Integrating Technology Tools into Common Sense's Digital Citizenship Curriculum

June 21, 2011
Audrey Stokes Associate Product Manager, Education
Common Sense Media
San Francisco, CA
CATEGORIES In the Classroom

Brian Van Dyke, a technology teacher at Buchser Middle School has taken his technology classes to the next level. Brian has combined curriculum from Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship curriculum with hand-on applications of technology tools and activities. Read on to discover some of the creatively constructed projects that Brian has custom engineered for his technology students.


  1. Ebay Auction: To learn vocabulary words from the Digital Citizenship curriculum, Brian worked with students to simulate a “vocabulary auction” on Ebay. Groups of students bid on vocabulary words from the lessons. Once groups had secured a word, they defined the word using short descriptions, pictures, and animations, which took them through a similar process as one would go through when posting an item to Ebay.
  2. Quiz Show: Brian turned a homework assignment from the Digital Citizenship curriculum into a game show for his students. Mobi clickers (Bluetooth devices that students use to enter their answers to poll questions in real time) were used to log data from the entire class during the quiz. After all students had answered a quiz question, Brian compiled the responses and projected the results onto a screen in real time so students could see how many people had chosen each answer. This gave Brian a chance to talk through the possible responses and clear up any common misconceptions.
  3. Microsoft Excel Activity: Brian used a lesson on using Microsoft Excel to create a spreadsheet that would visually represent lesson material from Digital Citizenship. Kids in Brian’s class got to apply their new knowledge of Excel as they created the spreadsheet and solidified their understanding of the Digital Citizenship lesson.

Brian points out that while creating activities like these might seem like a lot of work, it’s really simple. He recommends becoming familiar with the Digital Citizenship curriculum and then using your knowledge of the curriculum to tie in real life technology experiences, like using Ebay or creating spreadsheets. Finding every opportunity to integrate the technology that kids love with the citizenship and ethics that they need has proved to be a successful blend in Brian’s classroom.