Top Ten SOS for Digital Citizenship

Welcome to the SOS Top Ten series. In this edition, we highlight some ways to use Spotlight on Strategies (CDN Version) to teach and reinforce strong digital citizenship behaviors in your students.

Digital citizenship encompasses a broad range of topics, all of which impact the safe and responsible behavior of all members of the digital community.

Common Sense Media, a leading nonprofit offering digital literacy and citizenship programming, organizes digital citizenship into eight concepts. These concepts can be combined into four connected pairings:

  • Internet Safety and Privacy & Security
  • Relationships & Communication and Cyberbullying & Digital Drama
  • Digital Footprints & Reputation and Self-Image & Identity
  • Information Literacy and Creative Credit & Copyright

The Discovery Education Spotlight on Strategies (SOS) series provides opportunities for students to productively and constructively practice and model online behaviors. Our top ten favorites are below!

We hope you’ll try one or more strategy and share your experience with us in the DEN Online Community.


Tweet, Tweet (CDN Version) asks students to respond to a teacher-provided prompt in the form of a Tweet. Whether they are using the traditional 140 characters, or the updated 280 characters, students are compelled to summarize and condense their learning to communicate clearly and concisely.


Fakebook (CDN Version) uses a well-known social media platform to encourage students to investigate and develop an understanding of a person of another person, a place, or object. Students create a digital or offline profile page, requiring them to make connections to important events and individuals of a particular time and place. DEN Star Audra Barton suggests using this strategy to help students explore science and social studies concepts.


Instagram-in (CDN Version) leverages a popular social media tool to help students focus on imagery and prompt summarization and generalization through short comments and hashtags. It asks students to think critically about what images best represent their understanding, then to create accompanying statements to communicate that understanding.


Table Top Texting (CDN Version) asks students to think critically about and discuss a video segment. Students use paper and pencil texts to communicate with one other about video content.


Get VENN-y With It (CDN Version) asks students to compare and contrast content from two pieces of digital media using a Venn diagram, which helps students develop strong information literacy skills.


Puppet Pictures (CDN Version) encourages students to creatively demonstrate their understanding of a topic by creating and performing a puppet show on a specific topic, which can help students develop deep understandings of appropriate digital communication and cyberbullying issues.


Connect The Dots (CDN Version) helps students make text-to-self connections by mapping and linking dots between their own name and things they are learning in piece of digital media, which helps students personalize the importance and relevance of digital footprints.


XO Let’s Go (CDN Version) provides a fun, game-like way for students to review information learned from a piece of media, helping them revisit what they’ve learned about copyright or Internet safety.


Conga Line (CDN Version) give students multiple opportunities to discuss a media selection which helps them to explore different perspectives about online relationships, privacy, and security.


Inquiry Chart (I-Chart) (CDN Version) helps students collect and cross-reference information from multiple sources. The I-Chart graphic organizer has a column dedicated specifically to name the source of the information, making is a perfect tool for guiding students to learn how to give credit for information they find and use.


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