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Provides guidance and resources for ethical Digital Citizenship practices.

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The World is Watching

A Guide for Citizenship in the Digital Age

Embedded on this page is a presentation I did for parents at The Grosse Pointe Academy. I borrowed heavily from David Truss' Presentation with his kind and generous permission. David has an excellent wiki for Digital Parenting that I recommend as a first stop.


This is a link to follow up resources to the presentation, complete with links to the best articles I could find on social network tools and their dangers.



Common Sense Media Guide for Parents   This is a fantastic resource for parents not just for the Internet but for all types of Media; television, film, music, etc...

On Guard Online's Free 54 page booklet on how to keep your child safe in the tech world

Google Family Safety Center

Microsoft Security Brochures

Parenting in the Digital Age

Cyberbullying is defined as repeated harrassement, defamation, and cruelty toward a targetted victim using digital devices. Many people today post without careful thought into the effects of what they publish. Thinking before you post is the best policy to avoid harming others and your own reputation. 


Every person has the right to be treated with respect. If you are not being treated with respect you have the right to take a stand. Standing up for yourself by telling a trusted adult is not the same as snitching. It is even more powerful to take a stand for a friend or classmate. Often a situation can be diffused simply by a peer saying, "That's not cool."


Many of the Online Safety sites listed earlier in this booklet also explain how to deal with Cyberbullying. You will find other helpful resources below. 

Cyberbully Resources

Stop Bullying Now This links directly to where you can make a report

But there are other great resources on the site as well. 

Netsmartzkids. org

Professor Garfield 

NS Teens


A Thin Line Avoiding Digital Drama by MTV



It is crucial to create strong passwords for all of your online accounts and change them frequently. A strong password usually contains a minimum of 8 characters and is a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. It is usually something that is easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess. 


Things not to use: birthdates, addresses, phone numbers, pet names, words, or names. 


A good method to create your own password is to take a phrase you use often and use the first or second letter. Substitute symbols and numbers for a few of the letters. Example: a penny saved is a penny earned > APSIAPE> @PS1@p3



Here are some links to safe online resources to create strong passwords.

PassPlex is easy to use. Simply input the number of characters you need and it generates a strong password for you. You can set the level of complexity you want as well. 

PasswordBird will ask you three questions and then generate a strong password based on your answers. Therefore the password might be easier for you to remember. 

RandomPassword Generator will create up to 100 random, complex passwords for you. 

Creating Strong Passwords

Photo Credit:


Your Online Reputation

To learn more about your digital footprint and how to think before you post, visit these links:

Protecting Reputations Online   Common Craft Video Explains it in Plain English

The New Dork This spoof video explains how and why to build a postiive online pressence. 

Choose What Happens Next - an Interactive YouTube series where students decide what happens next with realistic cyber dilemas

Who Will Hire Me? Creating 21st Century Resumes by the New York Post 


Your online presence is now your first impression. Future schools, employers, dates, and friends are going to search your name, email address, and online aliases, to understand who you are and how you relate to others. You will want to be judged well. 


In order to protect your online reputation you need to know what is out there. Google yourself. Google your email address and any online aliases you use. If you see negative postings and it is within your control to delete them, do so. If someone else posted them, ask them to delete them. Most social network sites have a system for reporting unauthorized content. Usually it is a flag. Whatever, the case, find out how to report the unwanted content and keep reporting until it is removed. 


The best defense is a good offense. Establishing a positive online presence is the best way to ensure that you make a great impression. This is done by keeping your postings positive and what is known as Grandma approved. (If it is okay to share with your Grandma or Grandpa, then chances are it is okay to post.) Sharing content you create, posting helpful  reviews or tutorials, contributing to community service projects are also good things to promote yourself. 




Digital Footprint

Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright and Fair Use are two of the most complex concepts neccessary to understand to participate consciously and ethically as a Digital Citizen. You will find many great resources to support teachers, students, and everyone to better understand how and when it is appropriate to borrow ideas, repurpose them, or share them. 


Scoopit Copyright and Fair Use: Understanding the need for both and their differences. 


On the following page are a couple of embedded videos that explain things well and in an entertaining way. 


Basically, copyright laws are laws protecting the rights of creators to control and profit from their creations.


Fair Use Guidelines were created as a way of allowing artists and others to use, share, repurpose, or copy protected works under specific protocols. The goal is to let artists profit from their creations but also let others learn from them, create new things from them, and if possible share them. There are many gray areas when it comes to Fair Use. 

Copyright continued

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that offers free guidelines and licenses to share your creative work with others.


Many artists recognize that we often create new ideas by building upon old ideas. Creative Commons was created as a way to help artists share their work freely yet still control who, how, when, and where their work is used. For example, if I take a photograph, under copyright law it is automatically my creative work, all rights reserved. But say that I want to share it with others as long as they do not make money from it, or limit my ability to make money from it. Additionally, I want attribution, name credit, for my work. I would go to Creative, and get a special license for free that lets other artists know they can use my work as long as they follow my rules. 


Creative Commons takes the guess work out of Fair Use. You can learn more about it on their site at:


You can visit the embeded video on their site here

Creative Commons

Plagiarism has become an increasingly pervasive issue today. Many blame the ease of copying others over the Internet. Yet the tools that exist to assist students and scholars to properly cite works have made this former drudgery simple and effortless. Students should also be aware that there are plagiarism detection tools and most teachers use them. So, while it is easy to copy and paste text into a report, it is also easy for the teacher to discover evidence of this unethical pratice. Students need to ask themselves before they try it if they are willing to face the possible consequences. 


You will find  resources to support explaining the different forms of plagiarism, how to properly cite information, and tools to use to make citations and plagiarism detection easy on the Scoopit link below.


Scoopit: Plagiairms and Academic Integrity, Keeping your Academic Integrity in the Copy/Paste Culture. 


This is an outstanding short video on Plagiarism made by a former student in my Technology Class. 

Balancing and Etiquette 

It is important to set boundaries and time limits regarding the use of technology. Try to find a balance of time spent using digital tools and interacting in the natural-human world. Parents often need to be reminded of this as much as children. There are many great books on this topic and websites devoted to Netiquette otherwise known as Digital Etiquette or E Etiquette.


Brainpop Digital Etiquette


E-Etiquette 101 Guidelines for the Digital World 

This is the site where I got this lovely needlepoint poster on the right. The poster is also a link.  


Core Rules of Netiquette 



Teaching and Learning Resources