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Digital Citizenship II

Learning Module

This learning module is written for a 7th and 8th graders. This is the continuation from Digital Citizinship written for 5th and 6th grade. Each year, students must learn how to be good digital citizens. Although content is similar to the 5th and 6th grade module, the topics are more mature since students are encountering more mature situations.

ISTE Standard: Digital Citizenship - Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.

Objectives (as outlined in District 124’s Scope and Sequence):

  1. Work cooperatively and collaboratively with peers and others using technology.
  2. Practice responsible use of technology systems and software by staying on appropriate websites, not giving out personal information, and asking for help when needed.
  3. Discuss the use of technology and the way it helps our society.
  4. Comply with the district’s Acceptable Use Policy related to ethical use, cyberbullying, privacy, plagiarism, spam, viruses, hacking, and file sharing.
  5. Identify cyberbullying and describe strategies to deal with such a situation.
  6. Explain Fair Use Guidelines for the use of copyrighted materials and giving credit to media creators.
  7. Identify and explain the strategies for the safe and efficient use of computers.
  8. Recognize and describe the potential risks and dangers associated with various forms of online communications.
  9. Demonstrate positive social and ethical behaviors when using technology, such as using proper netiquette.
  10. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the use of social media.
  11. Demonstrate safe email practice, recognition of potentially public exposure of email and appropriate email etiquette.
  12. Discuss how changes in technology affect society, the economy, and career options.
  13. Navigate and responsibly use social media.

Digital life

For the student

In this unit, we will be discussing Digital Citizenship. I'm sure you are now thinking, "We did this last year! Why do I have to learn this again?" As we get older, digital media becomes a large part of our culture. Video game consoles, portable devices, tvs, and computers seem to surround us. It is important that we continue to be safe and courteous while using electronic devices.

Watch the following video.

Common Sense Media

Comment: How do you connect to the outside world (includes those you know and do not know) using technology?

Update: First, post the picture of your certificate. Then, describe an electronic device that you use everyday. How long are you on it? What do you use it for? What is your favorite thing to do on an electronic device? Why? Then, comment on two other students' posts. Have you used their electronic device for the same activity? Is there another electronic device that can perform the same task?

For the instructor

This first lesson is to have students think about how their digital world changes. As students get older their exposure to electronic devices and programs changes quickly. This will help them identify how different their technological world is now compared to a year ago.

Source: Common Sense Media

What do you post?

For the student

By now you know that you can find anything online. Some things that you see online isn't appropriate for kids. Now that you are getting older, it's not only important to avoid inappropriate content, but to make sure you are not posting it online yourself.

Content you should keep away from posting online include:

  • Drinking, drug use and other criminal activities.
  • Hate speech - such as slurs against someone's sexuality, race, or religion.
  • Lewd or offensive gestures.
  • Profanity.
  • Revealing or suggestive images.
  • Threats.

Watch the following video about what happens when a student posts party pictures on social media.

Media embedded October 10, 2016

Comment: In your opinion, should the school have the right to discipline students for what they post on their social networking sites? Why do you feel this way?

Defining what information is inappropriate can be a hard thing to do. Remember, if it can get you in trouble offline, then it can probably get you in trouble online. Think about the following questions before you post:

  • Would the adults in my life think this is inappropriate?
  • Who might be embarassed by this?
  • How can this impact my future opportunities?


  1.  Go to the Digital Compass.
  2. Click on Start New Game
  3. Type in your initials and peru (ex~Mickey Mouse would type: mmperu)
  4. Click Start
  5. Click on the "Y" in ANYWHERE.
  6. Play Me! Me! Meme! until you find three story endings AND get a 100% on the game. (Can you find all of the story endings?)
  7. Take a screenshot of your certificate.

Update: Post the screen shot of your certificate. Check your student handbook for the policy on social networking. What does the policy state? Do you think it is fair? If you could change it, what would your policy include? If there is no policy, do you think there should be one? What would it include? Comment on two other students' posts. Do you agree with what they would like to include in their policy? Why or why not?

For the instructor

In this activity, students are learning how their future opportunities can be affected by their digital footprint online. In middle school, most students do not understand that what they do today could have an effect on their future.

Teacher tips:

Students should choose a username that will be easy to remember. Digital Compass will remember their username, so the next time they log in, their progress will be saved. You can also log in as them and do a check-up if needed.


TMI - Too Much Information

For the student

How many social media accounts do you have? Facebook? Instagram? Snapchat? Any others? Posting on these sites can be a great way to share moments with family and friends that could not be physically present. 

However, it is important to remember that nothing is private online. You should be very careful when posting personal information like:

  • Passwords
  • Your home address
  • Your location
  • Your Home/Cell phone number
  • Your email address.

This doesn't mean that you should never post any of these things online. Some legitamate websites need this information. But, remember, once you post something online, you can't take it back. You have no control over who sees that information and who uses it.

Watch the following video.


