It is important to teach students how to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world. "Building a culture of positive digital citizenship in your school is not just a goal, it is a journey," writes Susan Bearden, author of Digital Citizenship: A Community-Based Approach. The Office of eLearning response to this assertion is that you are not alone on the journey. We provide a path to guide educators and schools as they implement a comprehensive digital citizenship education program for their students.
In support of this work, we have partnered with Common Sense Education, a national non-profit organization that helps families and educators teach kids how to be safe and smart in today’s media-driven world. With so many digital citizenship resources to select from, why are we promoting Common Sense Education?
Deliver Digital Citizenship Lessons
Common Sense Education organization offers free, research-based K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum with lessons plans for you to teach students how to:
- Manage their online information and keep it secure.
- Protect their own online privacy while respecting others'.
- Explore, examine, and protect their online reputations.
- Reflect on their responsibilities and rights as creators online.
- Identify, find, evaluate, and use information effectively.
- Deal with a cyberbullying situation appropriately.
- Stay safe online through positive connections.
The comprehensive digital citizenship lessons are aligned to the ISTE Standards for Students, include resources to share with families, can be delivered offline or in a blended format, and provide the option for student assessments. We will be aligning the K-8 lessons to the new Indiana Computer Science Standards as well. Additionally, Common Sense Media has invested in designing professional development resources to support educators with the implementation of the materials.
Your School or District Can Earn Recognition
Common Sense Education offers the ability for educators, schools, and districts that are harnessing the potential of technology for learning to be recognized in their new program. The Office of eLearning emphasizes the importance of a systemic, community-wide approach to digital citizenship education as part of teaching and learning in schools today. We believe that it is important for school districts to demonstrate their commitment to educate faculty and students on what it means to be a responsible digital citizen. The Common Sense Education Recognition Program signifies that districts have engaged not only in providing instruction using a comprehensive, research-based curriculum but that stakeholders have been engaged at every level from administration to families.
Meet CIPA Requirements
Common Sense Education offers CIPA Toolkits for Administrators and Teachers. What is CIPA? The Children’s Internet Protection Act is a federal law enacted by Congress to address concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers. CIPA imposes certain types of requirements on any school or library that receives funding for Internet access or internal connections from the E-rate program. Since July 2012, schools subject to CIPA are required by the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, to 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.
The Office of eLearning suggested lessons for Indiana’s Digital Citizenship Week also provide suitable selections to meet the CIPA requirement for the school year.
Indiana Digital Citizenship Week
The Indiana Department of Education celebrates Indiana Digital Citizenship Week the first full week in September following Labor Day and encourages schools and communities to take part. Visit Indiana Digital Citizenship Week for prepared resources or plan your own events.