We really can’t stress enough the importance of online safety, especially for teens. There are more than three billion people around the world using the internet (source), and the last thing we want is for the online community to become a battleground for cybervillains instead of a rich pool of resources. Teaching kids and teens to become responsible digital citizens is the first step in working toward online safety and smarter internet users.
Teachers, it’s your job to shape the growth of your students academically and—in this century—technologically. Help them to understand the importance of good digital citizenship and to demonstrate responsible behaviors on the internet. It is so important to teach good habits as early as possible so that it’s easier for internet users to protect themselves and to benefit from good technology use.
The following free lesson plans all work together to teach teens how to make a positive impact on the online community. Online Privacy, Bullying, and Online Resources are all major components in the world of digital citizenship.
Introduction to Digital Citizenship
Send the Introduction to Digital Citizenship to your students to get them thinking about what it means to be a good digital citizen—and the assessment can help you get a feel for where your students stand on responsible internet use before they begin the lessons.
Digital Citizenship: Bullying
Most teens understand the signs and consequences of physical bullying, but cyberbullying can be a bit trickier to recognize. This lesson explains exactly what cyberbullying looks like, where it occurs, and what students can do to be good digital citizens when cyberbullying might become an issue.
Digital Citizenship: Online Privacy
Privacy concerns are stronger than ever, with government and celebrity content leaks covering the news in the past couple of years and NSA paranoia spreading through the country with the prevalence of cameras and microphones on virtually every internet-capable device. For teens, social media exposure can be just as devastating. This lesson covers several aspects of online privacy and what students can do to stay safe.
Digital Citizenship: Online Resources
It’s what the internet is all about: accessing nearly limitless information and connecting with the world from virtually anywhere. With this great power at our fingertips comes a great responsibility, and students need to understand how to use this power as good digital citizens. Covering research ethics, downloads, and online distractions, this lesson aims to educate teens on exactly why it’s so important to display mature behaviors online.
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