Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kristie Kriss - 20% Digital Citizenship Project

Creating Responsible Digital Citizens

I started this project by examining the resources posted on Edina’s website related to digital citizenship and searching other internet sites related to digital citizenship. I noticed that several of the lessons focused on finding reliable information online. Anyone can post information online and create “professional” looking sites. There is no guarantee that the information posted online is factual; however students often use information from the first site they find and use it in projects. Part of being a responsible digital citizen is understanding that not all information available online is accurate and taking time to evaluate sites for accuracy. It is essential that teachers show students the importance of checking the validity of sites.

The lesson below will be implemented at the beginning of a semester when students need to find information about the history of a specific flight vehicle. I will remind students about these ideas throughout the semester as students are completing research for other projects.

Lesson (2-3 class periods)

  • Students will start by reflecting on how they find new information for class projects or personal use. The discussion will include a discussion of how students often find information online and how effective they are at finding information online.
  • I will ask students to identify the sites they most commonly use when gathering information. I’m anticipating that the list will include information such as Wikipedia, Wiki Answers, and
  • Students will then complete a pre-assessment about information found online. The pre-assessment will include questions about whether all information online is accurate, and strategies students can use to check the validity of a website.
  • We will go over the pre-assessment and discuss the information that is found online. The discussion will include the following ideas:
- anyone can post information online
- not everyone is an expert on the area they discuss online
- there is no guarantee that all information online is accurate

  • I will ask students to predict whether each of these sites is valid and to explain their reasoning.
  • We will then discuss how students can determine if information found online is accurate.

- the purpose of the site (is the site biased in anyway, is any information missing)
- does the site include links to other reliable resources 
- is there an author or contact information listed and can that information be verified
- how current is the information
- can the information found on this site be verified by at least three other sites
- the domain extension - I will provide students with a list of what each domain
extension means.
  • The students will then be divided into groups and will use the strategies listed above to evaluate the moonbeam enterprises site and the dihydrogen monoxide site.
  • They will learn that both of these sites are unreliable. The goal of moonbeam enterprises is to sell real estate on the moon. This is not something that could be verified on three other sites. Students will also notice that this site does not include any real pictures of this moon real estate. The domain of the site is .com, meaning it is a commercial site. The only contact information was an email address that could not be verified. The dihydrogen monoxide site looks more professional, but after researching the equation students will realize that dihydrogen monoxide is simply water.
  • The students will then search for information on the  history of a specific flight vehicle. They will pick out four websites they find and use the strategies listed above to determine the credibility of those sites. They will rank the sites in order from most trustworthy to least trustworthy and include a written explanation.
  • Students will then use the trustworthy sites to complete their flight vehicle project.


I spent several hours navigating through resources about digital citizenship. I started with the digital citizenship resources posted on the Edina website by Mike and Molly. I learned that there are many facets to promoting digital citizenship within the classroom from digital footprints to digital literacy. I then searched for "Digital Citizenship Lesson Plans" and found several resources focused on determining the credibility of websites. I decided to focus on this area, because I often find my students asking me if they can use sites like Wikipedia and Wiki answers. I thought implementing a lesson like the one above would help them to understand why some sources are more credible then others. I then did research on ways to evaluate websites and on "hoax" websites for teaching students to evaluate sites. I found that Google has some great resources on digital citizenship through a site called ikeepsafe.  

I enjoyed the open ended nature of this project. I was able to research different aspects of digital citizenship and find issues that my 8th grade students encounter. It made it easier for me to apply the digital citizenship concepts directly to my class.

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