Thing 11: Digital Tattoo & Digital Citizenship

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Commonsense Media Poster
Commonsense Media Poster – click image for full poster

What is your Digital Footprint? What trails are you leaving online? Have you Googled yourself lately? Or checked other search engines like Pipl and FamilyTreeNow? What is public about you on Facebook? Things you share online are permanent, just like a tattoo!

What does your Digital Tattoo look like?

This is a huge topic, covering topics like online reputation, privacy, bullying, responsibility, safety, fair-use, sharing, opportunities, courtesy, citizenship. Our students (and many of us!) are living huge portions of their lives online, and as educators we need to understand this world and help them navigate it.

“Digital citizenship is a messy subject, and schools should be a safe place to explore it.” Sarah Ludwig, Skills We Can’t Teach: Facilitating Authentic Experiences with Digital Citizenship

Digital Opportunities: Richard Culatta, the CEO of ISTE, notes an important shift in the scope of Digital Citizenship:  “While online safety is critical, it’s only a small subset of digital citizenship. This school year we think we’ll see a shift in the conversation around digital citizenship to focus on encouraging students to harness tech tools to do good in the world and incite change. When students take a positive view of using online tools, they become more active citizens and community members. The ISTE Standards define digital citizenship as recognizing both the responsibilities and opportunities of an interconnected digital world.” This shift is definitely happening!


Amazing mind reader reveals his ‘gift’

CEOP safety video


  • Be Internet Awesome – Google’s new digital citizenship and safety program to help kids make smart decisions online.
  • UBC Digital Tattoo Project – Lots of rich content, learning materials, badging. “The goal of this site and the Digital Tattoo project is to raise questions, provide examples and links to resources to encourage you to think about your presence online, navigate the issues involved in forming and re-forming your digital identity and learn about your rights and responsibilities as a digital citizen.”
  • Teens Are Being Bullied ‘Constantly’ on Instagram – “Harassment on the platform can be uniquely cruel, and for many it feels like there’s no escape.” Not meant to scare you or your students off Instagram, but useful to understand what some teens are going through.
  • American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers – Book recommended by workshop participants.
  • What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship – “9 Key Ps” of digital citizenship from Vicki Davis
  • Teacher’s Guide to Digital Citizenship – Overview of major issues from Edudemic.
  • 8 digital skills we must teach our children – “how can we, as parents, educators and leaders, prepare our children for the digital age? Without a doubt, it is critical for us to equip them with digital intelligence.”
  • It’s Complicated: the Social Lives of Networked Teens. by danah boyd An important read about how teens use technology. “What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens’ use of social media.” (Look for option to download a free copy of the ebook.)

Webinars for Educators

Students Rights, Online Privacy, College and Jobs? What’s your point of view?

Ideas for Classroom Activities




AASL Standards Share

  • What does it mean to be a good digital citizen?
  • What skills do students need? What should be taught at different ages?
  • What are the challenges?
  • What privacy rights do students have? Should employers and colleges be looking at Facebook and Twitter?
  • What are the consequences of over-sharing?
  • How might educators partner with parents to educate the community?
  • What activities would align with the ISTE Standards and the new AASL standards related to this topic?


Like many of our other topics, focus on something that interests you, explore it and share your thoughts and ideas in your blog posts. Some ideas include:

  • Read & explore some of the resources above. Share your thoughts.
  • Share student activities that you have already tried, how did it go, what else could you do?
  • Did you find any interesting activities or ideas that you might implement?
  • Share additional resources that you’ve found.


  • Write & publish your blog post.
  • Copy the URL (webpage address) for your post.
  • Return to your Google Classroom, find the assignment page for the lesson you just completed and follow the directions for turning in and sharing your work.

*Only for students participating in the workshop for PD credit hours through the Google Classroom.

3 thoughts on “Thing 11: Digital Tattoo & Digital Citizenship

  1. Book recommended by a workshop participant: American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales

    Jan 2018

    7 Apps for Exploring Global Citizenship with Young Learners and BrainPop’s digital citizenship program and CommonSense media digital passport – suggested by Julie Bader

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