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No Time for #DigCit or #MediaLit? Think Again!

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for educators with media and information literacy or digital citizenship skills is the ability to fit it into their day on top of all the other curricular demands. I have good news, though. These literacies don't have to be "one more thing" and, quite honestly, shouldn't stand alone.

One trick I started using when working alongside content area teachers was to "hack their standards" in order to still cover pertinent content while also addressing skills like

  • how to engage in respectful dialogue online

  • how to tell accurate information from misinformation

  • how to navigate norms in digital communities

Instead of teaching these skills in isolation, you can hack them in to your content standards or learning targets - not to change what is being taught, but to add depth. Check out some examples below. The underlined text was "hacked in" to show you that content area standards can be covered through a lens of digital citizenship.

Social Studies Standards from the C3 Framework:

  • D2.Civ.9.9-12. Use appropriate deliberative processes in multiple settings, including digital communities.

  • D2.Civ.5.9-12. Evaluate citizens' and institutions' effectiveness in using digital tools and communications for addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.

English Language Arts Standards from the Common Core:

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy SL.9-10.1.A. Come to digital discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic of issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas in online communities.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy SL.9-10.1.C. Propel conversations in digital spaces by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3 Describe how characters in a digital citizenship story respond to major events and challenges. (Find great books for digital citizenship lessons here!)

How have you successfully "hacked" digital citizenship or media literacy into your content area lessons? I'd love for you to share your ideas in the comments.

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