If you’re a teacher, chances are you’ve been hearing a lot about digital citizenship. There are many reputable and respectable organizations who have devoted their life’s work to developing digital citizenship resources to promote the values of such a citizen in educators and students worldwide. We at the Global Digital Citizen Foundation are proud to be among them.
We all know the world is different now. We’re all globally connected by technology, so the responsibility of making the world a better place by fostering a compassionate and mindful citizenry isn’t just the responsibility of a chosen few anymore. Now, it’s on all of us. Don’t be worried, be overjoyed—especially if you’re a teacher.
You are in the perfect position to be the best source of digital citizenship development any student could hope for. You’re not alone, either—we’ve gathered a list of digital citizenship resources and websites from people who are just like you, and that are behind you all the way.
Great Digital Citizenship Resources for You
This post features some useful support on digital citizenship, covering these important categories:
- Digital Footprints/People Searching
- Citing Sources
- Detecting Plagiarism
- Personal Responsibility
- Global and Cultural Awareness
Go forth in confidence, using these digital citizenship resources that every educator can use in their classrooms.
Digital Footprints/People Searching
The “digital footprint” or “digital shadow” we all have in the online world has become a bit of a buzz phrase, but that doesn’t make considering it any less worthwhile.
A lot of what we do stays online, and continues to define us long after we’ve forgotten it. An article published in Forbes suggests just how important a factor this can be in work or college applications. Our kids need to know that what they post online stays with them indefinitely, and becomes the face of who they are to potential employers and educators.
These following digital citizenship resources are for helping both you and your students discover more about how the digital footprint works and how it can be managed.
- Pipl—Probably one of the best digital footprint tools out there. Type in a name, email, username, or phone number and receive some astonishing results.
- Peekyou—Similar to Pipl in the people search category, although not as comprehensive. Peekyou is more geared towards social networking, but it’s still a fine tool for people searching.
- Digital Footprint Quiz—This site has a lot of useful information about the digital footprint concept. The quiz included gives an estimate of your own footprint’s “dimensions.” A pretty useful site, actually.
- Internet Society: Your Digital Footprint Matters—This is another rather informative site for learning about the footprints we leave online. A list of online tutorials makes learning the concepts easy and fun.
So much of what we share online is shared freely, simply because there’s so much of it out there and it’s so easy to do. It’s good practice for us to continue educating students in the old standard “credit where credit is due.”
Here are some easy-to-use digital citizenship resources that can assist both teachers and students with the tedious process of creating bibiography citations. These are generally sites where you can copy information into the task bar, and the bibs are generated automatically.
- EasyBib—This is likely the most well-known tool for generating bibliography entries. EasyBib has lots of options for citations and is very easy to use. Use it for citations from books, websites, articles, and tons of other choices.
- BibMe—BibMe is very similar to easyBib. It also includes an essay scoring tool, resources for schools, and account access for storing your bibliographies online.
- Citation Machine—Lots of great tools here, including an Essay Check and title page generator for documents.
Bullying both online and offline remains a serious issue in schools, despite the widespread attention it continues to receive. There’s just no way to police all of it—it will take more than that. It will take more and more of us educating both ourselves and our children, and finally recognizing it as the hateful crime it truly is.
Our vision is that it won’t be long before the world is ready to stand up together and say, “That’s enough.” Hopefully, these tools will do their part towards making that happen one day.
- OnGuardOnline—Parents and educators alike will find this site useful. It features resources, video tutorials, and more features for keeping kids safe online.
- CommonSense Media Cyberbullying Toolkit—CommonSense Media has a great Web resource here you can register for. There are separate resources for elementary, middle, and high schools.
- Anti-Defamation League—This site offers valuable links and resources for teachers, parents, and students alike.
- Open Colleges Cybersafety Interactive Guide—This great interactive infographic is a powerhouse of information on staying safe online. It’s very informative and also fun to navigate! Topics feature cyberbullying, plagiarism, identity theft, computer viruses, and general Internet safety.
The possibility that a student may be plagiarizing is obviously not a pleasant thought, but unfortunately it sometimes happens. The majority of kids don’t particularly enjoy writing, and they can find it tedious and just plain unentertaining. So sometimes, they borrow copy—and sometimes it goes to the extreme.
