Incarnation Catholic School Project on Digital Citizenship


Essential Resource: A Simple Guide for Teachers (and Parents)

Enduring Understanding:

In his 2009 Message for the 43rd World Communications Day, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI states, “The new digital technologies are, indeed, bringing about fundamental shifts in patterns of communication and human relationships”. There is a tremendous capability through social media for people to reach out and be connected to others in new ways. No longer are we “out of the loop” with friends far away. We know within minutes or hours at most when major events happen in one another’s lives. As a Church community, we must understand this connectedness and be open to networking with people through these tools. The Holy Father’s message establishes in its title three key needs of this culture: respect, dialogue, and friendship which are elaborated:
  • Respect the dignity and worth of the human person.”
  • Dialogue between people…require[s] honest and appropriate forms of expression together with attentive and respectful listening.”
  • “Friends should support and encourage each other in developing their gifts and talents and in putting them at the service of the human community.”

Essential Questions:

  • What are the characteristics, habits and attitudes of a responsible digital citizen?
  • How can we work together to teach others about responsible digital citizenship?
  • How can we collaborate and communicate with others online?
  • How can we support and develop our faith-based community using digital communication tools?

Assessment (Spring of 2012): See Product Rubric

Assignment (Spring of 2012):

  1. Work in your groups to create a presentation on your assigned topic. The presentation may be a skit, an informational video, or a slideshow. You must follow the steps of the Design Cycle.
  2. You will be assessed on the final product and on your ability to collaborate.
Design Cycle
  • investigate
  • design
  • plan
  • create
  • evaluate

Assessment (Spring 2011): See Collborative Rubric

Assignment: (Spring of 2011)

  1. Research online resources to determine which are valid and appropriate resources for middle school students.
  2. Annotate each resource that is posted on the wiki.
  3. Review and comment on the resources recommended by other students, indicate the strengths and/or weaknesses of the resource. (The comments were removed for the final product. A copy of the comments was archived.)
  4. Provide at least 4 valid resources for the topic per group. The resources must be appropriate for middle school students to learn more about the topic. (The website links provided on the summary pages of the final product for each subject are those most appropriate for the age group and subject.)
  5. After determining which resources to recommend, as a group write and agree to statements about your topic to be included in the ICS Student Handbook for 2011-2012. These statements should provide Guidelines for ICS Digital Citizens.

Each student is assigned a topic and works with a team of students to research the topic.The topics are:
  1. Safety: Students explore the benefits and risks of online talk. They learn about the rewards of communicating online, but also how to recognize inappropriate contact. Students learn how to apply commonsense tips to online talk, and to stay safe when they connect with others.
  2. Security: Students learn strategies for managing their information online to keep it secure. They learn how to guard against identity theft; keep their data safe from hacking, malware, and spam; and to protect themselves from phishing.
  3. Digital Life: Students explore the positive and negative impact of digital media on their lives and communities, and define what it means to be a responsible digital citizen.
  4. Privacy and Digital Footprint: Students learn that the Internet is a very public space, and therefore they must carefully manage their information and respect the privacy of others online.
  5. Self-Expression and Identify: Students identify and explore different ways they can present themselves online while also learning to recognize when playing with identity crosses the line into deception.
  6. Connected Culture: Students explore the ethics of online communities – both the negative behaviors to avoid, such as cyberbullying and hurtful behavior, and positive behaviors that support collaboration and constructive relationships
  7. Respecting Creative Work: Students learn about the value and responsibility of being a 21st-century creator: receiving credit for your own online work and giving others respect by properly citing their work.

Resources: