Digital Citizenship Scope and Sequence


One of my favorite (and most challenging) parts of my job is creating engaging lessons/activities to promote good tech use amongst our students in and out of school.

Sometimes this knowledge and skills is taught in classes, but a lot of times, it is taught separately during our advisory/weekly BLOCK time when we often work on social and well-being skills with our students.

For me, it can be hard to identify exactly what the grade of students needs and how it can be taught well, rather than a teacher droning on about the “No, no, nos” of their digital world which we are not always a part of.  Compounded with this, is sometimes I have to prepare lessons that I will not teach.  Often times, advisory teachers or grade level teachers teach the content and may not have social media or a good understanding of how our kids use it as they try to share their wisdom with the students.

That being said, I think it is effective, most of the time.  I try to partner up teachers so that even listening to what the students are saying can be educational for them, and I try to have interactive activities which get the kids to think and share their thoughts.  Many times there are no answers, but the students are left with questions, that they hopefully ponder, strategies that they may try or at least develop empathy and/or understanding of the systems and their classmates.

Here is our Secondary Digital Citizenship document to date.  It is a “live” document which is revised regularly.  I feel that the digital citizenship curriculum can’t be planned out perfectly every year.  Every year, different groups of kids walk through the doors.  Each grade level’s digital socialization is a bit different than the other.  It’s a great challenge.  I like that I do teach some of the students, because then I do get a good feel for what they are doing and how they are using their technology.


Responsible Use Policy through the Learner Profile: COETAIL Course 2 Final Project

For our final COETAIL Course Two Project, Katy, Ju, and I created a Responsible Use Policy that a three program IBO World school could use.


We first decided on structuring our RUP through the Learner Profile, as it is common language used at our schools and its attributes are ones we want our students to emulate.  Since  we want our students to embody these traits as a learner in our classrooms, we also feel that they need to consider these when making decisions about technology.  Click here for a better view.

Using the Learner Profile descriptors, we created essential technology agreements.  From there, we broke it down into PYP, MYP and DP student agreements.  We created these agreements to be appropriate for the students, both in practice and in language at the different program levels.  We kept the individual documents down to A4 sized as we felt that was important.  We also wanted to create a visual that we could use to share with the community as it’s more engaging than an A4 document.

What we focused on…

We considered a lot of the issues we see daily at our schools, and ones that may not be explicitly stated in many AUP/RUPs.  Some of the agreements that personally stand out to me from our RUP are:

I will regularly update the systems and security on my digital devices. (knowledgeable)

I will give attribution in the manner appropriate to the task and the creator’s wishes. (principled)

I will regularly reflect on and update my digital footprint, updating my online presence so it accurately represents who I am.  (reflective)

All the BALANCED statements really resonated with me as well:

  • I will balance how much technology I consume by creating products with technology.

  • I will experiment with a variety of technology tools. I will choose the most effective technology tools for the tasks at hand.

  • I will manage my time spent with technology, ensuring that it is a tool which complements but does not control my life.

I think this is because this is where I see a general weakness in many students.  I hear of them watching hours and hours of YouTube videos, I see them attached to their cellphones as soon as the bell rings.  As I reflect on this, I also realize that we can’t just rattle off this RUP to students the first week of school and consider it done.  We need to provide skills and strategies to help our students reach these agreements.

The Visual Piece…

We also created a presentation that could be used at the three program levels.  We thought that these presentations would be best used at a Back to School Night and also to students the first week of school.  While we tried to match strong Creative Commons visuals to our agreements, we realized that this was difficult and we weren’t able to show everything in images.  We created the structure of the presentation together then “Made a Copy” of that template to create separate documents for each program.

While I am a little weary of posting an “incomplete” presentation here, I truly believe it’s for good reason.  I decided after looking (semi-unsuccessfully) for images, that I would like to bring the skeleton of this presentation back to my Student Tech Leader group for them to find where this is happening in our school or to create images which represent these statements through screencasts, screenshots and photos.  I think that authentic media will make this presentation a lot more powerful since it will directly connect to our community and my students.  Since it will be “student-made” or at least student-enhanced, I think the Tech Leaders will take more ownership of the agreements and be better role models to the rest of the student body.

Here are the PYP and DP Presentations.

On sharing with my community…

First of all, the AUP at my school is up for review.  I’m going to propose they look at this RUP we created.  I think it’s a great piece for an IB school.  We want our students to embody the Learner Profile and their lives are so digital.  This document connects our technology with our beliefs and the IBO philosophy.

At my school, I have seen a recurring issue with our parent information/parent education sessions.  Many parents who attend these sessions are uncomfortable with technology and some do not have “technical English”. Sometimes I feel the overall message and is often “Lost in Translation”.  If my school will adopt this Responsible Use Policy, then I would like to again ask students, or my Japanese colleagues to help translate this document into Japanese (and even Korean) as I feel it’s an important document to share with our community.

On working with others…

I felt it was really important to have this experience.  Students are regularly asked to work in groups and it is challenging.  I luckily had amazing partners in this project and I’m not just saying this because there’s a good chance they’ll read this post.  We are all at the end of our school year, living on different continents with an eight hour time difference.  Google Docs was a great way for us to collaborate and start to share ideas and find our focus. It’s funny to find that balance of creating and revising at different times and not knowing each other or how the other would react or if we’d connect enough for us all to be happy with our final product. In the past week, we realized that that wasn’t enough.  We had to talk.  We attempted Google Hangout and Skype, but our connection didn’t allow us to communicate well.  We easily used the chat option in the document to fine tune and wordsmith our work.