Curriculum includes 10 lessons for digital citizenship

ESSDACK, GoEnnounce launch digital citizenship curriculum

ESSDACK has collaborated with GoEnnounce to build an affordable digital citizenship curriculum for secondary students titled Your Digital Footprint.

The curriculum includes 10 lessons focusing on the importance of building a positive digital image for students to carry into their future. With 35 percent of college admission officers already visiting applicant’s social media pages as of 2014 according to Kaplan, and this predicted to rise to over 50 percent by 2017 according to Social Assurity, Digital Citizenship education, specifically surrounding digital footprint, needs to be key for college readiness.

ESSDACK is an education service center whose mission is to support the preparation of learners, directly or indirectly, for their future.

“Every post, like, comment and interaction we have online leaves a digital footprint. This footprint is permanent, searchable, and tied directly to our reputation. This can have either a positive or negative influence on college admissions, employment, and relationships,” explains Katie Perez, Education Consultant with ESSDACK. “It is important that we teach our students how to be good digital citizens to help prepare them for future success in the digital and non-digital world.”

GoEnnounce provides a platform for students to apply and practice the lessons taught in Your Digital Footprint. GoEnnounce is free to use, has safety filtering and human monitoring in place, has no private messaging and no advertisers, making it an ideal site for classrooms.

“We founded the site as a way for students to announce, track and share education details in a safe, social environment, which provides access to opportunities.” said Melissa Davis, CEO. “ If a fundamental objective for secondary education is to prepare students for college and employment, educators can no longer ignore addressing responsible online behavior at school. We were thrilled to partner with ESSDACK as they equally saw the importance of addressing digital footprints in the classroom. Understanding how to use social media as a positive tool is a goal of this curriculum.”

Your Digital Footprint was piloted in two districts representing students in 7th-12th grade. Fifty middle and high students participated in the pilot in courses including English Language Arts, Teen Leadership, and Business Essentials. Students scored an average of 50 percent on the pre-test and an average of 90 percent on the post-test, illustrating how prior to the course, students did not understand their digital footprint and the information they are putting online. Students also participated in a privacy survey. Seventy-two percent of students admitted to already having 1-6 social media accounts and 40 percent of students said they freely share identifiable information such as their address, birthday, social security number, photographs, and medical information online.

The 10 lessons, along with a pre and post test, are aligned to CCSS ELA Anchor Standards & ISTE Standards. The curriculum educates students on digital security, copyright, digital literacy, digital communication, and digital image. The 10 lessons can be arranged topically or by grade level. Instructional strategies are research based and lessons include opportunities for students to critically read texts, respond to texts, and participate in group activities and discussions.

“This curriculum really helps students understand the importance of what they post online. Their digital footprint follows them, and these lessons help them learn how to be appropriate online,” said Taylor Gould, a middle school teen leadership teacher.

ESSDACK and GoEnnounce are hoping that Your Digital Footprint will start students down the right path as they build their reputations on and offline. More information about Your Digital Footprint is available at

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