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Digital Citizenship : A Project-Based Activity


Your school notices an increase in discipline incidences related to technology.  Issues range from inappropriate uses of online communication tools to far more serious issues including plagiarism, hacking and  cyberbullying.  A small group dubbed the DigiCitizen Committee comprising of the Library Media Specialist, Principal, a teacher leader and psychologist/guidance counselor has been convened to address the issue.  The DigiCitizen Committee has been charged with developing a comprehensive action plan.

The steps that must be included in  the DigiCitizen Committee's action plan are:

  1. An audit/survey/assessment - students/teachers.
  2. Identification of Needs (based on given essential question)
  3. An instructional program for students.
  4. A professional learning program for teachers.
  5. A home-school communication program.
  6. Re-evaluate - review - revise.

The plan should address all the aspects of digital citizenship and include an instructional plan, professional development for teachers and a home-school communication plan.  The group will consult the ISTE book,  Digital Citizenship in Schools by Mike Ribble and Gerald Bailey for background and ideas.

Essential Questions:

What is digital citizenship and why is it important?
How do we assess the need for instruction of appropriate, responsible and ethical technology and information use? (Digital Literacy, Digital Security, Digital Responsibilities)
How do we close the digital divide? (Digital Access)
Should students be aware of how to purchase goods and services through digital formats? (Digital Commerce)
What are the rules and etiquette associated with communicating using digital technologies? (Digital Communication, Digital Etiquette)
What are the legal rights and restrictions governing technology use? (Digital Law)
How can students be physically affected by technology? (Digital Health & Wellness)


  1. Participants will define digital citizenship.
  2. Participants will reflect on specific issues relating to one of the nine elements of digital citizenship based on given scenarios.
  3. Assessment:
    • Students will complete an action plan addressing one of the elements of Digital Citizenship.
    • Students will use one of the Web 2.0 tools to create a presentation for the faculty members of their school to include the following:
      • Definiiton of digital citizenship.
      • Their essential question in the context of the nine elements (as described in Digital Citizenship in Schools).
      • Significance of the issue.
      • Recommended steps to include ideas for instructing students, PD for teachers, communication with home and other.

Resources/Tools Needed:

DigiCitizen Action Plan Form (Blank)

DigiCitizen Action Plan - Example

Summary of Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship

Acceptable Use Policy (example from Greenwich Public Schools)

Library Media and Technology Curriculum - Digital Citizenship Strand (from Greenwich Public Schools curriculum)

Cybersmart Curriculum

iSafe Program

Power to Learn - from Cablevision

Power to Learn - Scenarios/Lessons


  • There will be six groups - based on the essential questions:
    • Digital Literacy, Digital Security, Digital Responsibilities
    • Digital Access
    • Digital Commerce
    • Digital Communication, Dgiital Etiquette
    • Digital Law
    • Digital Health/Wellness
  • Based on an assigned Digital Literacy Question - the group will decide on steps to address issue and create a clear, short presentation using a favorite tool to present to the "faculty" members.
  • Using resources provided and presented including iSafe, Cybersmart, Power to Learn and any others, students will develop a curriculum plan to address their question.

Assessment of Learning:

  1. Presentation addresses digital citizenship, specific issue as it relates to their essential question, recommended steps.
  2. Creative use of a Web 2.0 or other  tool to support their presentation.

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