Digital Citizenship : Media Literacy

Why are so many students vulnerable to media manipulation and “fake” news? What support do students need to learn how to locate and verify reliable sources?

The Teaching Tolerance website has media literacy lessons for grades K-8. Grades K-2 need to know that it is important to locating and verifying reliable sources when working with online information, the lesson for this grade band is aimed at young kids and is not dependent on reading. Students in grade 3-5 will go beyond and begin to compare and contrast different sources on the same topic and make judgments on which source is more reliable. In grades 6-8, students dig into bias based on word choice and the tone of the writer and create their own charged news story.

Grades K-2: Choosing Reliable Sources

Grades 3-5: Evaluating Reliable Sources

Grades 6-8: Analyzing How Words Communicate Bias

bias“Bias” by Nick Youngson is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The New Tools Is Back

Our little podcast The New Tools is back with a new season and the first episode is up now. Check it out below and check out the show page for links and resources mentioned in the show.


Want to listen to it on your phone or tablet? Click on the buttons below to open it in your favorite podcast app.

Listen_on_Apple_Podcasts_sRGB_US                        Stitcher                    google play

We’d also love for you to check out the band Clipping. and Sub Pop Records who have generously allowed us to use the song A Better Place in our show. You can also find Clipping.’s music on the TV show The Mayor.

clipping.The Mayor  Sub Pop Logo 

Family Engagement Twitter Chat


Looking for a great opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion with educators from across the country? And do it all from the comfort of your home or your favorite coffee shop?

Then you need to check out twitter chats. Twitter chats are discussions held through Twitter by users who decide to meet in the Twitterverse at designated time and share answers to questions. Twitter allows users to filter posts through hashtags found in the body of the tweets. Twitter chats take advantage of this filtering by using a hashtag in every question or answer that is part of the chat.

As a twitter user you can simply search for the twitter chat’s hashtag, and view everybody’s answers (the sit and listen approach), or you can dive into the discussion by tweeting answers to the questions with the hashtag.

There will be a great opportunity to try a twitter chat led by ISD’s very own Liza Rickey this Sunday (October 22) starting at 7. This twitter chat will focus on Family Engagement. Their hashtag will be #WATeachLead .You can expect to get a lot ideas and resources by following along. It is also a great opportunity to connect with educators and bring their experience to your own practice.




Gamify Your Digital Citizenship

Do your students love to play games? Why not capitalize on their interest and offer some engaging learning about Digital Citizenship. Here are a few options for the classroom.

Google’s Be Internet Awesome: “Helping kids be safe, confident explorers of the online world.” Students take on Interland and explore different worlds: Reality River where they learn about fake news, Mindful Mountain where they share with care, Tower of Treasure to secure your secrets, and Kind Kingdom where it is cool to be kind. This is a kid-friendly game suitable for all ages.

Common Sense Media: There are three different game platforms that connect with the Common Sense Media scope and Sequence. Digital Passport for grades 3-5 which teaches critical skills related to digital safety, respect, and community. Digital Compass is a choose your own adventure for students 6-8. Digital Compass is a safe place to see how their choices impact them and the people around them. Digital Bytes for grades 9-12 teaches teens digital citizenship through student-directed, media-rich activities that tackle real-world dilemmas. Teens then create collaborative digital projects to share their learning.kahoot

Kahoot: There are many pre-made Khoot! games that you may edit to meet your needs, or try this one made by Instructional Technology Specialist, Valerie Buck, targeted towards middle schoolers.

Facticious: Fighting Fake news is a national concern, and here is a game you can play to test your fake news detecting skills. Facticious is great for high school, because some of the articles may be just a smidge controversial. At the bottom of the article title and preview, students can click on the source of the article to help them decide. The game works like Tinder, you see one story at a time and swipe right or left to choose real or fake, you get immediate feedback and a brief explanation.

7 tips for spotting fake news


Common Sense Media


Common Sense Media is a one-stop shop for Digital Citizenship resources to use in your classroom, and a great one to share with families.Common Sense Media topics

Find lesson plans, parent letters, handouts, posters, and videos to help you create a comprehensive dig cit learning experience. Use the online scope and sequence to view lessons by grade band or choose lessons by topics such as digital footprint, cyberbullying, internet safety, creative commons & copyright, and more. Sign up for a free account to get access to the educator resources.

Share the Common Sense Media website with your families as it is an excellent resource to find a game, app, or movie review. Families will appreciate articles geared toward parenting in the digital age. They will find titles such as “Explaining the News to our Kids” and “Step by Step Tips to Set Up Your Kids’ iPhone.”

Common Sense has a program for Educators, Schools, or Districts to get an official stamp of recognition. To find out how to apply to be a Common Sense Educator, visit this link

Take some time this week to explore Common Sense Media and all that it has to offer. If you would like help planning a Digital Citizenship lesson for your class, reach out to your Instructional Technology Specialist. 




Welcome to Digital Citizenship Week

This week is Digital Citizenship Week! Take a minute to explore the ISTE Student Digitial Citizen Standard and what it means to be a good citizen in the digital age.

digital citizen iste

The ISTE Digital Citizen student standard has four components:

A. Students cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.

B. Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.

C. Students demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the rights and obligations of using and sharing intellectual property.

D. Students manage their personal data to maintain digital privacy and security and are aware of data-collection technology used to track their navigation online.


Want to know more? Consider joining the ISTE Dig Cit Coffee Break this week. Sign up for a series of teacher tips here.



Skype, Reading, and Africa… Meet Julie Hembree

Julie Hembree is an Ed Tech leader for our district, a Microsoft Innovative Expert & Master Skype Trainer, and Books to Africa Partnership founder. Julie has been sharing her love of Skype with teachers around the district, most recently during Summer Tech Camp and Tech Kickoff. Julie was recently featured on our district website.

Cougar Ridge Librarian Promotes a Culture of Reading and a Culture of Kindness Both Near and Far

Look for upcoming opportunities to learn with her on PD Place or email your Tech TOSA to set something up!