EGUSD Digital Citizenship

Resources for 21st Century Teaching and Learning

EGUSD Digital Citizenship

Archives for DigCit News

Digital Citizenship in the 2018-2019 School Year

As a district, EGUSD has long recognized the importance of teaching and modeling positive digital citizenship. Other districts have even reached out to us for guidance in implementing a K-12 program and working towards Common Sense District certification, which EGUSD has earned for another year.

“We applaud the faculty and staff of the Elk Grove Unified School District for embracing digital citizenship as an important part of their students’ education. The Elk Grove Unified School District deserves high praise for giving its students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large.” – Liz Kline, VP, Education Programs, Common Sense Education.

Common Sense District Banner

Three main steps that have helped us to achieve our Digital Citizenship Initiative goals include:

Step 1: Require every school site to designate a Digital Citizenship Site Coordinator.

Step 2: Require every site, at the beginning of the school year, to submit a Digital Citizenship Implementation Plan (via a Google Form) stating how the site plans to teach digital citizenship (i.e., identifying lessons per grade level, determining when and where each will be taught: within the core curriculum, during Advocacy, through various school events, parent outreach nights, etc.).

Step 3: Require every principal, at the end of the school year, to sign and submit to the district coordinator(s) a Digital Citizenship Verification Form stating that digital citizenship has been taught at his/her school .

We truly appreciate and want to acknowledge the efforts of our Site Coordinators (Step 1) in building impactiful digital citizenship programs for their schools, and in facilitating Steps 2 and 3.

Hello, world, we are digital citizens. Students embracing each other

Source: Common Sense

With so many of our sites tapping into Common Sense lessons and resources, we’re pleased to announce a significant update for the 2018-2019 school year to their curriculum, built on new research with Harvard’s Project Z. The curriculum materials are now available as Google Docs, including lesson quizzes in Google Forms. Besides being able to download, edit, and add lesson materials using Google Drive, teachers can also share student videos and interactives to Google Classroom. The updated curriculum is being released in phases over the course of the school year:

  • August 15: Grades 3–5 lessons are available now!
  • January: Grades 6–8 lessons launch.
  • Fall 2019: Grades K–2 and 9–12 lessons launch.

To learn more about the updates, visit CSM’s website. We’ve also posted the CSM lesson scope and sequence on our Digital Citizenship Curriculum SiteNote: Access to the Digital Citizenship Curriculum Google Site is limited to EGUSD staff only. You must use your district Google account to login.

Across the district, EGUSD students are putting their #DigCit skills into action to make a difference at their schools. It’s exciting to find a Facebook post or a Tweet showcasing school-based examples, such as KAMS students kicking off the new school year with their “3Be’s focus.”

Albiani Middle School students kick off the 2018-2019 school year.

How are students flexing their digital citizenship muscles at your school? We would love to showcase their stories! Please leave a comment if you have examples to share.

P.S. For a little #DigCit inspiration, here’s a short video from two high school teachers in Plano, Texas: #DigCi Rap.

Digital Citizenship Week: Oct. 16-20

Digital Citizenship Week - October 16-20

All of our EGUSD Digital Citizenship Site Coordinators have been busy submitting their site implementation plans for the new school year and it’s refreshing to see changes that incorporate some of the new Common Sense Media and Google Be Internet Awesome materials we blogged about last month. We are looking forward to showcasing what our schools do to celebrate National Bullying Prevention Month and Digital Citizenship Week. Below we’ve listed some resources to ignite conversations and actions. We invite you to explore something new during Digital Citizenship Week.

California Department of Education

The California Department of Education, in collaboration with Common Sense Media and the California State legislature, will celebrate Digital Citizenship Week October 16-20, 2017. This celebration will continue ongoing efforts to teach students how to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world. 

This years’ topics include:

  1. Evaluating Sources/Fake News
  2. Social media
  3. Smart Device use
  4. Positive online presence

The CDE’s weekly plan of events for Digital Citizenship Week provides links to Common Sense Media Lessons for educators and family resource/activity links in both English and Spanish. You can download the Digital Citizenship Weekly Plan from their website. 