It’s important for students to be aware of the serious consequences plagiarism can have. It’s not just about getting bad marks for unoriginality, especially in cases when legal issues concerning copyright can come to the forefront.
With that in mind, here are some tools to get kids to actually enjoy writing. These are engaging digital resources that make writing the fun adventure it’s meant to be. Also, read what Lisa Nielsen has to say on her blog The Innovative Educator about strategies for getting kids excited about writing.
In the meantime, if you feel you might need them. here are some digital citizenship resources to consider that will help you determine if there is plagiarism afoot in any assignment. These plagiarism checkers are also good tools to introduce your students to, if you wish. They may find them useful themselves as part of their own personal responsibility toolkit. Also, sometimes just the knowledge that these tools are out there can be a deterrent from plagiarizing pre-existing copy.
- TurnItIn—This is currently the premium plagiarism tracker/paper grader on the Web, and it’s a great tool. It’s a paid service and very easy to get a quote. There’s also an iPad app available for free. You can upload multiple papers and manage them at the same time.
- PlagTracker—Another really great paid service with great features. You can access writing and editing assistance, and the options for editing include many different formats. It will even rewrite plagiarized parts and show students how writing can be improved.
- DOC Cop—DOC Cop lets you upload multiple files for checking, as do the previous tools. The file check is free with a registration, and the feedback reports DOC Cop generates are comprehensive and detailed. A great little tool.
- Online Writing Lab—Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab is a feature-rich tool for doing all sorts of assignment/writing checks and exercises for improvement. Teachers will love this educational site—it’s got everything you need.
- Small SEO Tools Plagiarism Checker—This is a simple copy-and -paste Web checker system for detecting plagiarism. As the copy is processed, alerts will come up indicating if the copy exists or if it needs to be checked further. If it exists, it will provide a publication date. A detail check provides a link to Google search for related content.
- PaperRater—This is another copy-and-paste tool which works a little quicker than SEO Tools, but isn’t quite as detailed. It generates a quick report indicating what percentage of the copy is original.
Personal responsibility is one of the main characteristics of the Global Digital Citizen. Fostering this type of responsibility is about how one governs oneself in ethical and moral situations, and all sorts of relationships. It’s also about caring for the self—body, mind, and spirit.
These are places to go for learning about this kind of responsibilty, its importance to developing well-rounded students, and how you can instill these values into your own classroom practices.
- GoodCharacter—This site features a “character quiz” that will guide students towards a sense of becoming responsible citizens. It includes questions to get your students engaged in lively class discussions.
- Scholastic.com—Scholastic offers up activity lists for teaching responsibility to students. It includes a reading list for further research into this important topic.
- Visible Thinking: Thinking Routines—If you haven’t visited Visible Thinking and checked out these Thinking Routines, it’s definitely recommended. There are several categories of routines designed for fostering the ideals of truth, fairness, creativity, and more.
Global and Cultural Awareness
The Global Digital Citizen is just that: a truly global citizen. In a transparent digital landscape where boundaries no longer exist, cultural awareness and sensitivity are vital to creating a better world for everyone.
These sites below are fantastic ways for students to interact with citizens beyond their borders, and to make meaningful connections with the beautiful cultures that make up our planet.
- TakingITGlobal—This is a global network with a mission of educating and empowering youth about global issues. Explore their interactive timeline and see what kinds of changes kids are making around the world.
- Kiva.org—Kids can learn a lot about other parts of the world and help low-income families realize their dreams through Kiva. Kiva is a microlending site that lets you send money to answer the needs of needy families and struggling entrepreneurs all over the globe.
- iEarn—iEarn is similar to Kiva in many aspects. It is collaborative in nature and connects schools and students globally so they can work on meaningful and engaging projects of every kind.
- CommonSense Media: Sites That Help Kids Do Good—This colourful list of resource sites helps kids learn about the world, and how to become more mindful citizens.
Bonus: Safe Web Searching
These are fun and entertaining sites that are safe for kids to explore and do Web searches with. You can feel some relief when your kids are surfing on these ones.