Internet safety, online privacy, cyberbullying, media balance, online relationships, news and media literacy—digital citizenship topics tackle big questions. It can feel daunting to integrate lessons on these weighty topics into your already-packed classroom agendas. But does it have to be such a heavy lift?
It’s true: Educators who can teach digital citizenship as a standalone unit can really dive deep into the dilemmas students face online. But digital citizenship can also simply be part of your classroom culture.
It can be baked into your daily routines, messages home to families, informal conversations in the halls, and more. Set a goal for yourself that feels achievable—big or small. Here are a few ideas to get started:
1. Embrace teachable dig cit moments.
We’ve all encountered a situation in the classroom that required spontaneous, unplanned digital citizenship instruction: viral rumors blowing up students’ social media feeds, drama or misunderstandings in an online discussion, or an instance of oversharing online that you happen to witness. No matter what content area you teach, don’t shy away from addressing teachable moments related to digital citizenship when they arise. A little bit of guidance can go a long way in helping students think through the digital dilemmas they face.