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Educational Resources, Activities for 2017 CDE Digital Citizenship Week

“More than ever, it is crucial that our students and their families have the knowledge and tools to safely navigate the digital world we live in today,” Torlakson said. “The CDE and our partners have put together a curriculum of instruction addressing online security, privacy, cyberbullying, sourcing, verifying news sources, and other ways to make smart, safe, and ethical digital choices.”

Common Sense Media – Get Dig Cit-Ready

Common Sense Media rolled out their Get Dig Cit-Ready Campaign for Digital Citizenship Week a few days ago.

“Internet safety? Creative copyright? Fake news? With so many topics on your “to teach” list that go above and beyond the core curriculum, it’s essential to have a game plan.”

Common Sense Media Get Dig Cit-Ready Graphic

Share Your #DigCitMoment

There’s a chance for a #digcitmoment in your classroom every single day – Common Sense Media invites you to submit your story!


Educators – Are you following #DigCit on Twitter?

Following Twitter hashtags such as #DigCit will bring up collective resources and conversations. If you would like to delve into digital citizenship issues via a Professional Learning Network (PLN), Twitter is a great starting point.

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)


#ISTEChat is back Oct 19th! Join Dr. Marialice BFX Curran to discuss the new #digcit with @mbfxc and @digcitkids!


Share the ISTE Infographic: Citizenship in the Digital Age on your classroom blog or website. See how the characteristics of a good citizen parallel — and differ from — those of a good digital citizen.

Download the ISTE – free digital citizenship guide
9 ways to enhance students’ safety, creativity and empathy.
Note: You will need to fill out a form to get your free guide.

CUE SF: Digital Citizenship Educator Night at Clever!

Network with other educators passionate about preparing our students with Digital Citizenship skills from around the Bay Area.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM PDT
1263 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

“Join CUE SF for their Digital Citizenship Educator Night at Clever and learn about an exciting lineup of tools and resources to prepare educators for Digital Citizenship Week!  In partnership with Clever and San Francisco Unified School District’s Department of Technology, CUE SF will be hosting resources and demos from Common Sense Education, Nearpod, iCanHelp, Everfi and even some fun videos and resources from Flocabulary!”

Register through Eventbrite

Stand Up Speak Out! Against Bullying

Interested in attending something more local to the Elk Grove/Sacramento area?

Stand Up Speak Out Event Poster

October is National Bullying Month and Cyberbullying is a key component. You are invited to join multiple districts, including EGUSD, at the 5th Annual Youth Rally. The previous year’s youth rallies took place on the steps of the California State Capitol; this year the event has moved to the California Museum – Unity Center.

Stand Up Speak Out! 5th Annual Youth Rally
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CA Museum – Unity Center
1020 O Street, Downtown Sacramento

Download the Flyer

Know Your Apps

Video chat and anonymous apps are being used by most teens with access to a mobile device. Have you heard of Housechat, Sarahah or TBH?
Visit the EGUSD Digital Citizenship Social Media 101 page to familiarize yourself with the apps our students/children are using. Let us know if you have an app to add – because it’s difficult to keep up as new ones arrive in the app stores weekly.

EGUSD Digital Kids, Digital Classrooms Saturday Seminar

We are currently working on developing a workshop for our EGUSD Digital Kids, Digital Classrooms – Saturday Seminar on January 27, 2018, that focuses on Teaching Media Literacy – Evaluating Sources/Fake News. We look forward to this opportunity to share resources, best practices and frequently asked questions on a very current topic in digital citizenship. We agree with the stance that CA State Legislature has recently crafted regarding the importance of media literacy.

“Media literacy means the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and use media and encompasses the foundational skills that lead to digital citizenship.”

Be on the lookout for our workshop once registration opens.

We realize this is a lengthy post, but with so many great resources, we wanted to post them in one place. As always, if you have additional resources to share, please leave a comment below.

