Major Project Update 4: Digital Safety Co-Created Checklist

Major Project Update 4: Digital Safety Co-Created Checklist

December 5, 2023 Off By Kimberly Kipp

In the whirlwind that was last week (full disclosure: I had surgery and will be off work till after Christmas break – boo!) I failed to provide a final update for my digital citizenship lessons with my students. My sub will continue on my lesson plans, but I feel the absence of seeing the pros and cons of my content creation in real-time. After all, no one is more brutally honest about what’s working and what isn’t than a middle schooler!

As mentioned previously, we have largely used a “Thinking Classroom” design while brainstorming and co-creating content. In correspondence with Dr. Ribble’s 9th digital citizenship element – digital security and privacy – the class collaborated to create a digital safety checklist. Here are some of their insights…and omissions.

Digital Safety Checklist


Secure Passwords:

    • “We know we need strong passwords, but I didn’t know we needed a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols (so it’s harder for scammers to guess).”

Solid Privacy Settings:

    • “Most of my accounts are private, just for friends. I want control of who sees what.”
    • “Okay, but what about my mom? You can see her YouTube videos everywhere. She did a hotdog challenge and everyone can see it. We’re gonna need to talk about that!”

Keep Personal Info Private:

    • “We gotta keep our personal information private – no sharing our address, phone number, or school details online.”
    • “Don’t forget about last name and birthday!”

Be Skeptical Online:

    • “We talked about this at the start of the year. So maybe we put something like ‘think before you click.'”

Think Before Posting:

    • “Before we snap or share, we should think about if we need to. How does it make someone else feel? Would I want it shared if it were me? Consent?”

OMITTED (things students left out that we discussed as a whole group after):

Reporting and Blocking:

    • What do we do if someone makes us feel unsafe online?
    • How do we get over the idea of “being a snitch” when we report things like cyberbullying?

Update Software:

    • Most software updates are school-based, but we discussed updates on their phones.
    • Will need to circle back to this concept as it seemed beyond their current scope.

Check Devices Regularly:

    • Again, seemed beyond current scope to discuss checking that no one else is using their account at school and/or at home.

Limit Screen Time:

    • Concerning lack of at-home boundaries.
    • Hopefully the home-based pledges and discussions at least BEGIN to spark some of these conversations.

A small note on collaborating with students on this project…

Students had a noted tendency to speak and create in negatives – Don’t do this! You can’t do that! I suspect this is largely because of years of being told what NOT to do with school rules rather than expectations or norms. We are working on changing that language and mindset, per the Saskatchewan Schools’ Digital Citizenship Education model.

Trying to shift them to more of a responsible use policy. Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools

By the ISTE standards, students should be empowered learners (1.1), digital citizens (1.2), and knowledge constructors (1.3):

“Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals” (source).

Additionally, providing students with a voice and choice throughout this process aligns with Following Their Voices (FTV) programming:

Educators and  administrators must “ensure learning is joyful, culture is affirmed and students are given real choice for their future” (source).

That’s all for now. It will be interesting to hear how my digital citizenship lessons continue in the classroom without me this week. Fingers crossed!