Intentional Add-On

 I have been working on a workshop presentation, Digital Citizenship, How Am I Supposed To Teach This? As I work through the segment as to why you should teach Digital Citizenship, I have found myself saying that teaching Digital Citizenship should not be done as add-on lessons but rather integrated into the curriculum. In fact it should and can be integrated into all areas of the curriculum. But… maybe there are times when it is appropriate for Digital Citizenship be an add-on.

Could Digital Citizenship lessons be an add-on, just like mini-lessons about going on a filed trip. Don’t you incorporate a few mini-lessons on how to behave on a field trip prior to going? Reminders to stay with the group and chaperones, to be mindful of the other patrons of the museum (theater, park, supermarket, add your field trip place here), the connection to the curriculum, maybe directions for the activity planned for the field trip. These field trip lessons are add-ons but the field trip is integrated with the curriculum. The lessons are important safety/social-emotional lessons as well. Aren’t mini-lessons about a new website also important safety/social-emotional lessons add-ons.While the actual Digital Citizenship lessons about what information to share on the website and how to navigate to and within the website are not curriculum related, the website was chosen for its ability to enhance the curriculum.

What about lessons on Digital Health? This is related to concerns over screen time and digital addiction. These issues are at the forefront of a lot of parental debate about teens using digital resources in school and out. Is it not a worthy add-on in middle and high school classes? Don’t these types of discussions have potential long range effects on students’ digital lives? So isn’t it worth the class time to make the students aware of their current digital habits and how to manage their future digital habits?

As I have written in a previous blog post, Not Just One Week (https://edtechease.comindex.php/blog/not-just-one-week), Digital Citizenship can not be a once a year set of lessons. To guide students into consistently using the skills and ideas of Digital Citizenship will require practice and feedback over time. By finding ways to “hack the standards” as described by Kirsten Mattson in her book, Digital Citizenship in Action, Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities, teachers can incorporate Digital Citizenship into the curriculum they are already teaching. When you are using a new anchor chart that you discovered on Pinterest, let the students know that you found this idea in an online community. Teach Keyword searches for a report or presentation research, just as you would explain how to find information in the school library. Give students the choice to create a digital infographic to express their understanding of topic.

Are you integrating Digital Citizenship into your classroom? Would love to hear how you are doing this. Looking for more ways? Reach out via Twitter (@edtechease) or Facebook ( or email me,

Originally posted on Thursday, 27 September 2018.

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