EGUSD Becomes First District in Sacramento Region to Become a Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Certified District


The Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) is the first school district in Northern California to receive the Common Sense Media’s (CSM) Digital Citizenship District Certification. The certification demonstrates the District’s and its educators’ commitment in teaching students how to use technology in enriching and responsible ways. Given the pace at which new technology tools emerge, EGUSD recognized the importance of implementing a digital citizenship comprehensive program to teach safe, effective and ethical uses of digital age technologies to its staff, students and parents.

Read More

Parents, Teens and Digital Monitoring

The Pew Research Center came out with a new article yesterday, “Parents, Teens and Digital Monitoring,” explaining the different ways that parents monitor their teens’ digital behavior – with research showing that the use of parental control software seems to be less common than it used to be. The findings were based on a national survey of parents of teens ages 13 to 17, conducted Sept. 25-Oct. 9, 2014, and Feb. 10-March 16, 2015.

It does take some work to find the right balance for your family – allowing children to have the freedom to explore, while at the same time, providing enough parental guidance to make sure they don’t get themselves into unsafe situations and to have a plan in place if they do.


As students step up and out onto the Internet, the district wants to ensure that they understand the need to think before they post – to treat others with respect, to build and maintain a positive digital footprint, to protect their online privacy and the privacy of others, and to respect intellectual property boundaries – but it’s also important to set some boundaries and continue having conversations about these topics at home.

According to PEW survey results, when it comes to monitoring their children’s digital use and interactions, parents tend to take a hands-on approach to monitoring what their children do:

Most parents check what their teen does online and on social media and talk with them about acceptable online behavior

The survey results are encouraging, as a hands-on approach is likely to be more effective. Please take some time to read the article, especially if you are looking for ways as parents to talk to your teens about acceptable online behavior and creating a positive digital footprint.

Parents can play a key role in their child’s safe and responsible use of social media. In addition to findings by PEW, we also recommend a lesson we learned from local social media expert and founder of Above the Fray, Thomas Dodson, on the importance of keeping communication open between parent and child. Thomas recommends resisting the knee-jerk temptation to demand their child hand over their cell phone for an impromptu inspection. Instead, Thomas recommends telling a child he/she has 24 hours to remove any inappropriate messaging or materials before sharing with the parent. We liked that this approach promotes children and parents sharing the responsibility and having open discussions on what is and isn’t appropriate online.


Too often when parents take away a child’s access to social media, the child simply finds another way to access it. (Create a new account, use an app that hides apps, buy a “burner” phone or borrow one from others.)

Again, we can’t stress enough the importance of parents guiding their children across the digital highway. As always, if you have something to add to this conversation or another article to share, please let us know in comments below.

Resources for National Bullying Prevention Month/Digital Citizenship Week

Looking for resources for National Bullying Prevention Month? How about resources for Digital Citizenship Week? Check out the resources below and let us know if you have additional links or lessons to add to the list and conversation.

National Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign in the United States founded in 2006 by Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER’s) National Bullying Prevention Center.

The goal of National Bullying Prevention Month is to encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying by increasing awareness and bringing attention to the impact bullying can have on children of all ages.

PACER websites for kids and teens

10-7-2015 1-21-25 PM

Image Source: – Educational website designed for elementary school students to learn about bullying prevention, engage in activities and be inspired to take action.

Image Source:

Image Source: – Created by and for teens, this website is a place for middle and high school students to find ways to address bullying, to take action, to be heard, and to own an important social cause.

Disney ABC Television Group
To help raise awareness for National Bullying Prevention Month, during the month of October, the Disney ABC Television Group is encouraging kids, adults and families to #ChooseKindness. They are teaming up with and STOMP Out Bullying, GLSEN and GLAAD to inspire social change and help put an end to bullying by asking kids, adults and families to spread positivity and choose kindness in their everyday actions.

