Edpuzzle Blog

Illustration by Edpuzzle Staff

If your school uses any type of educational technology (and these days, which school doesn’t), chances are you’ve heard the buzzwords, “digital citizenship.”

You might have discussed it in your latest PD, or overheard your admins talking about it in conjunction with CIPA compliance, but just what is it exactly and why is it so important for your students?

The free video lessons in our online Digital Citizenship certification course will answer all these questions and more for you and your students. Let’s dive in!

What is digital citizenship?

Digital citizenship encompasses all of your online behaviors, interactions and identity. As it’s virtually impossible for students to exist in today’s world without interacting with the internet, this is a vital concept that, as educators, is our duty to teach students.

Think about the values and morals that society instills about right and wrong – children grow up inherently knowing that lying, cheating and stealing are bad, and that sharing, helping and being kind are good.

This same moral code as applied to the online world needs to be taught until it’s something that’s internalized from a young age.

Why schools must teach digital citizenship

The answer to this question is, in short, because not to do it would be a huge disservice to your students.

To get into the technical side of things, educating students about digital citizenship is a legal requirement for CIPA, the Children’s Internet Protection Act that came into force in 2000.

Part of CIPA’s provisions state that “[schools] must provide for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response.”

That’s exactly where the Digital Citizenship certification course comes in. Use it as a way to get all your students on the same page, and ensure they all have the same building blocks for internet safety.

You’ll also comply with the standards set forth by ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education), which help schools successfully implement technology and digital learning.

So, are you ready to make your life a little easier?

The Digital Citizenship certification course for students

The course is comprised of video lessons that have been broken down into six different modules.

It’s categorized for high schoolers but also works perfectly for middle school, with plenty of video lessons you could easily adapt for elementary learners.

You can present the course to your students as is, or sign up for Edpuzzle so you can adapt, add to or delete video lessons as you see fit.

As it’s an online video course, you can easily flip your classroom and have the students watch at home and then discuss their thoughts in class.

Other options include watching together in class or having each student watch the video lessons in class on their own devices.

The possibilities are endless for you to tailor the course to each of your classes. (If you need more info about Edpuzzle, check out our article on how to get set up with Edpuzzle in just 10 minutes.)

So, without further ado, let’s check out the course contents and see some examples of the video lessons on digital citizenship!

Module 1: Digital Citizenship

This section starts with a great intro to present the concept of digital citizenship and then dives into topics like your digital footprint, the importance of thinking before you share, and respecting boundaries.

Here’s a little taste of the content with a video lesson on your digital footprint:

Remember, if you log into your Edpuzzle account, you can edit the questions or add your own, and see your students’ progress in the online gradebook!

Module 2: Safety & Privacy

This unit starts off with a video on “What is privacy?” that would be perfect for a tie-in with George Orwell’s 1984.

If you’re flipping your classroom, it’s also a great video lesson to have your students watch at home and then debate in class.

You’ll also find info on creating strong passwords (teachers, take note), copyright and fair use, plus how data snatchers work and how to prevent your online information from being stolen.

Module 3: Savvy Searching

Here you’ll find ultra useful information for your students on the fundamental topics of plagiarism, paraphrasing and citing your sources properly.

The videos in this module teach the keys of research that your students will need throughout their entire academic careers, including higher education.

What’s more, with the extent to which students use the internet to complete projects and assignments, this skill set is now more important than ever before.

A study commissioned by the National School Boards Association found that 96% of school districts reported that at least some of their teachers assign homework that students need to use the internet for.

Since it’s a given that your students will use the internet for their research, it’s our responsibility to teach students the rules of the road on the information highway.

As they say, with great power comes great responsibility!

Teach your students to cite their sources properly, avoid plagiarism, paraphrase without stealing ideas with these video lessons, and you’ll be saving your students a whole lot of trouble down the line.

Module 4: Digital Commerce

How often do you shop online? When was the last time you bought something on Amazon? Teaching the best practices of digital commerce is one of those real-world skills that your students absolutely need to know.

In these video lessons, your students will learn about the consequences of illegal downloading, what phishing scams are, and how to avoid being taken advantage of. You might even learn something yourself!

There’s no getting around the fact that your students will be spending a large chunk of the money they make in the future online, so this knowledge is essential to keeping them safe.

Module 5: Digital Health

If you’ve ever worried about your students getting too much screen time or doing permanent damage to their necks while looking down at their phones, this unit can help.

The first focuses on the proper posture to have while using your devices and technology:

It also tackles the issue of internet addiction. If any of your students identify with these behaviors, this will open a door to a larger conversation you’ll need to have with them about internet addiction and how to get help.

Module 6: Social Media

It’s impossible to talk about digital citizenship with 21st-century students without talking about social media.

According to a 2018 survey from Statista, 16% of teenagers ages 13-17 use social media constantly, 27% use it hourly and 30% of teens use it at least daily.

It’s critical to educate students about reality versus what they see on Instagram, how to keep yourself safe online by not oversharing, and what to do if you’re a victim of cyberbullying or digital harassment.

Your students may not use social media as part of the school’s curriculum, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the school’s responsibility to help keep students safe for the huge chunk of time they spend using social networks.

How to use the Digital Citizenship video lessons

Once your students have watched the videos and answered the questions, make sure you take some time to discuss these issues together.

If you’re flipping your class and having your students watch at home, you could also suggest that they go through the online certification course together with their parents.

Once they’ve finished, they’ll be able to download a certificate of completion as well as a Digital Citizenship badge. You can turn in the certificates to your admin as proof of CIPA compliance.

Remember, the beauty of this course is that it’s totally customizable. You can present it to your students as is, or copy it to your content on Edpuzzle and edit the questions and reorder the videos as you see fit.

The bottom line is – your students will be safer digital citizens after taking it!

Check out the free Digital Citizenship course