Designing a course

Using environment and situational factors when planning lessons and outcomes for our students in a course can be a challenging task. The first hurdle in creating an outcome for students is creating a “big, hairy, audacious goal”. For me, this was zeroing in on the specific TEK that I wanted to address but making the goal broader than the TEK itself. I came up with the BHAG of having my students function as developmentally appropriate digital citizens. The reason I put in the “developmentally appropriate” part is that I am a kindergarten teacher and the skills that I want them to gain are vastly different from the skills I want, say my 5th grader to have.

The next challenge was looking at the learning situation, the nature of my students and their characteristics, and the characteristics of myself as the teacher. My lessons will be given in a live classroom setting with face to face instruction to my 15 Kindergarten students. There will not be a “home” component except to have something signed about halfway through. I have taken in to account what Texas wants my students to know, along with our expectations as a school and the expectations of society as a whole regarding digital citizenship.

Most of my students will come in with little to no prior knowledge with the subject, but most of them will have interacted with some sort of technology before coming to me. I will use the idea of “safety” throughout because children are comfortable with the idea of being safe and like to be told how to maintain their safety.  Then, I had to look at my comfort level with the subject and what kind of teacher that I am to help my deliver my instruction in the best possible way.

The next step was answering some questions so I could come up with some very specific learning goals. I had to answer what I wanted my students to have gained in a year from my lessons, which I hope will be a strong digital citizenship foundation on which to continue building.

I had to decide the key information, which I found was more like vocabulary and what the main ideas I want my students to understand from my course. I identified words like digital citizenship, safety, cyberbullying, and acceptable use to name a few. Then I came up with the main ideas of what is digital safety and rules, what is fair use, and what is cyberbullying and how can you stop it.  I had to look at the kinds of thinking that I thought I would address and the integration goals for my course.

I looked at the human dimension goals of my course and came up with the goals of learning how to control themselves on the internet and learning that you can’t control what others do on the internet but you can control how you react to it.

Finally, I had to look at my changes and values that I wanted my students to adopt and what I wanted my students to learn about as good students, and self-directed learners.

My end result was a three column table with a general course outline for my 6 week course on Digital Citizenship.

Goal:  To have students function as developmentally appropriate digital citizens. 

Learning Goals Assessment Activities Learning Activities
Learners will identify and explain what it means to be a good digital citizen.

Learners will recognize key vocabulary involved in being a good digital citizen.


Digital citizenship book page per child


Classroom discussions



Watch An Introduction to Digital Citizenship

Go through teacher created PowerPoint with the specific vocabulary such as digital citizenship, safety, cyberbullying, acceptable use, digital safety rules, fair use, copyright laws, intellectual property, and responsible use

Brainstorm ways to be a good digital citizen.



Learners will describe acceptable use and define what it means.

Learners will help construct and sign a classroom acceptable use policy.



Acceptable use policy

Classroom discussions


View acceptable use video

Teacher will go over the dos and don’ts with technology in the classroom.

Students will brainstorm why these are necessary policies for using technology.



Learners will identify digital use rules in the classroom.




Rules book created in Story maker

Turn and talk about the rules



Teacher will go over PowToon created with the rules for digital use in their classroom.

Brainstorm why these rules are important. Have students come up with examples of situations they might use them in.

Students will define rules to their classmates.


Learners will identify and  illustrate fair use guidelines in the classroom.



Fair use posters per group

Classroom discussion


Go to Copyright kid’s website and click on useful information to explain what fair use and copyrights are.

Brainstorm things that we could copyright in the classroom.


Learners will explain what copyright laws are on the internet.

Learners will create their own work for the internet and give proper credit to themselves for doing this.

Artwork created and put on the

Internet with proper credit given

Classroom discussion



Use My Creative work lesson plan from Common Sense Media for this lesson.



Learners will identify what cyberbullying is and how to deal with it if it happens.




Cyberbullying poster to hang up around the school (instead of tip sheet)

Classroom discussion



Use Screen out Mean lesson from Common Sense Media

Brainstorm ideas for posters to make to hang around school.

Fink, L. D. (n.d.). A Self Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning. Retrieved March 20, 2016, from

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Posted in ELDL 5313 - Creating Significant Learning Environments

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