Common Sense Media – Digital Citizenship Week – October 18-24, 2015

Image Source:

Grown-ups dread it. Kids need it. It’s time to have The Talk.”- Common Sense Media is bringing awareness to the importance of being a good digital citizen by including resources on their website to encourage parents and educators to engage in conversations about navigating social media, online games, smartphones and the Internet with kids.

“As parents and educators, we want to raise kids to be safe, responsible, and ethical in the digital world. Giving kids a solid understanding of how we expect them to behave — both online and off — starts everyone off on the right foot.” – Common Sense Media

For Parents
You don’t have to be an expert to have The Talk.
Common Sense Media – 5 basics to cover during The Talk

For Educators
You’re on the front line of a subject nobody taught you to teach. But you don’t need to be an expert on social media, online games, and texting to have The Talk with your students.
Common Sense Media – 5 easy steps for having The Talk

Common Sense Media invites you to join other parents and educators on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #HaveTheTalk 

Digital Citizenship Week


As part of the National Connected Educator’s Month events, October 19-25 has been designated as the third annual Digital Citizenship Week. Common Sense Media in partnership with Connected Educator’s Month has developed a robust toolkit of activities for teachers, students, administrators and families to explore and take action on digital citizenship topics.

Some of the activities featured include:

  • Empower Students – Post a Common Sense Media digital citizenship poster in your classroom, school office, or hallway.
  • Engage Families – Distribute a Common Sense Media Family Tip Sheet, or even two or three. You can share the tip sheet in hard-copy form or save paper and share it electronically.
  • Connect Teachers – Learn about the most common behavioral issues your students face when using technology by checking out these straightforward Common Sense Media teacher backgrounders.

Link to the complete Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Week Toolkit

National Bullying Prevention Month

On October 7, 2014, the EGUSD Board of Education took action on a resolution to declare October as National Bullying Prevention Month.  EGUSD has long had strategies for bullying prevention and intervention in place to help keep students safe and ensure a healthy learning environment.  The district has an extensive board policy on bullying that covers a variety of areas, including cyberbullying, bullying prevention, intervention, complaints and investigation, discipline and enforcement mechanisms. Focusing on cyberbullying issues as part of your bullying events is a perfect way to weave Digital Citizenship Week into National Bullying Prevention Month.

Google Introduces New YouTube Comment System

In an attempt to curtail negative/hateful comments on YouTube  – mostly left by anonymous users – Google introduced a new YouTube comment system in September 2013. Comments are now integrated with users’ Google+ accounts*. Those without Google+ accounts can no longer leave comments on videos unless they sign up for an account.

The new comment system was also designed to display comments that would be relevant to individual users. Instead of seeing the most recent comments, users will see comments at the top of the list staring with the video’s creator, celebrities/popular personalities, discussions about the video, and comments from people in their Google+ Circles. Users can still see the most recent comments by switching their view from “Top Comments” to “Newest First” – very similar to Facebook and how users sort their news feed. With the new YouTube commenting capabilities, you can choose to start a conversation so that it is seen by everyone, only people in your Google+ Circles, or just a single person. Like Gmail, replies are threaded so you can easily follow conversations.

Video owners have new tools to review comments before they’re posted, to  block certain words or to save time by auto-approving comments from certain fans.

Anonymity led to lots of cyberbullying, trolling* and hateful comments in general on YouTube. Now with the added step of needing to have a Google+ account, bullies and trolls might just opt to not comment at all – rather than going through the process of setting up a bogus Google+ account or by creating a new YouTube Channel.

* Google+ (pronounced and sometimes written as Google Plus) is a social networking service owned and operated by Google Inc. It is the second-largest social networking site in the world, having surpassed Twitter in January 2013. It has approximately 359 million active users.

* Trolling is when a user intentionally causes distress, anger or argument in an online public forum for the purpose of disturbing other users. Individuals who partake in trolling seek an emotional response from others, whether with malicious or humorous intent.

