Digital Citizenship Week is almost here, which means it’s the perfect time to introduce and encourage safe online practices in your classroom! Digital citizenship skills are vital, not only for students’ academic and career success, but for their emotional and physical wellbeing as well. The digital citizenship skills they develop now will carry them through their school years, and will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
With this in mind, we’ve gathered some activities perfect for supporting your students, and giving them the tools they need to safely navigate our digital world. Read on to discover how you can foster these integral digital citizenship skills in your students with Buncee!
1. Practice evaluating online sources
The internet is a wonderful source of information, and is an essential tool in today’s classroom. However, it’s not hard to find misinformation, disinformation, and unreliable sources. Understanding and recognizing what sources are credible is a skill students absolutely must master, and it is a skill they will utilize into adulthood.
Have students practice evaluating online sources. In this activity, students can select a website they want to evaluate, or teachers can provide a website for students to explore. Students will then go through the checklist and determine whether or not the site meets the criteria for a credible source. Then, students will reflect on what they learned, and share why determining a source’s credibility is important.
2. Visualize your digital footprint
In this day and age, it is near impossible to utilize the internet without leaving a digital footprint. Creating a positive and appropriate online presence is yet another skill students will use throughout their school career and into their adult lives. It’s important to teach students, as early as possible, that what they share online could follow them for a long time afterwards.
Encourage students to visualize their own digital footprint. Students can use stickers, animations, and more to show what websites and apps they use most often. Then, students are asked to reflect on what information they share on these sites and apps, and how long they might think that information is visible for.
3. Learn what makes a secure password
Creating strong, secure passwords is a large part of practicing online privacy and security. Students will need to learn how to develop a password they can remember, but that is also strong and effective.
Help students understand what makes a safe, secure password. In this activity, they can explore examples of strong passwords, and examples of the types of passwords they shouldn’t use. It’s a great opportunity for students to learn how they might create their own secure passwords, so that when they start creating their own logins, they’re ready to do so safely.
4. Track your screentime
Technology is such a large part of our everyday lives, and can bring us so many benefits. However, as with anything in life, there can be too much of a good thing. Learning to have a healthy and balanced relationship with technology is another integral skill students will need to master.
Challenge students to keep a record of their screentime. This activity is built for a one week period, but can easily be adjusted for shorter or longer periods. Students can track the time they spend on their devices, both for schoolwork and personal use. They can also record what sites and apps they’re using and when. Then, students are asked to reflect on what they observed during this time. Are they spending too much time on their devices, and not having enough digital downtime? When they are on their devices, how are they spending their time? Sometimes just observing their screentime can help students take the next step to making healthier digital habits.
5. Practice Being Kind Online
The internet can be an overwhelming place, and unfortunately there are people who use this technology to cause harm. Show students how easy it is to instead use the internet for good, and to always communicate with kindness.
Have students practice using tech for good, and being kind online. In this activity, students can practice some different ways to interact with others online in a positive way. From sharing love and support to a friend from far away, to complimenting others, to raising awareness for a good cause, students can see how they can use the power of technology to have a good influence on others and make meaningful connections.
Have students share their work to a Buncee Board! Everyone can see each other’s work, students can comment on the Board, and add comments and emoji reactions to the individual Buncees.
Not only are Boards an excellent way to have an interactive class discussion and to have students share their work with an authentic audience, but they also provide a way for students to practice their digital citizenship skills in a safe and secure environment.
You can also check out this Buncee Board for more Digital Citizenship templates and activities!
How are you celebrating Digital Citizenship Week? We hope you have some fun ideas for encouraging safe and productive online practices with your students, and we’d love for you to share your creations with us! Join in on the conversation on Twitter, and the Buncee Educators group on Facebook to share, connect, and stay up to date!