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Digital Citizenship Initiative

--Supporting the Needs of 21 Century Learners in our Schools-Dear Parents, In an effort to develop our curriculum to better serve the needs of our students, we are launching a new initiative to teach all of our students Digital Citizenship this upcoming school year. The topics will be introduced by the media specialist but will be integrated into the content classes as well for simulations and practice. Please review the following action plan so that you will be able to discuss these concepts with your child. It is by working together that we will find success in this initiative! Digital Citizenship: A “Working Definition” Perhaps it is best to begin by looking at a definition for digital citizenship. Ann Collier, editor of Net Family states that digital citizenship is “critical thinking and ethical choices about the content and impact on oneself, others, and one's community of what one sees, says, and produces with media, devices, and technologies." These skills are fundamental for children in our schools but these skills must be explicitly taught. Currently, we teach all students an anti cyber-bullying course. However, as our use of the internet increases, so do the challenges related to internet use. Our code of conduct includes online etiquette and behaviors but our school curriculum has never covered these important issues and topics. Therefore, it is our intent to provide a Digital Citizenship course curriculum that all students will take. This curriculum will challenge students to look at current online practices and will ask students to analyze and discuss ways in which we can all be leaders towards a more respectful future for online behavior. Our goal is that ALL students will have the skills to successfully and safely navigate ethical situations with the internet. Before reading further, please view the following video from Edutopia: “ Common Sense Tips for Digital Generation Parents”. We are basing our curriculum off of the research and findings of Dr. Mike Ribble, PhD, an educator from Kansas State University. Dr. Ribble identifies Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship. We will focus on the following five principles for our curriculum:      Digital Literacy: process of teaching and learning about technology Digital Etiquette: electronic standards of conduct or procedure Digital Law: electronic responsibility for actions and deeds Digital Health and Wellness: physical and psychological well-being in the digital world Digital Security: precautions to guarantee safety—especially concerning the sharing of information with social media

We are structuring our curriculum around Dr. Ribble’s concept of REPs: Respect, Educate, and Protect. Your student will study the themes listed above in detail throughout three distinct Units of Study using simulations and practical applications for ethical situations. Please visit the following links to preview some content for each unit.  Unit 1: Respect Yourself/ Respect Others: Etiquette, Law o Netiquette video o Post-ing Etiquette discussion boards, emails, etc. o Copyrights and Wrongs: Lesson Unit 2: Educate Yourself/ Connect with Others: Literacy o Digital Life 102: Online Literacy Lesson o digi teen Unit 3: Protect Yourself/ Protect Others: Health and Wellness, Security o Discussion about Life Online o Cyber-bullying video o Responding to cyber-bullying flowchart o Lessons from the Heart Michael Pritchard o Peace Helpers Conflict resolution o Private Today, Public Tomorrow: Lesson
Ribble, M. (2013) Digital Citizenship: Using Technology Appropriately. Retrieved from