8 Ways to Support Digital Citizenship Skills with GoogleIt’s NOT About Google, It’s About the LEARNING! – PART 2: Digital Citizen

I am a big fan of using Google tools to support learning, and I think they are particularly useful in helping support the ISTE Standards for Students. Digital Citizenship skills are a must for today’s modern society, but figuring out how and when to teach these skills to our students can be a challenge. Google to rescue! Google has tons of free tools and training that will help us support the Digital Citizenship ISTE Standards and prepare our students for the future.

Did you miss Part 1: Empowered Learner? Click here to read part one of this series.

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The ISTE Standards for Students

As mentioned in part one, the purpose of this blog series is to show you how you can use Google tools to support the ISTE Standards for Students. I am a firm believer in keeping our focus on LEARNING, not the tool, or simple how-to skills that change every day. These standards give us a great way to squarely point the learning arrow on the student outcomes. If digital tools do not direct us toward an increase in learning, we need to rethink why we are using them.

Part 2: Digital Citizenship

“Students recognize the rights, responsibilities, and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.”

– Citing sources

– Abide by copyright and fair use laws

– Practice positive, legal and ethical online behaviors

– Responsible use of language

8 Ways to Support Digital Citizenship Skills with Google

1. Be Internet Awesome! (Google’s New Digital Citizenship Curriculum)

The Be Internet Awesome program from Google includes an ISTE aligned curriculum for teachers, Interland, a game for students learn and improve their digital citizenship skills and tons of free resources for educators. The curriculum is designed for grades 3-5, but I can tell you that it can be adapted for younger and older audiences depending on their skill level. The Interland game can be also be used at many grade levels, depending on their vocabulary and digital citizenship skill set.

Watch this video to see the Be Internet Awesome program in action:

The next video shows Interland, the interactive game for students.

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2. Digital Citizenship Training for Teachers

In order to teach digital citizenship skills meaningfully and appropriately in the classroom, teachers may need some additional training and resources. Google had given us a full self-paced, Digital Citizenship training that is available in the Google for Education Training Center. This course includes six units for teachers to learn how to stay safe online and equip students to be responsible online

8 Ways to Support Digital Citizenship Skills with Google

3. Citing Sources in Google Docs

This is just one of those amazing features of Google Docs that you have to see! This may be old news to you, but just in case, I feel that it’s my mission to make sure everyone knows that citations are built-in to Google Docs. I have step-by-step directions in this blog post.

8 Ways to Support Digital Citizenship Skills with Google

4. Searching for Images in G Suite Apps

Did you know you can search for images without ever leaving your favorite G Suite apps? This can save so much time in the classroom. If students open a new tab to search for images, you probably just lost some very valuable instructional time with all of the distractions. Finding great images for your Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Drawings is even easier than you might think. This is a hidden gem! You can actually search while still inside the document. Even better, you can search for images from

Finding great images for your Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Drawings is even easier than you might think. This is a hidden gem! You can actually search while still inside the document. Even better, you can search for images from
– Google images,
– LIFE magazine database,
– AND stock photography.

But wait, there’s more!
The results are filtered to show results that are labeled for reuse with modification! Meaning, you and your students actually have permission to use these images! This is digital citizenship baked right in! For details see my blog post: Image Search Tricks Every Teacher Must Know.

8 Ways to Support Digital Citizenship Skills with Google

5. Google Yourself! (and have students Google themselves!)

Have you ever Googled yourself? You should and you should make it a habit. In order to keep an eye on your digital footprint, you should Google yourself to see what’s out there. Every time I do this exercise in a workshop, participants discover something they didn’t know had been shared or posted about them. The only way to protect your digital reputation is to know where you currently stand. Now, if you have a really common name, this could prove more difficult but you can jump into advanced searches to dig deeper. Make it a habit to do this exercise with students on a regular basis.

8 Ways to Support Digital Citizenship Skills with Google

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6. A Google a Day

A Google a Day are short challenges to help students improve their search skills. The Google a Day challenges have taken many forms over the years. Some think these have gone away altogether, but there are still some great Google Search challenges out there to help students improve their “Googling” skills. You can find the Google a Day challenges as part of Google Search Education and use the handy Google Slide decks like the one embedded below (or use them for inspiration to make your own).

7. Google Search Skills: Lesson Plans

“With more and more of the world’s content online, it is critical that students understand how to effectively use web search to find quality sources appropriate to their task. We’ve created a series of lessons to help you guide your students to use search meaningfully in their schoolwork and beyond.”

Each topic of lessons is tiered by skill level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Click here to access the lesson plans.

8 Ways to Support Digital Citizenship Skills with Google

8. Google Alerts

Google Alerts allows you to monitor the web for new information on topics that interest you. When Google finds something new on the web about your chosen topic, you will receive an email with a link to the page. Google Alerts is a great way to monitor current events, new technology, your favorite team, athlete, or celebrity, or even set up an alert for your own name to monitor your digital footprint. Click here to set up Google Alerts.

8 Ways to Support Digital Citizenship Skills with Google

What would you add to this list? Please share in the comments.

Did you miss Part 1? Check out ISTE Empowered Learner!

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