Developing an Online Digital Citizenship Course – The Beginning

Photo Credit: drpretty Flickr via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: drpretty Flickr via Compfight cc

I have to start by saying that I am pretty excited about the major project for this semester. We have been asked to create an online course consisting of different lessons, activities and assessments. This is something that has appealed to me since the start of my master’s program and I am hoping that I have some opportunities in the future to be a part of developing online content for our schools.

I am fortunate enough to work with two amazing teachers (Andrew and Nancy) who are going to join me in creating our first online course. We have decided to work with the Digital Citizenship Continuum  from within the Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools document developed by our very own “Courobrandt” duo of Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt. The continuum focuses on digital citizenship and involves competencies for Kindergarten right through to Grade 12. The guide was developed to help K-12 teachers integrate digital citizenship instruction in the classroom. I highly recommend reading through the document, if you don’t want to read all of it, at least check out the competencies starting on page 56. If you are not familiar with digital citizenship, check out this brief video.

The competencies have used the concepts of Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship and include three broad categories:

  1. Respect – digital etiquette, digital access and digital law
  2. Educate – digital communication, digital literacy, digital commerce
  3. Protect – digital rights and responsibilities, digital safety and security, digital health and wellness

There are nine competencies and we will be fully developing lessons, activities and assessments for three of them for Grade 9-12. Each group member will choose one competency to develop based on personal interest.

Photo Credit: hitchinssamson Flickr via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: hitchinssamson Flickr via Compfight cc

The competency that caught my attention right away was Digital Health and Wellness: The physical and psychological well-being related to digital technology use. This focuses on developing an understanding that using technology inappropriately can hurt us both physically and emotionally. Physically through something like texting and driving, emotionally through overuse and addiction to technology.

The course that we will develop is cross-curricular and can fit into many other courses such as ELA, Information Processing, Psych, Social Studies and Health. Given the nature of the content it will be very relevant for all students because technology plays such a large role in their daily lives.

We haven’t thought a lot about the way we will assess and the tools we will use, but we have discussed using blogs, a wikispace (or other website), assessments using Socrative or Google Forms, Google Docs and presentation tools such as Powtoon and screencasts.

I know I haven’t given you that much information, but what are your initial thoughts about this course? Any suggestions that you have for myself or my group? At this point we don’t have a super clear vision of what it will look like but I feel like we have a pretty good start. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds via Compfight cc



14 thoughts on “Developing an Online Digital Citizenship Course – The Beginning

  1. Thanks for finding this excellent document, Ashley! It is definitely worthy of online course development. I’m excited to work on this project with you and Andrew …. and, to implement our modules in a future IP 10 class, Tech 9 class, Law 30… or maybe even as part of a Psychology 20 unit on self-concept, etc.! The possibilities are endless.


  2. This is a great idea. It fits with the pedagogy of blended learning, as digital citizenship will give students the skills they need to be successful in their independent study. Looking forward to seeing your course later this semester!

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Great work Ashley! Your prototype project sounds very interesting as well as crucial for our youth and their ability to incorporate technology successfully as well as safely! You are definitely part of a strong team and I am excited to see your groups final product!


  5. I just finished reading Andy’s blog post and like I mentioned there, I think this is a wonderful idea! I love the cross-curricular component. I did a lot of cross-curricular work in elementary, but I find it more difficult in high school, so I think this will be a wonderful place to start as it is so applicable to so many different areas of study. I am looking forward to the end result! Good luck!


  6. Sounds like your group is off to a great start! One of the things that I have been thinking about as Amy and I are working through the beginning stages of our project is how to we make sure that whatever we create is something that another teacher could take and apply to their classroom right away. Thinking about what will they have to do to prep, will there be any prep to be done, how will their students access what is needed. Really looking forward to seeing how your group develops the cross curricular component.


  7. This looks awesome and I cannot wait to see what your group produces – no pressure! I liked the video you posted as well – the digital world can be a dark and scary place if our youth are not educated on how to use it properly.


  8. This is a great idea, Ashley! I think creating a blended course for a digital curriculum is a “makes sense” move. I’m interested to see what you come up with at the 9-12 level, to see how I could adapt it for younger learners!


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  10. Pingback: It’s still a work in progress, but I’m excited about that. | Ashley Murray

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