October 2019

The President's Message


Rachelle Dene Poth

Hello members of the Teacher Education Network! 


We are excited about the events coming up in October for our TEN community. For this month, the TEN Leadership Team has chosen the dual theme of Digital Citizen Advocate & Connected Learner. We know that just as students need our support in order to grow, we also need to surround ourselves with a supportive network to push forward and provide us with support and inspiration to keep learning and growing together. So this month we will be sharing the many ways we can build our learning networks and the importance of empowering our students to do this as well. We will also share resources for promoting digital citizenship and how we can embed this into our practice.

In this newsletter and for our Twitter chat coming up on October 28th, we will focus on different ways that we can promote collaboration, communication, and the ongoing improvement of our teaching practice. There are many resources available to provide learning activities for students and for educators to explore some of the digital tools available for promoted digital citizenship. Coming up in the middle of the month, is the DigCit Summit, which spans a week from October 14th through 18th, and has a lot of activities and global connection opportunities set up. Be sure to follow the conversation on Twitter and sign up to be a part of  the learning experience and make some new connections for your PLN. 


As always, if you would like to contribute a guest post to one of our monthly newsletters, please send an email to Rdene915@gmail.com. Guest posts should be approximately 300-500 words long and submitted before the 25th of each month. 


We look forward to continuing to build our Teacher Education Network community and hope that you will join in the discussions happening in the ISTE Community and during our monthly Twitter chats. We welcome your questions and comments and look forward to a great year of learning and growing together. 

Digital Literacy & Citizenship Resources


Steve Wick, Naperville, IL, Instructional Technology Coordinator @WickedEdTech

“If you are on social media, and you are not learning, not laughing, not being inspired or not networking, then you are using it wrong.”

~ Germany Kent

The only constant in this world is change. The world that many educators grew up in does not exist for our students today. We are connected to the world like never before, but the world also has unprecedented access to us. Navigating the digital world is an essential skill for all learners.


ISTE Student Standard 2: Digital Citizen Students recognize the rights, responsibilities, and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.

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I believe that it is important for educators, students, and parents to recognize that we all have a digital tattoo. Something is added to our digital tattoo almost every time we are online.  I like this analogy because once we share something with the digital world it is very hard to erase it, just like it is hard to remove a tattoo. Good or bad, our online resume is part of us now and in the future.


I believe all educators have a responsibility to help our students become digitally literate and my PLN has been helping us organize these resources to support all students now and in the future.


Media Literacy, Digital Literacy, and Digital Citizenship Resources

Recommended Books Connected to Media Literacy, Digital Literacy, and Digital Citizenship

Collection of Picture Books for Teachers and Learners Connected to Essential Skills

Introducing Children to Digital Citizenship


Deborah Kerby, Elementary Computer Teacher for Pocono Mountain School District, @docKerby

When I introduce the topic of Digital Citizenship, I like to start the discussion with defining what a citizen is, and what some of the expectations are of a citizen in different situations. We talk about normal behaviors, rules and etiquette expected of citizens such as saying please and thank you, and pushing in a chair when you vacate it. 


I ask students to share the communities they are part of, other than the school community and the country they live in. For instance, they may be a member of a sports team or musical ensemble. We talk about normal behaviors and rules of these different groups and how they might learn what is expected of them. In our school we follow a P.R.I.D.E. matrix. P.R.I.D.E stands for Prepared, Respectful, Involved, Dependable, and Empathic. The P.R.I.D.E. matrix is a guide for expected behaviors in our school community. Members of a sport team might look to the coach or the veteran players to learn what the expectations are for their team. Those in Scouts would observe and abide by behaviors of the troop leaders and older scouts.


I explain to my students that when they go online, they become citizens of a global community. This global community has normal behaviors and rules just like 3-dimensional communities they are citizens of. I don’t focus on “bullying,” but rather the positive behaviors that are acceptable in our online community. I also explain the consequences of using an online platform appropriately, and in ways that are not appropriate.


I stress the point that everything we post online is permanent and public. Many of the young people in my classroom do not realize this. They think that because a post on their Snapchat disappears it is gone. The fact is that when you delete a picture from your feed, or even a file from your computer, it is still there. What you have deleted is actually a pointer to it. This is why it is possible to recover deleted files. Snapchat can keep your images and messages as long as they like; their user agreement gives them license to use your pictures as they like. 