Media embedded October 10, 2016

Comment: Do you think Matt could find out a lot of information about you in just six clicks? Why or Why not?

So, what can you do to stay private (or as private as you can) while you are online?


Take the following quiz. Record your answers on a piece of scrap paper.

How many a's did you get?  How many b's? Count how many times you answered each letter a through e.

Update:  Which teen are you?  Reveal what the quiz said about you.  Do you agree or disagree?  Why or why not?  

For the instructor

This lesson has students thinking about personal information they are sharing online. 

The update in this lesson does not include students commenting on others' posts. I do not allow this on this update because I do not want students to accuse a student of behaving a certain way online. However, I do use class time to talk about their results as a class.



For the student

Sexting is the sharing of nude or suggestive pictures and videos through text messages. Usually, teens that are involved in sexting are joking around with friends, in a relationship where thier significant other asks for a photo, or flirting with their crush.

Watch the following video.

Media embedded September 29, 2016

Comment: How do you think the girls feels when she gets the request to sext from her boyfriend? How do you think she feels after it is sent to everyone (even strangers)?

Remember, once you send something through text messaging or post something online, you cannot get it back. Anyone can send it anywhere and to anyone they wish. 

Update: Describe one thing that may happen if you send a revealing image. Comment on two of your classmates' posts. Do you agree with them on what could happen? Why or why not? 

For the instructor

Be sure to use this post only with classes that are mature enough to handle it.

Because of the mature content of this post, I have not included an activity. This lesson is designed to have students understand what could happen if they send a revealing picture out.


Inappropriate Requests

For the student

An inappropriate request is when another teen or adult asks you to do something that you are not comfortable doing. You always have the right to say "no".

Watch the following video:

Media embedded October 10, 2016


1. Choose one of the teens from the video: Ryan or Noah.

2. Choose one of the following Internet Safety Pledge Guidelines:

  • I will talk with my parents or guardians about their expectations and ground rules for going online.
  • I will keep my identity private.
  • I will never respond to any online communication that makes me feel uncomfortable.
  • I will never meet in person with anyone I have first "met" online without discussing it with my parents or guardians.
  • I will respect other people's rights while online.

3. Open a Google Doc ~ Title it "Survivor Diaries"

4. Answer the following questions using your teen and guideline.

  • Who is your teen? What is your guideline?
  • Did your teen follow the guideline? Why do you feel this way?
  • What could your teen have done to better protect himself?
  • Do you think Ryan and Noah regret the decisions they made? What do you think they learned?
  • What were Ryan and Noah trying to teach you?

Comment: Post the link to your Google Doc. Tell which teen and guideline you chose.

Update: Explain what you would do if someone you met online asks to meet you or in any way makes you feel uncomfortable?

For the instructor

This lesson is to help students understand what to do if they recieve an inappropriate request online. Sometimes students think that only females get these requests. They need to know that this can happen to anyone.


For the student

Cyberbullying is when someone uses technology to bully someone. Some examples are:

  • Creating a hate group about someone
  • Posting mean comments online
  • Photoshopping someone's photo to embarass them.
  • Spreading rumors through text messages
  • Stealing someone's identity to create a fake profile.

Watch the following videos:

Media embedded September 29, 2016
Media embedded October 10, 2016


1. Go to Digital Compass.

2. Log in using the same username as you did in the previous lesson.

3. Click on the A in "ANYWHERE".

4. Play until you get a 100% on the game and find at least three story endings (can you find more?).

5. Save a screenshot of your certificate.


Comment: Write a short letter to a friend who is dealing with digital drama. What would you say to encourage their friend to take more positive actions?

Update: Post your certificate online. Choose one of the following situations and tell what you would do. Explain why you chose this. Then, comment on two other peoples' posts telling if you agree or disagree with their actions. Explain why.

  • You've just received a mean text message from a former friend. You really want to send a mean text back, but instead you....
  • You're watching a video a classmate posted online. It's....not good. Some of your classmates have left comments making fun of it. You want to join in, but instead you....
  • You just posted a picture of you and some friends. Someone leaves a comment saying you look ugly and weird. You want to respond, but instead you...
  • One of your friends calls, crying. A group of your classmates have been teasing her online. You want to give them a taste of their own medicine, but instead you....

For the instructor

Cyberbullying is a very important topic for middle school students at this time. Students need to understand the difference between a social conflict and bullying. This is something the instructor needs to point out to students when completing this lesson.


For the student

For your project, you will be creating a poster using Glogster that could be hung in our 7th and 8th grade hallways as a reminder to student on how to stay safe online.

Go to Glogster.

Log in using your Google account.

Your poster can be in any format or theme that you wish.

You may create a poster that concentrates on one theme from our activities or that covers everything we have learned in our activities.

Make sure to include the topic you are covering, what students should be doing to stay safe, and what students could do if something happens to them.

For the instructor

Students have the chance now to take show what they have learned. The posters can be hung in the school for other students. Glogster is free so students will not need accounts to log in.