This week is Digital Citizenship Week, and while I try to infuse my lessons with expectations about digital citizenship all year long, this week, I am especially focused on that concept.
The following websites contain tools that I have used successfully in an elementary school setting.
Netsmartzkids contains videos and activities that I have used successfully with students as young as first grade. I particularly enjoy the bright and engaging cartoon videos that teach how to be secure online, including topics like password choice and what to do if someone asks you something that seems unsafe. Clicky, the robot is always a hit with my young students, and the snappy songs he sings teach valuable lessons.
PBS has long been a trusted source of educational materials and the Webonauts game is no exception. I would recommend it for second grade and up, because reading is required, but the game is very visual and even struggling readers enjoy the bright graphics. The problems that are just challenging enough to make the quest enjoyable.
Common Sense Education has begun to monetize its flagship product, Digital Passport, but the free version still is a good product for upper elementary teachers who want to dig a little deeper into digital citizenship instruction. If you are willing to do the work of entering or uploading student rosters, Digital Passport lets you track your student’s progress with a percentage grade, as they play their way through a series of games that teach several different components of digital citizenship, such as appropriate cell phone use, what to share online and how to respond to cyberbullying. I use this product with all of my third grade students, as I feel it lays a good foundation for the online collaboration that is expected of them in upper elementary.
I hope you find one or more of these sites to be helpful in teaching your students to be better digital citizens. Whatever materials you use, please make sure that your students understand what it means to be a good citizen in the online world.