New and Improved 3-8

Digital Citizenship Curriculum

Jennifer Ehehalt

Regional Manager

Common Sense Education



Steve Garton

Senior Manager, Learning Solutions Program

Common Sense Education



Access to the presentation:

teachers and students to harness the power
of technology for learning and life


Someone who is able to think critically about the opportunities and challenges of the digital world and use technology responsibly to learn, create, and participate.

What is a digital citizen?


  • Award-winning K-12 curriculum
  • Research-based, 8 Years in the field
  • Developed in partnership with Howard Gardner and the Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Robust family & community resources
  • Available in Spanish and English
  • Aligns with ISTE, ELA, CASEL standards

Common Sense Education
Digital Citizenship Curriculum

eSchool News Readers’ Choice Award; Tech & Learning “Award of Excellence”; AASL’ “Best Website for Teaching & Learning”

Hello world.
We are digital citizens.

News & Media Literacy

We are critical thinkers & creators

Relationships & Communication

We know the power of words & actions

Media Balance & Well-being

We find balance in our digital lives

Privacy & Safety

We care about everyone’s privacy

Digital Footprint & Reputation

We define who we are

Digital Drama, Cyberbullying, & Hate Speech

We are kind & courageous

Digital Life = Real Life

Cyberbullying, sexting, digital well-being, and fake news are among the top concerns for educators.

Resources need to grapple with complexity of perspectives, dilemmas, and move beyond either/or consequences.

Lessons need to move beyond an individualistic, consequence-based focus and to ethical and civic-oriented thinking.

New Lessons in Grades 3-5 & 6-8

  • More to come! K-2 & 9-12 start of next school year.

Essential Questions: Grades K-12


Essential Question

Media Balance & Well-Being

How can I use media in healthy ways that give meaning and add value to my life?

Privacy & Safety

How can I keep personal data safe and secure, and avoid risky situations?

Digital Footprint & Identity

How can I cultivate my digital identity in ways that are responsible and empowering?

Relationships & Communication

How can I communicate effectively and positively to build relationships?

Digital Drama, Cyberbullying & Hate Speech

How can I connect positively, treat others respectfully, and create a culture of kindness?

News & Media Literacy

How can I be a critical media consumer, creator, and contribute positively to my community?

Source: Detailed Scope and Sequence

Student-facing version of these questions:

Media balance & Well-Being: How can I make my screen time more meaningful?

Privacy & Safety: How can I keep my data safe and avoid risky situations?

Digital Footprint & Identity: How can I share my life and identity?

Relationships & Communication: How can I communicate effectively to build relationships?

Digital drama, Cyberbullying & Hate Speech: How can we practice kindness, courage, and respect?

News & Media Literacy: How can I think critically about what I consume and create?

K-12 Scope and Sequence


















Media Balance & Wellbeing

Privacy & Safety

Digital Footprint & Identity

Relationships & Communication

Digital Drama, Cyberbullying, &
Hate Speech

News & Media Literacy

New Lessons for grades 3-8

Google lesson slides, new videos, customizable resources

Commit to Reinforcing Key Concepts throughout the year

Class Activities & Assignment Types Examples

Key Lesson Concepts to Review Throughout the Year

CSE Lessons for Reference & Resources


Conducting research, Reading complex texts, Identifying key ideas & information

Essential Question: How do I know if information is credible?

  • Evaluate the reliability of news and other resources
  • Distinguish between facts & opinions
  • Discuss bias and motive for the creation of resources
  • Explain the role of social media in the curation of what news we are exposed to
  • Discuss how the purpose & context of photo editing affect how we feel about photographs?


Writing papers,

Creating products,

Using music or a video in a presentation

Essential Question: How do I give appropriate credit when creating something?

  • Check who owns the work and where it came from.
  • Discuss the importance of respecting other’s work & to get permission for use.
  • Model & teach how to cite sources to ensure credit is given to the creator.
  • Discuss fair use in different scenarios throughout the year on how it is not a black & white concept: for example just because they can Google it does not make it free to use.


Group work, participating in global projects, class discussions

Essential Question: How can we create respectful community cultures for discussion both online or off?

  • Create guidelines for online/ offline communication post in classroom & revisit often
  • Evaluate current events to discuss how online cruelty affects the people involved
  • Consider the possible benefits and risks of sharing information online
  • Reinforce positive choices to protect the privacy of others online
  • Articulate the importance of considering all perspectives in communities whether online or off

Curricular Concepts

Common Sense Education Resources

How can you determine fake news, good information, valid data, especially in an election year like this one?

Consider the digital footprint and identity of candidates running for office. How does yours impact your future and of your friends?

If we are expecting our students to be engaged citizens acting as positive forces in their community, we must give them the tools they need to make positive social change.

Civic engagement requires effective tools of communication. social media, creating powerful stories with video, designing effective campaigns.

Social Studies

Curricular Concepts

Common Sense Education Resources

How can you create social change to better your community’s environment or impact an issue?

When examining photographic evidence of industrial disasters or climate change, how can photo manipulation impact your perception?

Wikipedia is a place where many people get their information, including ideas about science. What are the benefits and drawbacks of people working together to create information online?

How can you make sure policy is based on validated scientific data? How can you do your own research as a student and share it widely?


Curricular Concepts

Common Sense Education Resources

How does language set the tone of story, website, etc? Create a visual campaign to combat negative speech online.

How do our definitions of “you only live once” differ? Write a poem or prose for what “YOLO”, you only live once means to you.

Can an article be accurately described as in a Tweet? Create your own definition of reliability when reading information on social media.

How does micro lingo affect how we communicate? Create a handbook for decoding emoticons and other micro-lingo.

English Language Arts

Curricular Concepts

Common Sense Education Resources

What are our media habits? Conduct a survey and calculate the mean, median, mode, standard deviation etc of answers.

How does the placement of advertisements impact our purchases? Calculate how the product was commercialized & the probability of purchase.

How does our predicted use of technology and actual use differ? Discover the Digital Truth and calculate the “percent error” between your predicted and actual use of tech.

How can you measure the success of a marketing campaign? Create a formula to measure how successful a campaign will be.


Curricular Concepts

Common Sense Education Resources

How do you maintain a balance between tech and non-tech in your life?

How does the concept of body image differ for boys and girls?

What does it mean to have a healthy romantic relationship in an online world?

What factors intensify online cruelty and how can you help?


Curricular Concepts

Common Sense Education Resources

Do you see what I see? Find or create images that resemble something it does not necessarily advertise and create a slideshow.

How do we convey the changes that happen over time? Look at a product that has changed over time. Draw what the next version will look like in the future.

What are you short & long term goals? Create a collage of your goals by combining text and pictures for inspiration.

How do your media habits change the way that the world sees you? How do you want the world to see you? Create an image, video or song that represents the way you want the world to see you.


Curricular Concepts

Common Sense Education Resources

How do your media habits compare to the media habits of students your age in the country whose language you study?

What are the outcomes of presenting yourself differently online, IRL, and in a different language? Are you a different person when you speak a different language?

What are gender stereotypes in our society? How do they compare to the society that we are studying, and online?

Are there reality shows or dramas in your language of study that depict gender stereotypes and how does that affect the relationships we have?

World Languages



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ICE 2019 Common Sense Dig Cit Curriculum - Google Slides