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Teacher-Created Lesson Plan

Living in a Digital World

Creating intelligent, safe, and effective participants in a digital world.
Lauren S.
Special education instructor
Bethel Springs Elementary School
Boothwyn, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math

Students will be able to...

  • Define digital citizenship
  • Understand the rights and responsibilities of a digital citizen
  • Evaluate the appropriate use of technology
  • Participate respectfully and responsibly in an online community
English Language Arts
Grades 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Living in a Digital World

Begin by posing the following question to your students: How do you socialize and interact online? Invite students to share with the class. Next, ask: How is this different than communicating and interacting with people face to face? Give students some time to compare and discuss the difference between digital and face-to-face interactions.

Student Instructions

Digital Time. Give students a few minutes to think about, then estimate how much time they spend each day interacting with others and in their communities online. Have them note their time estimation in their process journal, along with a description of how they communicate with others. Have them think about how much time they think they use a specific tool, digital technology, or interact in an online community or social media platform each day. Again, have them write down in their process journals along with their time estimations.

2 Define

Write the words digital citizen on the board and ask students to define it. Explain that just as we are citizens of countries, large organized societies, if we interact in any of the ways discussed earlier, we are automatically citizens of the digital world. By that definition, we are all digital citizens.

Student Instructions

Share how much time the average youth spends interacting and using digital technology and media. Explain that students will track their actual usage of online media and technology for a period of 24 hours in order to figure out how much time they actually spend interacting with and in the digital world. After your students have completed the assignment, regroup to share, compare, and calculate the actual time spent per day, per week, per year as a class.

3 Digital Citizenship.

List the three areas of digital citizenship. Invite students to describe what each term means to them using their own words while thinking about the communities they belong to.

Student Instructions

Ask your class to think about and then list the various communities they belong to and participate in, online and offline. For example: social media (Facebook, Instagr.am, Twitter, Snap Chat, etc.), blogs, web memberships, online chat rooms, or gaming communities, families, after school clubs, sports teams, neighborhoods, churches. List them on the board. Ask: What roles do you play within these communities? What are the expectations within these various communities? How do you know what these expectations are? Invite students to share their thoughts. Explain that just as there are different ways to interact and communicate online and offline, there are different expectations in communities offline and online. Prompt students to think about how different online communities share their policies with their users.