Children’s Media Use in America 2013

Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America 2013 is the second in a series of surveys by Common Sense Media designed to document the media environments and behaviors of kids ages 8 and under. According to survey results, children’s access to mobile media devices is dramatically higher than it was two years ago.

Among families with children age 8 and under, there has been a five-fold increase in ownership of tablet devices such as iPads, from 8% of all families in 2011 to 40% in 2013. The percent of children with access to some type of “smart” mobile device at home (e.g., smartphone, tablet) has jumped from half (52%) to three-quarters (75%) of all children in just two years.

Read highlights from the study in the infographic below.

Visit Common Sense Media’s research page to read the report summary or to download the full report.

#DigCit resources for the classroom and home

Not only is it National Anti-Bullying Month, the week of October 21-25 has also been designated by Common Sense Media and Cable in the Classroom as National Digital Citizenship Week. In response, Edutopia has posted Digital Citizenship Week: 6 Resources for Educators. In addition to curriculum from Common Sense Media, which many of our schools are already using in their digital citizenship implemenation plans, Edutopia highlights several other resources worth checking out.

Understanding YouTube & Digital Citizenship
As part of Google’s digital citizenship committment, they have teamed with iKeepSafe and YouTube (owned by Google) to provide lessons on the ethical use of YouTube and other social media. The videos are appropriate for a wide range of ages from Grade 4 through adult. The lessons, however, are aimed more at middle- and high school-aged students.

Cyberwise Digital Citizenship Learning Center
Includes resources for students, parents and educators. Resources range from online digital citizenship game links to newsletters and videos.

Cable in the Classroom –  Digital Citizenship
A dynamic website for engaging articles, videos and other resources for teaching digital citizenship. A good place to start is with their InCtrl page, which includes videos and a growing bank of lessons for topics such as cyberbullying, digital footprint and protecting online privacy.

BrainPop Jr. Spotlight – Digital Citizenship
Although not all content on the BrainPop website is free, BrainPop has made a committment to provide its digital citizenship resources at no charge. Content is appropriate for elementary-aged students.

Teaching Channel – Super Digital Citizen
Website offers educators an easy way to find short, professionally produced videos (under 10 minutes) on digital citizenship topics. What makes this resource so valuable is that the videos are filmed with actual classroom teachers and students, thus providing a window into best practices.

Facebook now allows teens to go “public” with content

Teen Facebook users ages 13-17 now have the option to share photos, updates and comments with the general public on Facebook.

According to Facebook’s latest news update, teens are among the most active users of social media, ranging from civic engagement topics to their thoughts on a new movie. They want to be heard. In an attempt to appeal to the declining number of teens using Facebook, they’ve changed their privacy policy.  As of October 16, 2013, teens ages 13 through 17 now have the choice to post publicly on Facebook. All though the default when setting up a new account will now be “Friends only, ” teens now have the option to change that to “Public” under the new privacy settings.

When teens choose “Public” in the audience selector, they’ll see a reminder that the post can be seen by anyone, not just people they know, with an option to change the post’s privacy setting.

Facebook Privacy Screenshot
Source: Facebook

And if teens choose to continue posting publicly, they will get an additional reminder.

Facebook Privacy Screenshot
Source: Facebook

What this means for parents:

  • Strangers and companies collecting data for advertisers and marketing companies will be able to see select posts.
  • Strangers will also be able to “follow” teens they don’t know and see their public posts in the main news feed.
  • If teens change the audience of a post to share an update publicly, unless they use the audience selector to change their privacy setting back to “Friends,” all future posts will be public.
  • Facebook’s “Follow” feature now lets teens share posts, pictures and links with people they’re not friends with. Previously, minors were not able to turn on the “Follow” feature.

While minors can now opt to post updates, links and photos publicly — Facebook continues to protect some searchable information about minors, including their contact information, school and birthday.

Facebook is simply using the same privacy model that other competing social media sites (such as Twitter) already have in use. It’s important to continue to be vigilant when it comes to understanding the implications of privacy policy changes to any social media site.

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