Digital Citizenship and the Saskatchewan Curriculum

There are several outcomes and indicators that would support the teaching of digital citizenship in the Saskatchewan Curriculum. The subject that first comes to mind when I think of digital citizenship is Health Education. This is because a sound health education program, according the Saskatchewan Curriculum, allows “young people [to] acquire the understandings, skills, and confidences needed, for example, to evaluate healthy food policies; to negotiate and make healthy decisions about sexual and reproductive health; to question the norms and trends that influence decision making; to communicate effectively in relationships; and to take action to promote the health of self, family, community, and environment.” I do not think you can talk about sexual health, evaluation of sources, norms and trends, and healthy relationships without discussing media. It is not enough to talk about bullying at school when bullying can also occur online (a very unhealthy relationship).

With that in mind, I took a specific look at the Grade Nine Health Education Curriculum and these were the outcomes that stood out to me:

USC9.9:  Develop and demonstrate the personal insight, motivation, and skills necessary to enhance and promote sexual health and avoid health-compromising sexual attitudes and behaviors.

AP9.12: Design, implement, and evaluate an action plan that demonstrate responsible health promotion related to comprehensive approaches to sexual health.

I think these outcomes could be approached by:

– discussing/defining sexting

– watching the video “Sex Plus Text = Trouble”

– brainstorming ways to protect self online

– scenarios/examples and brainstorms of how to get out of a risky situation

– reading or watching Amanda Todd’s story or one of the other many examples

– student created videos on how to say no/appropriate technology use

– RCMP of guest speaker

A Thin Line: Allie’s Story

looking at criminal law/consequences of sharing a picture etc.

– read Teaching About Cyber Security from NY Times learning blogs


Photo Credit: MacQ via Compfight cc

As an English major, I wanted to explore ELA outcomes that lend themselves to digital citizenship. In ELA I would discuss digital citizenship through identity and verifying sources, as this relates to character analysis and essay writing.

Outcome Connection:

CR9.4b: Demonstrate effective, active viewing behaviours including considering what one knows and needs to know about the topic, viewing with a clearly defined purpose in mind, etc.

CR9.1a – View, listen to, read, comprehend, and respond to a variety of texts that address identity (e.g., The Search for Self), social responsibility (e.g., Our Shared Narratives), and efficacy (e.g., Doing the Right Thing).

CC9.2a – Create and present an individual researched inquiry project related to a topic, theme, or issue studied in English language arts.

– get students to brainstorm the pos. and neg. about technology and identities

– introduce idea of false identities and trolls/bullying through Facebook/Twitter examples (fake celebrities). Can also explore photoshop fails and how people fake their own identities (image-crafting). This could be compared to how a character in a novel creates their identity or is treated by others. An article titled: Guest Post | Who Are You Online? Considering Issues of Web Identity on the NY Times learning blogs would be a helpful read. Making Facebook profiles for characters in a book can also be helpful in getting students to understand the character and analyze how we create our identities online.

Photo Credit: Perfectance via Compfight cc
– brainstorm what to do when being harassed and students make a survival kit

– look at sources by reading Reader Idea | Evaluating Arguments and Checking Sources on NY Times learning blogs before writing an essay (and then also bring in that they should do this when posting to Facebook etc. – make that real life connection to the students).


What ways do you teach digital citizenship in your ELA, health, or various classrooms? Do you agree that digital citizenship should be incorporated into every class or should it be a class of its own?



I love when a pop song is “teachable” and think we should take any opportunity to draw upon sources that our students engage with on a regular basis. This particular song deals with bullying and could introduce an anti-bullying unit or discussion.

From a teacher perspective, this video is a reminder that our jobs are a lot more than what is on the curriculum document. Students learn more from how they are taught then what they are taught. They learn more about how they are talked to than what the talk is about. This video is also a reminder that students have lives beyond our four walls and things may be going on that we are unaware of. I hope to build the relationships with my students where they feel like they can come talk to me. Realistically those who really need the help need us to come to them, not the other way around. As educators we need to take the time to ask students about their lives, value their interests, strengths and contributions and be that listening ear.

It is also important to note that an “outcast” could be anyone: the football player, the cheerleader, the band member, the kid with his hood up, etc. Anyone can feel invisible and everyone has their own issues, regardless of outer appearance or interests. Some of the coolest people I have met do not fit in the generic box that society forces people into; too often, these differences are not valued until too late.

Students cannot learn unless they feel safe and it is our job to create that community of learners where everyone is accepted, differences are valued and no one feels invisible! “Crowded hallways” should not have to be “the loneliest places” and students deserve to know that it will get better because we are there to make sure it will!

A Very Long and Random but Important List of Resources: First Nations Education, Treaty Education, Anti-Oppressive Education, Inclusion, Body Image, Bullying, Wealth Inequality, Teaching Tolerance, etc.