Three things I want my students to understand about being a good digital citizen are:
1. The importance of giving credit to sources and the seriousness of plagiarism. I think a good example for teaching about plagiarism would the the recent punishments incurred by CNN and Time contributor Fareed Zakaria. It seems that he risked his career and his reputation as a journalist by failing to site a source.
2. The importance of using proper netiquette. The absence of face-to-face interaction and body language creates the possibility for online communications to be misinterpreted. Manners and etiquette are as important in the digital world as they are in the real world, and students need to be able to apply netiquette skills habitually.
3. The importance of protecting one's personal information. One's personal life should be just that, personal and separate from one's professional life. Students need to understand that putting personal information on the Internet can be dangerous. They also need to understand that comments, photos, and information they post/publish can have a negative impact on college admissions and future employment opportunities.
I like the Brain Pop resources on Digital Citizenship. They are very easy to understand and include captions (optional). Digital citizenship lessons seem to be most effective when real world examples and experiences are included in lessons. There are many examples of people who have experienced harassment, assaults, job loss, and career difficulties as a result of being a poor digital citizen or being uniformed of the impact of being a poor digital citizen can have on one's livelihood . In regards to sharing the topic with parents, I would provide them with resources such as the i-Safe Fact Sheet and TEA's Internet Safety web address.