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    Digital Citizenship: To Share or Not to Share

    Digital Citizenship: To Share or Not to Share


    This lesson is adapted from Google's Be Internet Awesome Lesson 1: Share With Care. It specifically focuses on Activity 1: When not to share and Activity 4: Keeping it Private. 


    This lesson is adapted from Google's Be Internet Awesome Lesson 1: Share With Care. It specifically focuses on Activity 1: When not to share and Activity 4: Keeping it Private. 


    • Vocabulary Words  Print one set for each small group of 4-5 students. Cut them into cards that students can match.
    • Scenario Questions Print one set for each small group of 4-5 students. Cut them into individual scenarios.


    Background for Teachers

    Blended learning is becoming more and more common in schools today. Digital citizenship is an area that students need to be directly taught so they can navigate the internet safely. 

    The Be Internet Awesome website has all the information and resources you need to begin teaching. They have premade slides to present with the use of Pear Deck, which makes the presentation interactive with the students. 

    Student Prior Knowledge

    Students need no prior knowledge for this lesson. 


    Intended Learning Outcomes

    Students will: 

    • Understand what kinds of personal information should be kept private.
    • Remember that everyone deserves to have their privacy decisions respected.
    • Study how to see privacy concerns from different peopleʼs points of view.
    • Understand how different scenarios call for different levels of privacy.


    Instructional Procedures

    1. Build background knowledge by giving each small group of 4-5 a set of the vocabulary matching cards. Have them work together to match the words to what they think are the correct definitions. When the groups are done, go over each word and its definition with the class, and have the students correct their matches if needed.

    2. Have the following discussion with your class (taken straight from the Be Internet Awesome Resources website): 

    • Why does privacy matter?
      Your digital footprint is what represents you online. This could mean photos, audio, videos, texts, “likes,” and comments you post on friendsʼ profiles. Just like it’s important to be a positive presence offline (like at school), it’s important to keep it positive online too.

      The Internet makes it easy to communicate with family, friends, and people who love the same things that you do. We send messages, share photos, and join conversations on social networks – sometimes without thinking about who else can see them too. A picture or post you think is funny and harmless today could be seen and misunderstood by people you never thought would see it – now or way off in the future. Once somethingʼs out there, it’s hard to take it back.

      Like everything else on the Internet, your digital footprint could be seen by people you’ve never met.
      Once something by or about you is online, it could be there forever. Think of this like you’d think about a permanent marker: The marks it makes can never be erased, even if you realize you meant to write something else. Thatʼs why your privacy matters. You can protect it by sharing only things that youʼre sure you want to share – in other words, by being careful about what you post and share online. Why else might privacy be important?

      It’s also good to know when to post nothing at all – not to react to somebody’s post, photo, or comment or not to share something that isn’t true. Everybody’s heard “think before you post,” and that’s because it’s really good advice. The way to respect your own and other people’s privacy is to think about what’s okay to post, who might see your post, what effect it could have on you and others, and when not to post anything at all.

    3. Give the following questions to have the students discuss in their small groups:

    • When is it okay to share a photo or video of someone else?
    • Why are secrets so hard to keep?
    • Is it ever okay to tell someone else’s secret?
    • What about if they’re someone you care about and they’re posting something that makes you feel they’re in danger? If you think you should share that secret, should you tell them you’re thinking about that before doing anything? Should they know you’re worried?

    4. Discuss as a class that secrets are just one type of personal information that we might want to keep private or share only with trusted family or friends. Once you’ve shared a secret, you’re no longer fully in control of where it can go. What other kinds of information should we be careful to protect? Have the class brainstorm some possible suggestions. In the end, make sure the following are included:

    • Your home address and phone number
    • Your email
    • Your passwords
    • Your usernames
    • Your schoolwork and other documents you create.

    5. Give each student in the small groups a scenario that you have printed out. Have the students each take turns reading their scenario and having the group discuss what they would do in each situation. 

    6. Wrap Up: Have a whole-class discussion on the big ideas that students learned in this lesson on what to share and what not to share. 



    Assessment Plan

    Students will demonstrate what they have learned by creating a poster or flyer to hang around the school to remind other students about digital citizenship and online safety. They may work in pairs or small groups. The link to the flyer shows an example of a flyer made on Adobe Spark. 



    Be internet awesome