How to teach the idea of digital citizenship to my students?
I think the idea of citizenship need to be thought both explicitly and implicitly.
The BrainPop Jr. "Digital Citizenship" videos are awesome -even for 1st graders; these videos are a good tool to introduce several important topics to be discussed as a class. This would be the explicit part of teaching digital citizenship.
On the other hand, the implicit way of teaching digital citizenship is an on-going process: you as a teacher have to permanently model and "think aloud" everytime you go on the web. I would use my Activeboard in front of the class when researching, google-ing", blogging, chating or working in a classroom project online. You as a teacher must model and explain to the students how to do a search, what is your criteria when selecting trustable sources, what is your thinking process when reading materials, how you critizise and validate information by comparing different sources. You as a teacher must model how to give credit to others, how to be respectful when engaging in blogging, or conversetions, etc.
This are the three things I want to make sure my students understand about being good digital citizens:
1. Be Safe: use technology in a healthy positive way. Stay away from inadequate websites and dangerous people online that might undermine your integrity. Report to your parents and teachers if you encounter any of that. Don't give personal information away.
Stay away from creating addictive bad habits... technology can be dangerous for your mental and physical health if you can't stop using it! Find a healthy balance with other activities like playing outside, cooking, doing sports, visiting friends.
2. Be Critical - Don't beleive everything you read! Learn to question who you read: what are this person's credentials? is this person using serious/recognized/credible sources? is this website trustable? Always check and compare the information you found with other online or written sources, research furhter, ask people you trust and experts for their opinion. Never rely in one only source... be kowledgable, find "the other side of the story", be open minded!
3. Be ethical and Responsible: Use the internet respectfully with others and yourself. Use the internet always in a positive constructive way -even when disagreeing; be always nice and respect other people's feelings; never use the internet to bully or let others bully you; report any abuse.
Give always credit to others for any work, materials or ideas you borrowed (both intellectual and artistic creations), and cite the sources of your information. Ask your friends and family for permission to publish any picture or say something about their personal life before you post it anywhere on the web.