Implementing digital citizenship in a school or district can seem overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be! By using our three-phased approach, you can thoughtfully and strategically implement a robust and effective digital citizenship program. Use our planning templates and supporting resources to set your educators, parents, and students up for success. For more ideas, you can also view case studies from school districts that have implemented digital citizenship. 


Plan how digital citizenship will be implemented by setting goals and borrowing from successful models along the way. Use these questions to guide your planning:


Assess needs

  • What are the primary needs of and challenges for students? What about parents and caregivers? Teachers and staff?
  • How will you find out? What is your main motivator? (Examples: mandates such as E-rate or state laws; a negative incident such as cyberbullying; aiming for a positive school climate; the district's vision for technology for learning.)
  • How does your main motivator affect your approach and planning?


Align with initiatives

  • Are there initiatives you can align digital citizenship with? (Examples: social-emotional learning, positive behavior intervention system, restorative justice.)
  • Are standards (Common Core, TEKS, ISTE) your main outcomes?
  • How will digital citizenship be sustainable?
  • How can Common Sense recognition be a motivator and road map?


Get buy-in from key stakeholders

  • Who are your key stakeholders? (Example: faculty, staff, counselors, parents, students.)
  • How will you get key stakeholders engaged in digital citizenship? How will you listen to and address the needs, objections, and ideas of key stakeholders?
  • Who will need to be involved in planning? Who is part of your digital citizenship team?


Download and customize our Common Sense Schools Road Map to put together your plan and track progress toward Common Sense recognition.

Common Sense Schools Road Map


Introduce your staff to digital citizenship by using our Intro to Digital Citizenship slides.

 Intro to Digital Citizenship slides 


Identify ways you will support families and the school community with our recommendations for Engaging Families in Digital Citizenship.

 Engaging Families in Digital Citizenship 


Implement our curriculum, and use our training resources to build your practice. Use these questions as guidance:


Teach students

  • What is the instructional plan for teaching students?
  • Where does student instruction fit into the school year? Where does it integrate into the curriculum (subjects, classes)?
  • How does digital citizenship connect to the use of technology?
  • Which digital citizenship instructional model makes the most sense for your district or schools?
  • How can Common Sense recognition be a motivator and hold schools accountable for implementation?


Train educators

  • Who at the school level will be responsible for teaching students?
  • How will you provide training and support for those who are teaching students and engaging families?
  • To whom will you deliver training? How often? Through what methods (in person, online, blended)?
  • How will you support and connect schools throughout the year?


Engage families

  • What are the needs and concerns of your unique parent population?
  • How do parents currently receive information and education?
  • How can you leverage what you already know to be working and not working?
  • How can you use the Family Engagement Resources to support schools?


See the Digital Citizenship Curriculum overview covering our core topics and lessons.

Digital Citizenship Curriculum overview


Explore five Digital Citizenship instructional models to consider for schools.

 Digital Citizenship instructional models


Review Digital Citizenship Curriculum connections for a variety of subjects and topics.

K-5 Digital Citizenship Curriculum connections

6-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum connections



Celebrate your progress and earn Common Sense recognition! Take time to reflect, refine, and identify areas of improvement. Use these questions as guidance:


Define and measure impact

  • What does success look like?
  • How will you measure success? (Examples: end-of-lesson quizzes, student artifacts from lessons, e-portfolios, school climate.)
  • What's your timeline?


Celebrate achievements

  • How will you recognize the work completed and the people involved?
  • How can you highlight students and their work? How can you use Digital Citizenship Week to celebrate your success?
  • How can you involve the press and community to celebrate your success or achievement of earning Common Sense recognition?


Reflect on progress

  • How will you gather feedback from schools on what needs to be revised or refined in your implementation?
  • How will you prioritize improvements that need to be made?



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