Sunday, November 4, 2012

Digital Passport - Our Favorite Digital Citizenship Site

The best tool that I have found for reinforcing digital citizenship in elementary school is the Digital Passport site sponsored by Common Sense Media. My 3rd-5th grade students LOVE the videos and beg to play the games that focus on digital safety, respect and community.

The introductory activity on the site shows students how to create a strong password using a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. (This skill was exactly what we needed before creating our Google Apps passwords this year).

There are also five different modules that actively engage the students and cover timely topics such as:
  • Communication - "Twalkers" teaches students why it is not wise to multitask when using a cell phone.
  • Privacy - "Share jumpers" explains when it is appropriate and not appropriate to share info. online.
  • Cyberbullying - "Evolve" encourages students to become upstanders who take action to stop cyberbullying.
  • Search - "Search shark" provides practice to help students become adept at keyword searching.
  • Creative Credit - "Mix-n-mash" focuses on copyright issues and teaches students to value someone else's creative work.
Each module takes my students between 15-20 minutes to complete so students can finish a module during their regularly scheduled time in my Technology Applications class. (Note: After 15 minutes a screen will pop-up asking students to press the Reset button if they are going to continue working).

I LOVE the site, as a teacher, because it is free and the teacher management tools are fabulous!  Following is a "sneak peak" of what my teacher account looks like:

The online educator materials explained how to easily create .csv documents to import my student data and set up accounts for my 450+ students. There are online reports that allow me to see exactly how my students are performing, and I have teacher options available that allow me to control when students are permitted to access the modules.

We have successfully completed two of the modules and have had no issues with site availability or performance. That, in itself, is a rarity among free Internet-based tools.

Kudos to Common Sense Media for creating a quality product and then providing it at no cost to educators/students!!!

Click here to visit the site and complete the educator registration - DIGITAL PASSPORT:EDUCATOR REGISTRATION

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