Online tools are empowering for kids, and they also come with big responsibilities. But do kids always know what to do when they encounter cyberbullying? Show your students appropriate ways to take action and resolve conflicts, from being upstanders to helping others in need.
Common Sense Media
Digital citizenship curriculum from Common Sense Media, including more than 70 age-appropriate lesson plans.
Kids share a lot of information whenever they go online -- sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. But do they understand that online privacy isn't just what they say and post? Help your students learn about their digital footprints and the steps they can take to shape what others find and see about them.
Kids encounter all kinds of stereotypes in the media. But are kids always aware of what they're seeing? Help your students think critically about how gender stereotypes can affect the ways they view themselves and others.
Every time we go online, we're giving away information about ourselves. But just how much data are companies collecting from us? Hint: It's probably a lot more than we realize. Show your students these three tips on how to limit the data that companies collect.
Many of us are aware that we're being tracked when we go online. It's one of the ways our favorite websites and apps know how to recommend content just for us. But how much information are companies actually collecting? And what are they doing with it? Digging into the details can help us make smart decisions about our online privacy and how to protect it.
The word "addiction" packs a heavy punch, and the research is inconclusive on whether it's truly accurate when it comes to digital device use. What's certain, however, is that as people use devices and apps more, profits increase for the companies who make them. Help your students recognize how most of the technology they use is designed to keep them hooked, and help them use this as an opportunity to find more balance in their digital lives.
Our brains are great at using past experiences to make quick decisions on the fly, but these shortcuts can also lead to bias. "Confirmation bias" is our brain's tendency to seek out information that confirms things we already think we know. Help your students learn to recognize this when they encounter news online, as a way to examine competing opinions and ideas and to avoid drawing questionable conclusions.
Research shows that happiness in life is less about what you do and more about why you do it. When your actions have purpose, they lead to positive results -- both for you and the world. Help students use the power of the internet to turn their personal passions into positive impact.
Games, social media, and other online spaces give kids opportunities to meet and chat with others outside the confines of their real-life communities. But how well do kids actually know the people they're meeting and interacting with? Help students consider whom they're talking to and the types of information they're sharing online.
Having conversations online, without nonverbal cues or being able to see people, can be awkward and sometimes even risky -- with drawbacks from simple misunderstandings to manipulation or inappropriate messages. Help students navigate and avoid these situations before they go too far.
Well-crafted headlines benefit everyone. They help readers digest information and publishers sell news stories. But what if the headline is misleading? What if it's crafted just to get clicks or even to spread disinformation? "Clickbait" headlines may benefit advertisers and publishers, but they don't benefit readers. Help students recognize and analyze clickbait when they see it.
What you say, and how you say it, often depends on whom you're talking to, both in person and online. The person or people you're chatting with -- and the apps or websites you're using -- affect how we communicate. Remind your students to consider their audience before they post or comment online, and help them build community and communicate effectively in the digital world.
While some governments can't regulate hate speech, laws allow private organizations like social media apps and private universities to decide how to deal with hate speech within their spheres. How should these organizations respond to hate speech? What is an appropriate consequence? Pose these questions for students, and help them think through the importance of both respect for others and free speech.
As humans, we thrive on social connections and group associations. But this tendency can also lead us to be suspicious of people outside our group. This fear -- xenophobia -- can be overcome by more exposure to people who are different from us. However, the internet can often make this more difficult. Help students recognize this challenge and find strategies for navigating content online.
It's common for kids to use images they find online, for school projects or just for fun. But kids don't often understand which images are OK to use and which ones aren't. Help your students learn about the rights and responsibilities they have when it comes to the images they create and use.
Social media gives us a chance to choose how we present ourselves to the world. We can snap and share a pic in the moment or carefully stage photos and select only the ones we think are best. When students reflect on these choices, they can better understand the self they are presenting and the self they aim to be.
Often, the more information we have, the better decisions we're able to make. The power of data can benefit both individuals and governments. But who can be trusted with the responsibility of having all this data? Can governments collect and use it fairly and without violating our privacy? Help students think through this question and become thoughtful influencers of data policy and practice.
Technology use isn't always a distraction, but there are definitely times when it's best to keep devices away. Help students learn when it's appropriate to use technology and when it's not -- and practice making family rules for device-free time at home.
Miscommunication is a common occurrence online and on social media. Plus, being behind a screen makes it easier to say things they wouldn't say in person. So how do we help students avoid the pitfalls of digital drama? Help them learn tips on avoiding online drama in the first place and de-escalating drama when it happens.
Kids make friends everywhere they go -- including online. But are all of these friendships the same? How can kids start online friendships and also learn ways to stay safe? Help your students understand both the benefits and the risks of online-only friendships.