Promoting Digital Citizenship with Common Sense Education

Living in this digital era offers tremendous opportunities and challenges for each individual to be responsible technology user. Common Sense Education provides a comprehensive website which includes K-12 curriculums, activities, and resources for students, teachers, and family which you can explore here:

Introducing Digital Citizenship Comprehensive Resources

I believe Digital Citizenship is a universal subject that everyone can easily relate. When I first visited Digital Citizenship section , I am thrilled to their motto: “Empower your students to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions online.” which I found very crucial in this era.

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 8.43.19 AM.pngAs a middle school teacher, I found the curriculum training has opened a new perspectives about why and how we should introduce Digital Citizenship to my students, school, and families. My favorite part of this training is exploring their ready-to-use lessons, guidelines and resources which I can easily implement in my school. You can find literally everything that you need such as sample video, lesson plans, and worksheets which will prepare you to lead Digital Citizenship session  in many different contexts in your school.
Through the training, I gained a new perspective to teach Digital Citizenship in fun and interactive platforms such as Digital Compass, Digital Bytes, and Nearpod interactive lessons. These strategies taught me teaching digital citizenship can’t be done just explaining the list of rules and consequences, but it requires real-life examples, scenarios, stories, and interactive tools which enable students to engage and rethink how they use technology. The biggest challenge for me is to structure a smooth lesson plan that integrating all those amazing resources in my lesson.

Using Digital Teaching Tools & Strategies

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 8.47.33 AM

Diving in Digital Teaching section, I found a lot of useful tools and tips for bringing various technology in my Social Studies class. “Browse EdTech Tool Review” is my favorite search menu since I can access full library of edtech tools which has been sorted by price, grade, subject, and device. I can also compare various tools based on Commonsense and Teacher Review to filter the best digital learning tool for my classroom. I’ve also successfully explored Teaching Strategies and Webinar section which offers step by step tutorial and downloadable resources for me to use appropriate technology that meet students needs. My next biggest challenge for me is to encourage my school to pursue Common Sense School certification since I believe the recognition program is extremely beneficial for my teachers, students and school community.

Developing Digital Citizenship Lesson Plan

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 8.48.09 AM

The Common Sense Education lesson plan template is very effective for me to develop organized and structured lesson plan for my Digital Citizenship and tech rich lesson plan.  In my Digital Citizenship lesson plan, I first introduced Digital Citizenship concept by showing several Digital Citizenship video from Common Sense Education playlist. After that, I plan to engage students to play various role on Digital Compass and share their Digital Citizenship commitment in Google Slides. You can find my lesson plan here

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 8.50.23 AM.png

I choose Digital Compass game as it design a situated learning experience of how students’ decisions can impact their relationships and futures. In this game, students play through eight (8) main characters’ perspective which has varied problems, decision choice, and story paths that can facilitate their transformation perspectives. I am confident after this lesson, students will be able to learn how to make informed judgement, take alternative choice, and apply learnings to daily life experiences.

As one of the best collaboration platform for learning, I used Google Slides to collect students’ reflection after playing the game.

Creating Tech-Rich Lesson Plan for My Class

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 8.47.45 AM

For my tech rich lesson plan, I choose to develop Water & Food Security lesson plan which is part of  my Social Studies curriculum. I successfully designed three main activities in the lesson plan such as investigating the cause and effects of global water and food shortage with YouTube, exploring food from different countries with Kahoot!, and finally engaging students to design a campaign for reducing food and water waste using Adobe Spark. You can check my full lesson plan here.

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 8.45.28 AM.png

I plan to use Google Earth since this application offers a powerful visualization to see geographical features of each country which enable students to analyze why and how countries experience water and food shortage. With Kahoot!, I can introduce diverse food from different countries through engaging quiz which will develop students curiosity. Finally, I use Adobe Spark, a simple poster designer tool which enable me to assess students understanding through their campaign poster. These technology tools will empower both teachers and students to gain meaningful and relevant experiences in their learning journey exploring food and water issues around the world.

Finally, through the lesson plan making process, I learned that building digital citizenship awareness requires commitment to learn from daily experiences, mentor to guide the best strategies to implement, and resources to support interactive learning process. With these Digital Citizenship and Teaching exploration, I am confident to go the next level understanding of digital world where students can explore, share, and practice digital experiences in  positive, constructive learning environment.


Steven is a life long learner and multi-award educational technology coach with international certifications from Google, Apple, National Geographic, TED Ed, Google Earth Education, EdTech Team, EduTECH Asia, Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative, US Embassy, Tech in Asia, and many international and local institutions.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *