Unit Title

Digital Citizenship



Designed by

Paul Swanson

Time Frame

Grade 8

Stage 1- Desired Results

Establish Goals

  • For students to look at online footprint, ethics, and social media interactions in order to consider how they impact them now and in their academic, social, personal, and professional futures.


Learners will be able to....

What kinds of long-term independent accomplishments are desired?

  • Manage their own virtual and physical lives in a balanced, healthy way
  • Make decisions that are informed by their understanding of online ethics
  • Do their own analysis and research about the meaning and role of social media



Learners will understand ...

  1. how their online identities impact their real world identities and lives.
  2. the complexity of and interaction between digital citizenship and online ethics.
  3. some of the different social media platforms that shape digital footprint.
  4. how social scientists would investigate social media, collect data, and share their findings.

Essential Questions

Learners will keep considering...

  1. How can your online identities impact you in the “real world”?
  2. Why is digital citizenship important in the modern world? How does the sharing of information or materials relate to ethical behaviour? How and why have ethics changed over the past generation?
  3. How do social media compare/contrast with one another and interact with our everyday lives?
  4. How could you investigate social media use among your peers? How could you analyze your findings? How could you communicate these findings with others?


Learners will know…

  1. About the differences between various types of social media, how they are used, and what they can tell us about the people behind the avatars
  2. The major ethical challenges and dilemmas involved in today’s digital world, as well as what it means to be a citizen
  3. The considerations important in building an intentional digital footprint
  4. What types of social science methodologies are used in studying social media, as well as their relative strengths and weaknesses

Learners will be skilled at...

MYP ATL Category: Self-Management - Reflection

MYP ATL Category: Communication with Language

Being aware of their digital footprint and managing their own presence online

  1. Being able to ‘read’ a digital footprint and make accurate predictions about the real person
  2. Articulating and expressing the changing nature of citizenship in a digital world
  3. Using social media to intentionally create a digital footprint for a particular purpose
  4. Analyzing academic studies of social media and evaluating the strengths of various methodologies

Stage 2- Learning Plan


Learning Events

Progress Monitoring

Part 1

Analyzing interactions and making inferences

Students will look at several third-party social media interactions (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc) as a class.  In groups, students will write down their impressions of the individuals involved and the characterization of the interactions.  After, students will share their impressions with the rest of the class, see if there is any disagreement, and discuss which interactions affect people consistently and which are more open to interpretation.  They will conclude by speculating on what these online interactions might be able to tell us about the real world authors, and what we may be unable to know.

Student work will be done through Google Docs and monitored by teachers with Hapara Teachers’ Dashboard

Part 2

Citizenship vs Digital citizenship infographic

Students will use a narrative entry point to check for understanding about citizenship, what it means to be a digital citizen and how that has changed due to technology in recent years.  After the initial discussion, students will share their understandings about the dynamic role of citizenship.  Students will use a logical entry point to discuss ethics and ethical behavior.  After completion, students will combine their prior understandings about citizenship with their understanding about ethics to form a visual.  These will be shared out to get a group understanding of citizenship and ethics.

Students will showcase their work either in the classroom or on the LMS. Teachers will give feedback continuously during process.

Part 3

Defining your footprint

Students will establish a goal for a digital footprint (optionally a false identity) The students may have a wide range of responses such as: creative goals, academic goals, social goals, career goals etc. Students will select two platforms from which to build their (or an imaginary digital footprint). Students are to produce an action plan for how they will create their own or an imaginary character’s digital footprint.

Students will design and use a digital footprint planner to record their goals

Part 4

Students will look at a variety of published research on social media. Depending on student age and ability this may include news articles, published journals etc.  Students will select one of personal interest for investigation.  Students will be asked to describe the methodology used by the study, identify and explain what strengths were evident in the research and possible flaws. Students will suggest an alternate approach to investigate the same concept/ research question. Which is a more effective approach? What makes you say that?

Students will document their social media research using Google Docs so their progress can be monitored

Stage 3- Evidence




Learners will show that they understand by evidence of...

Part 1

Understanding Goal 1

Recognition of different types of online interactions (honest, constructive, off-topic, aggressive, supportive, critical, misleading, etc.)  Students will be asked to post their impressions in a blog, and then the teacher will comment on their entries.  Students will also be encouraged to comment on one another’s entries, but this is a secondary aspect to the assessment.

Part 2

Understanding Goal 2

A student created visual representation of citizenship and ethics. This representation will be evaluated through peer review.  Students will use post-it notes to ask questions about each other’s work, as well as give warm feedback and constructive criticism.

Part 3

Understanding Goal 3

A self-analysis by students on their own action plan regarding their planned digital footprint. The teacher will ask the students to consider the following criteria in their plan through a Google Form:

 - the feasibility of their proposed digital footprints

 - the alignment with their chosen goals

 - the structure of their action plan

 - if their goals are SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound

Part 4

Understanding Goal 4

The students analysis of a methodology, as well as the students reflection and proposed alternative.

Students will help craft the rubric with the teacher and receive this prior to commencing the assessment.

The analysis and reflection will be turned in as an analytical paper, and feedback will be given through commenting and a formal rubric. This rubric will evaluate:

 - understanding of research methods, as well as their strengths and limitations

 - ability of students to realistically develop an alternative research methodology and then critique it.

Resources / Materials:

  • Social Media Tools
  • Social Science Research on Social Media