Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, News & Advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

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Written by Jacob Huss and Marie Polzer
on July 30, 2019

Digital citizenship is an area of focus for most schools across the country. The goal is to help bring a foundational knowledge and skill set to children so that they can effectively and responsibly use and interact with digital media and the internet. It also addresses the role of children being content creators who are active participants in these online community spaces. 

Each one of us leave a digital footprint in the realm of the internet. Each post that is made public, picture that is added, or tweet that is sent builds an overall profile of a person. Just like children need instruction on how to speak and interact with adults, peers, and friends, they also need guidance on the etiquette for digital interaction.

Students of all grade levels can benefit from learning about digital citizenship, from privacy and security to cyberbullying and appropriate communication. By working these topics into the curriculum, educators can help prepare students to take ownership of their digital footprint.  

Gaggle assists schools by providing notifications that are sent directly to students as a reminder to be considerate of what words they are using while interacting with others through technology tools. We also partner with school leaders by offering the ability to copy them on the notifications sent to students. This allows for opportunities to come alongside and address students who are making routinely poor decisions in their communication. This can highlight students who are needing further assistance in understanding the importance of digital citizenship. 

One concept to help students understand their actions while using technology is to think about leaving footprints in the sand.  A person’s digital footprint is a very real way that others can watch what someone says or does while interacting on the internet.  These digital footprints are used to make evaluations of a person’s character. Gaggle uses Violation notifications as a reminder to help students remember to make good decisions as they leave their digital footprints behind. 

If you or your district are interested in other resources to help promote the concepts of Digital Citizenship to your students, check out Common Sense Education’s resources here: https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-citizenship/curriculum


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