The “New and Improved” Digital Citizenship Survival Kit

I have been thinking about some “new” items I could add to my original Digital Citizenship Kit that I created last year. Like I said in that blog post, I love using props when teaching.

After some great conversations with the good wife @jenbadura on what I should include, I have come up with some new items to include in the survival kit.

Yes, you can use this with your students! After I blogged about the original kit, I had a plethora of teachers email me or send me a tweet me asking if it was okay to use this idea at their school. Please do! If you add any new items to your kit, I would love to hear about it. Shoot me an email or send me a tweet about what you added. Here is a list of the new items I added to the kit and how I plan on using them in my lesson:

Packet of Seeds
Any packet of seeds will do for your kit. I stress to all of our #aurorahuskies students that what they are doing now could have an impact on them in the future. I want our students to think about the “seeds” that they are sowing as they traverse the world wide web. Could it grow into a bigger problem? Or is their plant going to be a strong, positive representation of who they are?

Plug In
I used a six foot extension cord and cut it so that I have the male and female end together. I stress to students that it is okay to “unplug” (unplug as you are discussing). We don’t have to be connected all the time! Get outside and be a kid!

Imagine having the mirror attached to your computer/device. If you looked in it and saw someone in the reflection, would they approve of what you are doing or saying online?

Sheet of Paper
One of the most powerful items in the kit. I had read about this idea in a blog, and I enjoy using this with students. I take a new sheet of paper and hand it to a student instructing them to wad it up into a ball. I then tell them to throw it on the ground….stomp on it. I then have them pick up the piece of paper and I unravel it in front of the class. I tell the student that ruined the piece of paper to apologize to the piece of paper for destroying it. I get some weird looks and giggles, but after the student apologizes to the piece of paper I tell the students that the piece of paper represents someones heart that has been cyberbullied. We can apologize all we want, but the emotional scars that remain inside DON’T go away.

Magnifying Glass

Remember when first impressions started with a handshake? Now they start with Google. People are using Google to find out information about us. What will show up when someone searches you on Google?


The amount of information on the internet is amazing! As digital citizens, your students have to be good at “straining” out the bad stuff, what is real, what’s not and finding material that is applicable to their search/use of the internet.

I am planning on using the term “Digital Tattoo” this year instead of “Digital Footprint.” I have always displayed an image of a footprint in the sand when discussing this issue, but footprints in the sand can be washed away. Tattoos are a lot harder to get rid of.

I simply tell students to imagine all of the things they do while online. Now imagine if it were kept in a journal. Would they be comfortable if anyone could read that journal?


Too many times I see students that are posting, tweeting, retweeting information that is NOT appropriate. Remind them to keep it clean!

Band Aids
Our students are going to make mistakes. Kevin Honeycutt talks about how when you and I were younger we made mistakes, but our mistakes weren’t Googleable. The mistakes kids make today will be Googleable. Hopefully our mistakes won’t be too big. If a Band Aid won’t help, then we have a problem!

Pet Tie-Out Cable
This will be geared towards parents. I encourage parents to set limits when it comes to being online at home. Set limits!

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