About this course
Children are learning to use technology at a very young age. As young learners begin to utilize these resources to find and share information and communicate with others, it is critical that we teach them how to navigate the Internet safely and act ethically and responsibly while working online. Training in digital literacy and citizenship helps students to develop the 21st-century skills they will need to be successful. Participants in this course will gain a better understanding of 21st-century literacies including the themes of digital citizenship, evaluate current practices, research the impact and importance of digital literacy and citizenship on the 21st-century learner, and develop lessons focused on both modeling and incorporating digital citizenship into the K-5 classroom.
What will I learn in this course?
Week 1: 21st-Century Literacies
Today’s young learners are born into a world of prevalent technology and will need to know how to use them properly in order to be successful. Learning to navigate and use technology safely and effectively is an extremely important skill for the 21st-century learner. In this first module, you will focus on defining 21st-century literacies including the nine themes of digital citizenship to gain a better understanding of the topic and discuss how these concepts impact young learners.
Week 2: Current Practices in Digital Literacy and Citizenship
For young learners, one of the best ways to ensure they gain the 21st-century skills they will need to achieve success is to model best practices in the classroom. Teachers should promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking through the use of technology and allow students opportunities to both observe utilize these skills in the classroom. In week two, you will analyze further available research on digital literacy and citizenship, discuss federal laws regarding appropriate technology use with young learners, and reflect on current practices in teaching digital literacy and citizenship by completing a survey and conducting an audit of your classroom, school, or district.
Week 3: Teaching Digital Citizenship in the K-5 Classroom Part 1 – Rights and Responsibilities
For K-5 students, the Internet can be both an exciting and scary place. Part of learning to use technology includes gaining an understanding of how to use these tools safely and appropriately. This includes understanding your rights such as a right to post information freely as well as the responsibilities of a digital citizen such as giving proper credit for work shared online. In week three, you will expand your knowledge of the elements of digital citizenship by focusing on digital access, security, and the rights and responsibilities of a digital citizen including personal information, privacy, safety, and copyright. This module will help you to develop a better understanding of personal online practices and illustrate how your online actions leave a digital trail that others are able to see.
Week 4: Teaching Digital Citizenship in the K-5 Classroom Part 2 – Online Communication and Collaboration
It is no surprise that young students are learning to use technology to communicate and collaborate with others, but are they learning the skills they need to do this safely? Research suggests that in order for students to thrive in the virtual world, students must learn to communicate and collaborate using online tools to connect with others. In week four, learning focuses on how teachers can help young learners to make positive online connections, demonstrate professionalism while working online, and safely collaborate with others. As a culminating activity, you will create a presentation that summarizes knowledge and informs others about the importance of digital literacy and citizenship in the K-5 classroom.