Digital Citizenship: Responsibility in the Age of Technology

Edtech webinar DEC 2022

Hello Teachers!

We live in an age where digital use and learning is at an all time high. We believe it’s important to understand and teach students how to responsibly, safely and thoughtfully use technology.

This month’s webinar addresses:

  • Defining Digital Citizenship
  • Why Digital Citizenship is Important
  • Examples of Digital Citizenship
  • Teaching Digital Citizenship in the Classroom
  • Identifying & Protecting from Unsafe Websites
  • Citing Your Sources Correctly
  • Download Webinar Slide Deck


Read the transcript below:

Agustina Bosio:

Hello teachers. My name’s Agustina Bosio and I am a former teacher and now our relationship manager with Ed Tech Solutions. Welcome to our next webinar, Digital Citizenship. We live in an age of technology and we at Ed Tech believe it is important to be as mindful as possible when using it. I’m joined today by two other former teachers, Jessica Brush and Angel Moore, who you’ve known from past webinars. Thank you for joining me. I do want to add that during this presentation we will have our cameras off just to minimize distractions so we can get started. Our topic for today is digital citizenship, responsibility in the age of technology. Today’s overview is defining digital citizenship and why it’s important, giving examples of digital citizenship, teaching digital citizenship in your classroom, identifying and protecting from unsafe websites, and digital citizenship, your platform and Shelfit, and citing your sources correctly.

What is Digital Citizenship?

Jessica Brush:

So what is digital citizenship? Digital citizenship refers to responsible use of technology by anyone using the internet and digital devices. So when it says responsible use of technology, this can mean that you are using it safely, thoughtfully, and kindly. Most people are connecting with one another through internet these days, so an example of a student or person showing good digital citizenship is someone who can respectfully connect, empathize, and create lasting and meaningful relationships with others through digital tools and devices. Why is digital citizenship important? The rate of technology advancements and use is rapidly increasing, making it important to be aware of what it means to be a respectful digital citizen. This way we can avoid any kinds of possible conflicts with students or anyone who is using technology. As educators, it is important to instill these responsibilities and respect into students as much as possible and as early as possible that way a student’s technology and internet’s use can be nothing but beneficial for their studies and their social interactions.

What Does Digital Citizenship Look Like?

So the next few bullet points are just some examples of what digital citizenship can look like, and there are many more than just these. For example, it can mean protecting your privacy and the privacy of others at all times. Thinking before you post or share. Many students these days have many social platforms and making sure to avoid any kind of conflict within these social platforms can mean making sure to be careful what they’re sharing or what they’re posting, and also keeping your safety in mind. Citing your sources, making sure that when students are doing projects or essays to cite where they got that information. Being kind to others on social medias and forums, reporting dangerous digital behavior, fact checking information to make sure what you have put is correct, and being aware of unsafe websites. And there actually will be some slides of how to be aware of those unsafe websites later in the presentation.

How to Help Students Evaluate Their Digital Usage

Angel Moore:

It’s important that students are able to evaluate their current digital usage and to be able to just make sure that they have a safe balance and are mindful of their usage that they have. So for these students, they can ask themselves these questions. Simply, what is my current online presence? They should be aware of the platforms that they’re on and what type of self that they’re presenting to others. They should also evaluate how are they active online or how active they are online. And that is going back to the safe balance between social interaction in person, even just being able to be at home and being by yourself as well as being on your platforms and making sure that that is a good balance.

Students definitely need to evaluate the types of information that they are sharing publicly. It’s not safe to share your age, your school, your address, even your full name. That is something that I would tell students, if you’re creating a username, don’t create it with your full name, don’t post your last name. Or if you are an athlete and you have pictures of you at sporting events or whatever that is, just try to cut out either your school’s logo, your last name from the back of your uniform, anything like that. Just because we don’t want to make it… Obviously you’re not trying to hide what you’re doing from anybody, but we don’t want to make it easy for people to track down information about you.

You’ll want to, as a student, evaluate what you are presenting to others from an outside perspective and doesn’t always get perceived the way that we intended it to be. So if you’re posting anything online, even if you have good intent, try to look at it from how somebody else might see it and if you think that there might be any question, it might be better just to not post it at all. And then going back to that balance, do I have a healthy balance between my digital and real world experiences?

Teaching Digital Citizenship in the Classroom

Agustina Bosio:

So there are a few ways to teach digital citizenship in the classroom. The first one is always you can hold a classroom discussion about what technology students normally use. So high school students, they’re normally on devices in the classroom for educational purposes, but even outside of the classroom, they’re probably on their phone for a large part of either their morning or their night around school hours. Determine which areas you would actually like to focus on. So during those discussions, centering that around, do you want to talk to your students about social media? Do you want to talk to them about just how technology is used in the classroom and how it should be used? Do you want to focus on correct citations and what that means and what that looks like? Or just the actual technology use themselves, so the actual platforms that you can use and devices that you can use.

You can also set up lessons or short class discussions centered around, and these are just some ideas, so confirmation bias, what they look up online or on their phones or wherever, making sure that it’s objective and it’s not something that they’re Googling just because they already believe it to be true. Researching source credibility, so when they do Google something, making sure that the source they’re getting their information from is actually a reputable source. Citing sources appropriately, giving credit where credit is due. Responsible online forum participation. So I know we now use, after the last few years, a lot of classrooms have turned to online discussions as a form of participation and sharing with students what that means and how they can effectively, efficiently, and kindly participate online without it being just a big mess of students talking to students like it’s a chat.

