7 Educators Share Ideas for Teaching Digital Citizenship

7 Educators Share Ideas for Teaching Digital Citizenship
Contributed By

Bridget Heaton

Customer Marketing Manager

7 Educators Share Ideas for Teaching Digital Citizenship

Posted in Community | November 15, 2017

Do you teach digital citizenship? Whether you have a formal program or not, you no doubt play a role in helping students learn responsible ways to conduct themselves in digital spaces.

Well, we wanted to see if members of the Schoology Community had any ideas on how to teach digital citizenship. Here's what seven of them had to say.

*Want to share your ideas? Join the Schoology Champions program here

7 Educators Share Ideas for Teaching Digital Citizenship


Matt Shea
Chief Technology Officer
Vernon Township School District

We encourage teachers to use educational social media tools (like Schoology) to have students practice digital citizenship. Discussion boards, replying to comments or leaving comments on blogs, and other two-way conversation gives students a chance to A) have meaningful discussion outside the 4 walls of school and B) learn to properly and responsibly use social media.




Kenneth Williams
Director of Technology Integration and Student Services
Mount Pleasant Area School District

Take a look at the daily news/current events. This could be local or national. Challenge the students to find a news-related item that has some type of social media connection. Have the students examine how the inappropriate use of social media made this a newsworthy item, OR, for a more positive spin, how social media was used in a positive way to promote or further a positive contribution to society!




William Illingworth
Instructional Technologist
Lancaster Bible College

Twitter. Build yourself a Twitter community and demonstrate to your learners through your use and their use together on how to maintain a personal image. I recently heard someone say "I make my students make a separate Twitter for our class." Why? "Because I don't want to see what they're doing on the weekends." Why not? My learning and development doesn't stop on the weekends, so I doubt theirs does. Engage your learners in 24/7 learning by modeling it.




Denise Shovlin
English Teacher
Downingtown Area SD

I think it is important to lead by example. For instance, I sometimes do a Google search of my own name (after previewing the results, of course!) with students to show them that it is important to establish online privacy while making sure that your public persona, information, and media is professional and inoffensive to employers, relatives, schools, or peers. They are shocked, at times, by the differences in what they are able to find out and see about themselves when it is time for them to do a search of their own names.




Kristen Barnello
Supervisor of Fine Arts & Social Studies
West Chester Area School District

To me, citizenship - on or off line - is a critical need for so many students. I think the best way is through teaching and modeling empathy. Empathy is so necessary in a digital world because it can be too easy for us to hide behind our screens. Things that good people would never say out loud to another person are much easier to type, text, snap, etc. I think if we focus on building a student’s capacity to empathize with others, we can reduce the instances of cyberbullying and other instances.




Rod Kirby
Academic Dean
Cherokee Christian School

We haven't (yet) done this, but we're looking at it. First put all the students on a wifi network that is heavily filtered - basically allowing access to Schoology, the school website, and the school email. Use one of the online Digital Citizenship programs (CommonSense Media, etc.) in Schoology. When a student successfully completes that course, their wifi account is opened up to allow access to more sites - still appropriately filtered, but allowing more freedom. Basically, students earn the privilege of greater internet access by demonstrating responsibility.




Philip Pulley
Fieldcrest High School

I believe that digital citizenship should be both taught and modeled by educators and administrators. In the case of a 1:1 district using an LMS like Schoology, all stakeholders should be provided training, staff (ongoing), students (initial and on demand), with the same for parents (initial and on demand). As for modeling, the staff professional development should also set minimum expectations for use and promote a basic, regular organization of material among teachers to help provide students and guardians with a relatively consistent experience. Finally, administrators use the LMS as well for announcements, training, and resources. If you want staff to use it, use it as well.



Recommended Resources

Below are a few of the resources the Schoology Champions above (and others who responded to our prompt) recommended in regard to digital citizenship. 

student engagement strategies

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