I encourage people to only post what portrays them in a positive light. Some examples might be sharing about helping a younger child with a school problem, volunteering for a church or other community organization, or helping around the house or the neighborhood. I explain to my students that now, at the age of 8 or 10, they are not concerned about the future. But 20 or 30 years down the road they might want to run for a political office or apply for a job that requires a high level security clearance. Silly things they post now, even at their young age, can possibly hurt them later on. So, building a positive Internet presence will also impact their future. It is best to start on the right path now.

DigCit Summit


I spoke with Marialice Curran about the upcoming DigCit Week, October 14-18 and she shared the following information. 

We have 34 countries and over 44,000 students are already registered: Albania 🇦🇱Argentina 🇦🇷Australia 🇦🇺Benin 🇧🇯Botswana 🇧🇼Brazil 🇧🇷Canada 🇨🇦Cameroon 🇨🇲Chile 🇨🇱Colombia 🇨🇴Ghana 🇬🇭Honduras 🇭🇳Ireland 🇮🇪India 🇮🇳Italy 🇮🇹Jordan 🇯🇴Kenya 🇰🇪Kuwait 🇰🇼Mexico 🇲🇽Morocco 🇲🇦Nigeria 🇳🇬Norway 🇳🇴Pakistan 🇵🇰Panama 🇵🇦 Romania 🇷🇴 Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦Scotland 󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿Singapore 🇸🇬Spain 🇪🇸Tunisia 🇹🇳UK 🇬🇧United States 🇺🇸Uruguay 🇼🇫Zimbabwe 🇿🇼

Here is a link to a recent newsletter with all of the details, blog post, link to register, and link to present. We are using #DigCitSummit as our hashtag and tweeting from @digcitinstitute and @digcitsummit.

Register TODAY for the #DigCitSummit ONLINE during #DigCitWeek with #EduMatch October 14-18

For daily classroom connections

For #DigCitIMPACT stories 

For #TweetAndTalk panels with @edu_match


Digital Citizenship in Our Classroom


Rachelle Dene Poth, Spanish and STEAM Teacher, @Rdene915

Digital citizenship is a topic that educators have to continue to be mindful of within their classrooms. Because so many tasks done today involve the use of technology, it is our responsibility to cover the elements of digital citizenship so that students are prepared and knowledgeable about the expectations. Digital citizenship skills have to be part of what we teach students, especially because we ask our students to do research, to collaborate using online tools and perhaps even be involved in social media. Each of these activities lead students to develop their online presence, and create their digital footprints. 

As educators, we not only have the responsibility to model good digital citizenship ourselves, but we have to help students understand what it means. We must provide opportunities for students to learn responsibly through technology and be sure


that what we are asking them to use is appropriate. We need to take the time to thoroughly research any tool we are using for its appropriateness for students and make sure it is something that will serve a purpose and provide  beneficial learning opportunities for students. 

I am familiar with the variety of tools available for digital citizenship including lesson plans, videos, teaching strategies and more. One of my students’ favorites has been the “Digital Compass.”  The Digital Compass is a great resource that provides a lot of interactive lessons, tutorials and fun activities for students to engage in to learn about digital citizenship. One of the most beneficial parts of this is that students have a choice in what they are doing through the interactive lessons, and can see how their choices can have positive or negative effects on themselves and on others. It is a tremendous opportunity to learn, that is personalized and helps students to continually build their digital citizenship skills. Common Sense provides many great resources for teachers to provide thorough and engaging lessons on digital citizenship. 

There are some other great resources available through CyberWise, The Digital Citizenship Summit, and DigCit Kids. Curran Dee, son of Marialice Curran,  created this site which provides many learning opportunities for students to explore and learn on their own.  Marialice Curran, has planned so many events throughout the year and has recently written a book about Digital Citizenship, DigCit Kids from EduMatch. Another great option is Digital Citizenship in Action by Dr. Kristen Mattson and Digital Citizenship in Schools by Mike Ribble.

One Teacher's Approach to Digital Citizenship


Guest Post Eileen Lennon, 6th Grade Technology Teacher at MS74 in Queens, NY @eileen_lennon

When I began teaching digital citizenship in 2010 it was an innocent time. We were only worried about the students believing all websites were real. I directed students to The Dog Island website, where you could pack up your dog in a crate and send him off for a week long romp on a beach. There’s other sites too; you can learn how to save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus from extinction. Silly, but harmless. Then there’s other sites that drift a little into the lunatic fringe; Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie will prevent aliens from getting access to your brain. Still harmless.

