5 EASY Techie Ideas for Digital Citizenship Activities

It is October and that means Common Sense Media is sponsoring Digital Citizenship Week--- October 16th-22nd. Every school district has their own way of teaching digital citizenship (or maybe not?) and it is really one of the most important things we can do as educators in today's digital world. If you are a classroom teacher, librarian, technology teacher or anyone else that might have the responsibility of teaching digital citizenship without a curriculum, then I highly suggest looking into Common Sense Media's resources. They provide low-prep lessons in three different formats: downloadable PDFs, Nearpods and iBooks Textbooks as well as a comprehensive curriculum.

5 EASY techie ideas for digital citizenship activities: iPads, GAFE, websites

Here are 5 E-A-S-Y techie activity ideas you could carry out with your class once you have reviewed all of the main components that make up digital citizenship:

The other day I stumbled upon Southfield Christian School's Digital Tattoo lesson that can be downloaded HERE. They used PicCollage to create a digital tattoo poster that contained words of wisdom when it comes to using technology. "Everything you do online is permanent, just like a tattoo." How cute did this turn out?

This got me thinking...is there an app that you can put tattoo images on yourself? Well, OF COURSE there is...there truly is an app for everything. Tattoo ArtTattoo Me and Tattoo You are three FREE apps that I found. Here are my reviews of each:

 Tattoo Art
  • Very child friendly
  • Ability to add your own text
  • Ability to add a variety of images & fonts
  • Has images of technology devices
  • Ability to change color of text & images
  • Make a collage or a single picture
  • Ability to add a border
  • Ads popped up on free version
  • Saves without a watermark

 Tattoo Me
  • Most realistic out of all three apps
  • Only images can be added
  • Very easy to use
  • Ability to add a variety of images
  • Some of the fairy tattoos are somewhat questionable
  • Free version has an ad banner at the bottom
  • Saves without a watermark

  • Ability to add a variety of images
  • Ability to add text (free version has 2 fonts you can choose from)
  • Limited images available but you can purchase packs
  • No ads
  • Saves without a watermark
I would use this digital citizenship activity to also tie in a little lesson about symbolism and have students choose images that symbolize how they will conduct themselves when using the internet. Make it into a writing activity! Here is an example (We pulled the image into PowerPoint (you could also do a Google Doc) and added text):

If you don't have access to iPads but you like this idea of a digital tattoo, check out the website Photofunia. Students can upload a picture or take a picture within the website and type a short one liner (talk about summarizing practice!) to create something like this:

Website that you can make your own digital tattoo
My words read "Kind Words Always"
You could also pull a photo into a PowerPoint Slide or Google Slide and add text & images overlays.

The idea that everything you do on the internet is permanent, just like a tattoo, is truly meaningful!

Another easy activity is to have students create their own digital citizenship memes. Kids LOVE memes! Use a meme generator like imgflip to choose a photo and add a catchy tagline like these two examples:

Students can even upload pictures of themselves using technology and make a meme! Here is an example:

This website also works on iPads! 

A super fun activity that I have blogged about before (read more HERE) is creating commercials using the free app, Yak-It Kids (ALERT: YakIt is not currently working with the newest iOS update.) Have students take a picture of technology in their classroom and make it come alive and talk using the app. Here are some examples of Internet Safety commercials a 5th grade class created last year:

Internet Safety Commercials

If you don't have access to iPads to make pictures come alive and talk then you could try the free websites ABCya Talkify and Blabberize. Note: I have had issues in the past with ABCya Talkify not downloading correctly and Blabberize requires you to create an account. Will someone PLEASE create a website or Chrome extension that will let our students easily make their pictures come alive and talk without having to create an account??? (Let me know in the comments if one exists and I have missed it!) :)
Something your students might really enjoy while also applying their understanding of digital citizenship in a creative way is to make a comic strip. There are many online comic strip makers but one of my favorites is the website StoryBoard That. I like this particular site because you can customize SO much and there is a large variety of scenes, characters, and props. Students will love being able to: 

  • change the color of most everything on their characters & props
  • change their characters' poses & facial expressions
  • choose from a variety of scenes and make them appear in daylight or nightlight
  • apply filters
  • upload their own images to add to their scenes
  • search for whatever they might need

Here is an example of a finished comic about digital citizenship (YES, they have most Social Media icons!):

In order to save your image the website asks for you to create an account. However, a work around for this is to have your students simply take a screenshot before closing out.

Do you have access to iPads? Then check out Technology Integration's post about making comics on the iPad by clicking HERE. Tons of great ideas over there!

If you are gaagaa over Google, then you might be interested in my Digital Citizenship in Google Slides student project that is available in my TpT Store.

Use this as a culminating project for students to summarize their learning and understanding of digital citizenship. Two different grading rubrics are provided: one that is just print & go and another that allows you to customize your own grading criteria categories. Check out my promo video to see this product in action:


I also have some close reading passages (yes, ON PAPER) that I created for teachers to use when they do not have access to technology, send home as homework, or just need a good old fashioned paper & pencil assessment:

Be sure to grab my Digital Citizenship Badge

to give to your students once they have completed your digital citizenship "course".

Today's children NEED to be exposed to the good, the bad and the ugly that revolves around digital citizenship so they are prepared to act accordingly when they run into trouble that is lurking within the cyber world. Have fun molding your students into exemplary digital citizens (well...that's our goal, right??). Heather Marrs who blogged on ISTE's website said it best: "Don't just teach digital citizenship, EMBED it!"

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