense Media (see below) identifies eight areas that are all important:
- Internet Safety
- Privacy & Security
- Relationships & Communication
- Digital Footprint & Reputation
- Self-image & Identity
- Information Literacy
- Creative Credit & Copyright
So, where do you go for digital citizenship resources, curriculum, videos, and games? And, how much is it going to cost?
Second question first. Quality resources, curriculum, and games will cost you and your district… wait for it… nothing! There are incredible – and credible – free resources ready and waiting for you right now. Now the first question, where can I find these resources? Well, here are some of the best in alphabetical order. BTW… Did I mention that all of these great resources are FREE?
Budd:e Cybersecurity Education – Secondary
This website from Australia focuses on creating a safer, more secure online environment for high school age students. Students learn to identify risky sites, viruses and malware, what information is deemed public, and what should remain private. They also learn about cyberbullying. In addition, Budd:e helps students differentiate between reputable sources of information and content that is unreliable.
Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media (CSM) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, providing trustworthy information and tools so that students can learn safe, responsible online behavior and families can have a choice and a voice about the media they consume. CSM includes a comprehensive K-12 Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum to empower students to be safe, responsible, and savvy in their fast-paced digital world. You’ll also find informative movie, video and game reviews. Look at the advice videos for tips, advice, and solutions for problems kids face online and with digital media. Check out CSM’s 1-to-1 Essentials. Finally, CSM also offers credible research on children’s use of media and technology and the impact it has on their physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development.
The internet is a vast and exciting resource for information, education, and entertainment, but it also exposes children to potential dangers. Meet the Danger Rangers, a team of animated characters. With help from the Danger Rangers, students learn how to keep safe when they’re on the internet. The site includes games, music, videos, and activities.
Disney Safe Surfing
From England’s Disney Online, students join classic Disney characters for adventure, fun, and online awareness tips. The characters come to life in interactive fables that help students keep safe when surfing the net. Select “I am under 10” or “I am over 10” to begin.
This is a series of standards-based lessons that teach key digital citizenship concepts for students in grades 4-8. The lessons are designed to engage students through inquiry-based activities and collaborative and creative opportunities. You’ll also find downloadable lesson plans and videos.
Particularly interesting at NetSmartz are the animated videos where younger students learn about a variety of cyber topics, including spreading bad pictures online, bad netiquette, online safety, safety to and from school, online predators, password security, safe instant messaging, and more.
Another of NetSmartz sites, this one targets tweens and teens. Students will find videos, games, comics, and NS Teens’ bios. Topics addressed include cyberbullying, gaming, meeting offline, internet safety, and more.
At this .gov website, students get practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry. Sections include: TOPICS (Learn experts’ top safety tips for a LONG list of topics), GAMES (Test your cyber smarts with interactive quizzes), and VIDEOS (Watch videos about online safety).
Also from NetSmartz, this site for teens is more serious and presents real-life stories from teens who have experienced victimization firsthand. The videos are sometimes disturbing but will help teens learn to recognize risky behaviors, examine their online choices, and talk with trusted adults.
From AT&T, students learn and practice recognizing dangers on the Internet through a game set in the city of Safety Land. As students navigate from building to building in the city, they’re confronted with a series of scenarios and questions. If they respond correctly to each scenario, they capture the cybercriminal and send him to the Safety Land jail. Students who complete the game receive a certificate to print.
The Woogi Cyber Hero program is universally rated the best cybersafety resource in the United States. It’s designed for K-6. Woogi World uses the latest gaming and social networking technologies to teach children about cybersafety, cyberethics, cybersecurity, and cyberhealth.
Editor’s Note: Per the request of a CUE student, please note the additional resource below, added November 2017!
From Hotspot Shield, teens are provided helpful tips and links to resources that help them navigate the web securely and with confidence. This is also a fabulous collection of resources for parents of teens who want to better understand digital teen culture.
Stephen Politzer is the technology integration specialist at New Haven Unified School District, a Race-To-The-Top federal grant winner, as well as President of East Bay CUE. A frequent presenter at CUE Conferences, GAFE Summits, and other technology integration events, Mr. Politzer has published a number of books and articles promoting technology integration.