I would then tell the story that Alan November wrote extensively about; a student working on a Holocaust report used a website created by a Northwestern University professor. The professor believed that the Holocaust didn’t happen and the concentration camps were lice disinfestation treatment centers. That was the beginning of the internet’s dark side for me.


In 2012 I noticed my students were behaving irresponsibly online. It wasn’t malicious, it was more like using simple passwords and leaving them around for other students to see. I found Common Craft videos that explained Digital Citizenship concepts in simple straightforward ways, and they’re awesome. I created a worksheet based on the videos and my first true Digital Citizenship lesson was born!


CommonSense rolled out their Digital Citizenship curriculum and I was in heaven! They review all media for children, so they know their stuff. They’ve broken it down into eight topics and leveled it for grades K-12. There’s lesson plans, games, worksheets, even resources for parents; you can get it all from their site.


I also use Everfi, they have a Digital Citizenship online module that’s relevant for today’s student; one piece has the student trying to convince their friend to put down their phone and concentrate on driving.


Code.org has even done their part! In one lesson, the students stalk a few fake social media sites to see how much information the teen has shared. It hits home with many of my students.


From all these years teaching Digital Citizenship, my philosophy could be boiled down to this. Students will live online for a lot longer than we will, and they will be creating a digital footprint that could follow them for decades. Trying to keep them off the internet until they're old enough is as dangerous as keeping them in the backseat of a car and then handing them the car keys on their 18th birthday. We need to guide them as they learn to navigate the internet, allowing them to make small mistakes now rather than big ones later. We’ve come a long way from just worrying about Aluminum Foil Beanie websites, and we will be constantly trying to keep up. We owe it to our students to prepare them for wherever they will go.

Digital Citizenship in Our Classroom


Guest Post by David Lockett  IT/Robotics/STEM Facilitator, Edward W. Bok Academy @DavidJLockett

Our schools continue to make an effort to teach students how to be good digital citizens. Digital citizenship prepares students to become technology literate. Digital citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it can prepare students in ways that may help them become digitally literate. Technology leaders, teachers, and parents talk about what all users should know regarding appropriate technology use. maintaining a healthy balance between your online activities and relationships with physical world activities and relationships is pivotal for digital citizenship and school behaviors. practicing digital citizenship daily keeps students more engaged, efficient safe and cognizant of their digital lives around them. It creates a more meaningful relationship between the student and the teacher and provides more ways of connecting through their education.


Digital Media Resources 

CommonSense Media provides a Digital Literacy & Citizenship Classroom Curriculum. This is a FREE treasure trove of resources for educators and parents. Once you register you have access to scope and sequence documents and the curriculum containing lessons and videos for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. The curriculum is aligned to ELA Common Core, AASL, and ISTE Standards For Educators.


Be a Good Digital Citizen with BrainPop

Learn how to use technology and communicate online in a safe, responsible, and positive way. Through animated videos, short films, games, and interactive comics, NSTeens teaches tweens and teens about making safer choices online.



Digital Citizenship: How YOU Respond and Behave


Guest Post by Karyn Fillhart, Technology Training Specialist, Chino Valley Unified School District,  @filibuster3

For about 5 years, I have been giving assemblies at many of our district’s elementary schools modified from NetSmartz presentations. 

Some tips: 

  • Accept now that you CANNOT stop bullying!  

  • Words have power. Please never say they don’t.  

So what can you do? 

Encourage them to speak up if they see something wrong. Role play

I ask for 2 volunteers and make one “the bully”. Then I walk “the victim” through options: 

  • “Can you ask them to stop?” Yes. 

  • “Does that work?” No. (Add that someone might be just bossy so it MIGHT work.) 

  • “Could you walk away?” Yes, but they follow. 

  • So walk towards an adult. 

  • Compliment the bully! It is hard to say something negative when being complimented. Brooks Gibbs has a great YouTube video to illustrate this.  

  • If you see bullying, step in. If you don’t feel strong enough to stand up to the bully, ignore them and invite the victim to walk to a game or activity.  


