Before I became a parent, I imagined teaching my children important lessons of safety and sharing around a sandbox or swing. However, I quickly learned that some of the most relevant lessons of citizenship I need to impart are done so in front of the computer screen.
Teaching Channel teamed up with a resource I often point students and parents to -- Common Sense Media -- to go inside classrooms where students are getting hands-on instruction in safe, responsible, and meaningful ways to use the Internet. And as you'll see, when these important lessons are also fun, kids respond!
Librarian Barbara Jizba shows K-2 students how the information they put online leaves a "digital trail" by having them analyze clues from fictional characters.
Mr. Pane's fifth graders create comic books featuring digital citizen superheroes who act safely, responsibly, and respectfully online. At the end of the lesson, students share their work through a gallery walk.
This lesson works for all grades: consider your audience when writing email. Students compare and contrast formal and informal writing as they compose an email to the principal.
In Brian Van Dyke's middle school class, students dig into the digital footprints of different characters in their fictional search for a new TV host. They learn that what's on paper might not tell the full story.
Sarah Brown Wessling is a high school English teacher in Johnston, Iowa. She is the 2010 National Teacher of the Year and is the Teacher Laureate for Teaching Channel. Connect with Sarah on Twitter – @SarahWessling.