Teaching Digital Citizenship to the Law
Bill Gumula, M.Ed.
The Children’s Internet Protection Act (“CIPA”), enacted December 21, 2000, requires recipients of federal technology funds to comply with certain Internet filtering and policy requirements. Schools and libraries receiving funds for Internet access and/or internal connection services must also meet the Internet safety policies of the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act (“NCIPA”) which addresses the broader issues of electronic messaging, disclosure of personal information of minors, and unlawful online activities. The Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, enacted October 10, 2008, adds an additional Internet Safety Policy requirement covering the education of minors about appropriate online behavior. 1
- Internet Filtering:
- Basic Requirement: CIPA requires the implementation of a “technology protection measure” – generally referred to as an Internet filter – to block access to visual depictions deemed “obscene,” “child pornography,” or “harmful to minors.” Filtering is required for all Internet-enabled computers whether used by minors or adults. For E-rate purposes, filtering for adult Internet usage can be disabled for “bona fide research or other lawful purpose.”
- Internet Safety Policy:
- Basic Requirement: CIPA requires the public adoption and enforcement of an “Internet Safety Policy” covering the filtering discussed above. For minors, the policy must also address monitoring of online activities, the safety and security of all forms of direct electronic communications, unauthorized online access, and unauthorized disclosure of personal identification information.
- A provision of the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act requires that the policy include measures for educating minors about appropriate online behavior.
- Section (c)(1)(i) reads in part, “beginning July 1, 2012, schools’ Internet safety policies must provide for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response.”
COMMON SENSE MEDIA RECOMMENDED ERATE COMPLIANCE CURRICULUM
Teach one or two lessons per grade so that students are educated about all three topics required by CIPA every year.
1 The FCC has clarified that the determination of what matter is considered inappropriate for minors is a local decision to be made by the school board, local educational agency, library, or other authority. Most specifically, the FCC found that social network Websites (e.g., Facebook and MySpace) do not fall into one of the categories that must be blocked.
KEY TO COMMON SENSE MEDIA SYMBOLS
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SCOPE AND SEQUENCE
Students learn that they can go to exciting places online, but that they need to follow certain rules to remain safe.
Students explore how they can use email to communicate with real people within their schools, families, and communities.
Students explore what cyberbullying means and what they can do when they encounter it. Students learn about in-person and online communications, and how to write good emails.
Students learn that the Internet is a great place to develop rewarding relationships. But they also learn not to reveal private information to a person they know only online.
Students consider that they may get online messages from other kids that can make them feel angry, hurt, sad, or fearful. They explore ways to handle cyberbullying if it happens.
Students work together to outline common expectations in order to build a strong digital citizenship community. Each member of the class signs a We the Digital Citizens Pledge.
MIDDLE SCHOOL SCOPE AND SEQUENCE
Students consider scenarios in which they might feel uncomfortable or encounter inappropriate talk or behavior online. They learn to recognize online predators and rules for online safety.
Students learn strategies for guarding against identity theft and scams that try to access their private information online.
Students learn to distinguish good-natured teasing from cyberbullying.
Students learn that they have a digital footprint and that this information can be searched; copied and passed on, but that they can take some control based on what they post online.
Students learn that presenting themselves in different ways online carries both benefits and risks.
Students learn about the difference between being a passive bystander versus a brave upstander in cyberbullying situations.
HIGH SCHOOL SCOPE AND SEQUENCE
Students reflect on their responsibility to protect the privacy of others when posting information about them online.
Students think critically about developing relationships with people online.
Students learn that everything they or anyone else posts about them online becomes part of a public online presence known as a digital footprint.
Students learn about the dynamics of online cruelty and how it affects all of the people involved.
All E-RATE/CIPA Lesson Plans
COMMON SENSE MEDIA LINKS
Teacher Verification Document
- Elementary School Printable Classroom Poster
- Middle School Printable Classroom Poster
- High School Printable Classroom Poster
|Grade Level||Lesson Title||Download Lesson Materials||Online Lessons|
|Grades K-2||Going Places Safely||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades K-2||About Email||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades K-2||Show Respect Online||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades 3-5||Talking Safely Online||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades 3-5||The Power of Words||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades 3-5||Digital Citizenship Pledge||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades 6-8||Safe Online Talk||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades 6-8||Scams and Schemes||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades 6-8||Cyberbullying: Crossing the Line||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades 6-8||Trillion Dollar Footprint||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades 6-8||Which Me Should I Be?||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades 6-8||Cyberbullying: Be Upstanding||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades 9-12||Private Today, Public Tomorrow||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades 9-12||Risky Online Relationships||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades 9-12||College Bound||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|
|Grades 9-12||Taking Perspectives: Cyberbullying||Download Lesson||View Lesson Online|