Internet Safety  

Some tips:  

  • The internet is amazing, but it’s like candy. Some good, some bad, and too much can make you sick.  

  • If you wouldn’t do it in person, don’t do it online. Would you stand in a park and shout your name, age, where you live? If I walked up to you and said I’m a student at your school, you could see that isn’t true. Online? You think, cool! New friend or follower.  

Parents often ask if I talk about sexting. Yes, but from a different angle thanks to a colleague’s idea. I show a picture of a young girl with a GIANT snot bubble. 

If you take a picture you want to share, SHOW it, don’t SEND it. Once you send it, you no longer get to decide who sees it.  

PowerPoint presentations: 



Digital Tools to Explore

Rachelle Dene Poth, Spanish and STEAM Teacher, @Rdene915

  • 21 things for students offers 21 different lessons on topics related to digital citizenship, technology skills, cyberbullying and more. Full of activities and opportunities to extend learning for students to engage more in these important topics. 

  • Common Sense Education Digital Compass students can explore different characters and respond to prompts in an interactive story on topics such as social media, plagiarism, cyberbullying and more. 

  • Quizizz a game-based learning tool with a library of thousands of quizzes available to choose from or create your own within minutes. Use it as a way to check for understanding on these Digital Citizenship related topics or for any content area or grade level.

  • Nearpod offers a library full of choices in lessons with content for all grade levels and content areas. One of the features that helps are the interactive lessons for digcit and topics related to social media use and responsibility.

  • Be Internet Awesome is a program from Google that gives students the opportunity to learn by engaging in activites and games on Interland, four different lands for students to work through.


Pre-Service Teachers and Digital Citizenship: Learning by Doing

Susan Poyo, Associate Professor of Education, Franciscan University of Steubenville @spoyo

When I think about all I learned while preparing to be an educator, Digital Citizenship was definitely not in the curriculum. In fact, the “latest technology” was probably the mechanical pencil! Ok, let’s put this in perspective then considering MUCH has changed over the last couple of decades.


Of all the “lightbulbs” that go off in courses I teach, what makes me most proud of this profession is when preservice educators learn that this truly is a service profession.  With that understanding comes the idea that they are gaining new knowledge, skills and dispositions in order to give as much as they possibly can to their future students. Things that make them uncomfortable are now easier to swallow when they recognize enduring the struggle is not for them but for their future students. This even makes conversations about preparing their future students for jobs that don’t even exist a bit deeper and more meaningful. 

Preparing pre-service teachers (PSTs) to educate their future students in digital citizenship then means designing learning for these pre-professionals to learn through experience. One of the ways we do this is integrating a SOLE activity where the PSTs explore digital citizenship content that they might use with their future students. Be Internet Awesome is one of the programs these students learn from on both a personal and a professional level. They discover mistakes they may have made while creating their own digital footprint and share ideas for rectifying these mistakes. Great conversations erupt surrounding how they can use this curriculum to bridge home and school, getting parents involved in the education of digital citizenship as well.


Did You Get This Far?

Dennis McElroy, Professor of Education, Graceland University @acoustimac

Here we are at the end of another fantastic newsletter. I hope you've made it this far in your reading. I suppose this is kind of like Ferris Buehler coming back on during the movie credits. What are you still doing here? Go home. But when you do I want you to leave thinking of something more important than the Twist and Shout scene in the movie. 

What are you thinking about after looking through all of these great digcit posts? Are you thinking about what you can do in your classroom? Thinking about who you should make contact with to share ideas? Perhaps you are just a little overwhelmed by it all. 

Take a deep breath. 

Yes...breath slowly. 

It's ok. 


As educators we are the front line of the digcit battle. We do this by not only being examples of great digital citizens, but by passing on our knowledge and practices to our students, peers, and more. It really is in our hands. So, I'm asking you to think about two things as you wrap up your reading. First, ask yourself what you need to do to become that great example for all those around you. What needs cleaned up? What do you need to learn more about? Creative Commons? Fair Use? The ISTE digcit standard? Second, what are you going to do in your classroom to help instill the desire and promise in students to become good digital citizens? What resources did you glean from this newsletter? Which of these authors do you need to add to your PLN so you can ask questions and get ideas for authentic practices and activities? This is where the rubber meets the road. This is YOUR chance to make a difference. 

What are YOU going to do?