Digital Citizenship

How can we keep our children safe in the digital world?
Pelham Park Middle School strives to educate students and families in effective, safe technology instruction. In today’s society, children and adults interact with technology constantly.  It seems that new devices and apps are created daily creating difficulty keeping up with continuous changes.  Parents feel pressure to ensure their children’s safety online, but they often struggle to simultaneously protect and educate their children in our ever-changing digital world.  

In 2019, the Alabama State Department of Education developed the Digital Literacy Standards to be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year.  One component of the Digital Literacy Standards is Digital Citizenship, in which students learn to safely research and maintain positive relationships online. The digital citizenship standards are essential for all children of the digital age and will be a focus of learning at Pelham Park Middle School.  

To address the digital citizenship standards, all PPMS students will participate in advisory classes  twice a month.  Advisory teachers will lead lessons on digital citizenship as well as provide adult advocacy measures like goal-setting, and academic and attendance monitoring.

What are the components of the digital citizenship standards?

Safety, Privacy, and Security 
While providing information like names, addresses, or phone numbers may seem trivial to middle school students, few teenagers stop to learn how their personal information may be used.  However, how they access and share information can affect their safety, privacy, and security, both today and in the future.  Students will learn how to determine the security level of popular websites as well as what information is safe to share.

Legal and Ethical Behavior
The wealth of information provided on the Internet has revolutionized the access we have to digital media.  Students can instantly access music, pictures for class presentations, or videos to learn a new skill.  The creators of digital media, however, have limitations on how their products can be used.  Having a responsible online presence includes demonstrating positive, safe, legal habits, like proper citation of someone else’s work.  Students will learn how to conduct safe searches and use digital media legally and ethically.

Digital Identity
The instantaneous nature of social media can be a fun way for teens to connect with acquaintances and friends.  Many believe they can remove pictures, posts, and status updates at any time, but in reality, anything your student posts on the internet has a permanent digital record.  The impact of your student’s digital footprint can have far-reaching consequences that affect college admissions, future employment, and financial endeavors.  It is essential for students to learn etiquette that keeps them safe and preserves their online reputation.

Impact of Computing
Digitalization has impacted our society on a global scale.  Our children have access to information from all over the world and can connect with people of all nations and backgrounds.  However, not all teenagers across the globe have the same access as students in the United States.  Internet censorship can limit information and limited digital access can vastly change a country’s ability to compete in a global market.  Your student will learn about the impact of computing world-wide as well as how the U.S. compares to other countries in terms of information access. 
Parent Resources
We know it can be difficult for parents to stay informed in all aspects of digital citizenship.  To help us partner with you in educating our students, we have compiled resources that aim to educate and guide parents about digital citizenship for students and how to set boundaries that are right for your family.  

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Resources for the Home

Common Sense Media for Spanish-Speaking Families

Common Sense Media Family Engagement Resources

Colorín Colorado

Colorín Colorado Technology at Home (in Spanish)

Colorín Colorado Technology at Home (in English)


Google Be Internet Awesome

Kids Health

Kids Health Social Media Smarts (in English)

Kids Health Social Media Smarts (in Spanish)