And your digital footprint, so what Angel was talking about before with where you are online and what people can actually see about you if they do go online. These are three classroom activities that you can use and these are all linked here and they will be linked on our website. So the first is five questions students should ask about media. This one’s from Common Sense Education, and this is just a little piece of paper or a form online that gives students five questions that they can answer whenever they land on a page that they do want to use as research. So it asks them how legitimate is this source? Where are you finding this information? How can you use this information? Questions like that. And it really is five questions that they can use with every single website that they visit during a research assignment or essay or whatever it may be.

The second activity is Teen Voices. Who are you on social media? This is also from Common Sense Education, and it’s a video showing students that are reflecting on how they decided to represent themselves in the digital world and reflect on whether they represent the self that they’re aiming to be. So are you representing your sports self, your academic self, your social self, a combination of the three, or any other self that you may want to represent? The third assignment is In Control: Teaching Digital Citizenship. And this is from In Control. This is seven different lesson plans that all include videos, and it’s teaching students how to find actual reliable information online, how to examine their media habits, so what they do online and how often they do it and how long they do it for, and how to improve their communication skills. So this goes back to those forums that you use for participation in the classroom.

Identifying & Protecting from Unsafe Websites

Jessica Brush:

These next two slides are identifying and protecting from unsafe websites. So I said before, a part of being responsible as a digital citizen is knowing how to keep yourself or your device safe while using the internet. And there are some ways to identify if a website is unsafe and if you should be using it. For example, this first one, check that the URL starts with HTTPS. If it does not have the S at the end, then it is most likely not a secure site. This is something that is seen every now and then, and that is just a first way to know that you might not be on something that is a secure site, so you should probably leave immediately.

Next is to look for signs of legitimacy. Does the site have contact information or some kind of real world presence? Is it something that you can see is real and is not a fake website where you might find fraud or some other conflict? Next is check the URL for misspellings. Sometimes phishers, which are people who are committing some type of fraud, will make misspellings in the URL to make it trick you to believe that it is a real site.

A fourth way is to check for a website privacy policy to see how your data is being used, collected, and protected. So usually if you see the image on the side, it would be shown at the bottom some type of privacy policy that will tell you that it is a protected site and that you are on a secure safe site. Next is if there are a lot of popups, this could be an indicator that the site may be infected with viruses. So not only does being safe on the internet mean that you are yourself keeping yourself safe, but you want to make sure your device is staying safe and that you aren’t going to get some kind of virus that could hack into other things. And then that goes in correlation with making sure that your device and yourself is safe. And then lastly, look for a trust seal. And again, if you look on the image, you might see kind of a little star or something and this usually means that the site works with a security service provider. Again, making sure that it is a safe and secure site.

Best Practices: Using & Citing Images

Angel Moore:

So I do have some examples of sites that you can use to pull images off for presentations. It is always important to cite your work, and there are several open sources that do contain images that may be copyrighted but are allowed in educational presentations. So these are going to be the types of presentations that you as teachers will be using or even that the students will be using. One of those is Britannica ImageQuest. That actually contains images that are allowed in education, and it does have a built-in citation tool so once you have used the image, you would click on the citation tool and it would give you exactly what you needed to include for citation for that. The next is Ebsco Host Image Collection, and it is a good source for historical images, maps, things like that that you would be able to use for presentations about things that have happened.

It does not provide a citation, but it will give you a link that you can use so that way that page doesn’t change. So that’s called a permalink, and once you have gotten that link, then that page is one that will not change. It’ll include that exact same information every time that you click the link. Flickr is a collection of images that have been uploaded by users and they provide their copyright use disclaimer. So you should read through what allowances that copyright disclaimer gives you and make sure that you always provide credit to the image by providing the link with your citation. So you’ll have to create your own citation for that as well, but that image is important to have that citation.

Agustina Bosio:

So these are just some extra resources for any educational lesson plans or discussions that you want to have with your students. All three of us are former teachers, so we can definitely tell you that we love free and extra resources so that we do not have to think on the spot or take our own time to plan for everything. So these will be linked on our website . Thank you so much for participating in our training. If you would like to view any of our other trainings or subscribe to future trainings, you can always visit our website. You can also go to this website if you have any questions or any feedback on this training or any ideas you may have on any of our future trainings. Thank you so much for participating and we hope to see you in the future and we hope to hear your feedback.

Discover an All-in-One Digital Solution for Your Classroom books- Request a Demo

EdTech Solutions leverages education technology to improve learning by making it easy and simple for schools and students to manage and access individualized digital content on any device. EdTech’s cutting-edge approach to schoolwide ebook implementation and our innovative online platform and tools give school administrators and teachers the controls they need while providing students and parents with access to all their content on one easy-to-use platform with a single login, in most cases.

When you work with us, we create a personalized bookstore for your school where students can access and purchase their ebooks and textbooks We also help publishers make their content available digitally to students on our robust multi-publisher ebook reader platform. We strongly believe that knowledge and good education should be available to all, and we are committed to developing and providing the online learning tools and modern services that make it possible.E