Public Relations Today
Jayne Miller By Jayne Miller • March 27, 2015

Tips for Growing Digital Natives into Good Digital Citizens

Your students may be digital natives, but they still have much to learn about being a good digital citizen. (Hey, they have a lot to learn about technology in general - being a digital native doesn't mean you're better at tech than your teacher.)

Students who are good digital citizens can better evaluate information they find online and are more prepared for prompting useful, relevant exchanges on the web. It’s our hope that classroom systems like Chalkup will play a role in building students’ online acumen. We collected a few quick ideas for furthering this development and teaching students how to connect thoughtfully. 

Have a great example of teaching your digital natives to be good digital citizens? Share with us in the comments.

Use a Welcome Message to Set Expectations


When we get schools up and running with Chalkup, we suggest that teachers write a welcome message to their class on the platform. It’s a good way to set the tone for how students will be expected to engage online moving forward. You can use this as a place to set ground rules for discussion or outline the type of exchanges you want to see every day.

If you want something more explicit for your classroom, a welcome message is also a space to discuss how to connect wisely and how this behavior can extend outside of Chalkup.

Practice Good Habits in a Safe Space

All good things take practice. Student-led conversations in a course discussion thread allow for this practice in a safe space. By selecting student discussion facilitators and taking turns moderating, students build citizenship skills with guidance from teachers and peers.

This is an opportunity for you to call out those who are sharing reliable resources for work or prompting thoughtful engagements. Conversely, it's also a time to stamp-out bad habits before students apply them in online spaces that aren't so private. 

Positivity Wins


Shine a light on the students who are developing good digital habits. We love using our upvotes and “instructor’s choice” features in the Chalkup discussion space to highlight academic success, but these tools can also be used to cheer kids who are using reliable resources. Or to encourage students who are able to disagree with a classmate in a way that’s respectful.

Professional Development for Teachers

We can’t ignore how many teachers have told us that they benefit from professional development on this topic. Beyond serving as a forum to exchange strategies with other instructors using the same digital tools, these sessions can boost instructor confidence on teaching good digital practices.

Watch This TED-Ed Video With Your Class

Man, the internet is big. This fun video on network theory illustrates how things go viral and just how connected we all are. Great supplement to teaching digital citizenship.

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