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Digital Tools In the School….Where Are We At?

Dr. Alec Couros and Dr. Katia Hildebrandt‘s Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools offer instructional support as students and educators navigate the learning curve online and the responsibility it brings. As an educator, I was not confident in this area of education and often collaborated and processed situations with my colleague, Aaron Warner. I would observe and listen to the conversations he would have with his students and watch his students critically navigate the technology tools they used to critically examine their thinking process and digital footprint.

I began asking teachers about this planning guide for school divisions. Some had definitely heard about it, but many new teachers hadn’t familiarized themselves with it. I remember Regina Public Schools had a trained catalyst in the schools to help execute and model digital citizenship.

Digital Citizenship Ecuation in Saskatchewan

The highlighted points reference the significant purpose of this document and the significant responsibility educators have in modeling and guiding students towards implementing the policy. I believe these visuals are excellent guidelines for teachers to follow. It is important for students to learn and understand digital citizenship in today’s world.

I reached out to Amanda Brace, the Student Achievement Coordinator with Regina Public Schools, and asked her where the division is at in terms of this policy. She shared that teachers are embedding digital citizenship into their classroom, and as always, there is room to embed and practice it more. Amanda Brace references The 5 Competencies of being a Digital Citizen, which is clear and concise for adult learners and educators.

Educators must be:

  • Inclusive
  • Informed
  • Engaged
  • Balanced
  • Alert

Amanda has become like a mentor to me, and it is wonderful to engage in new dialogue, learn, and understand new technology platforms. I have been stretching my thinking in this new and relevant learning realm. I am grateful for the EC&I 831 community as well to help troubleshoot as we learn from each other on this journey.

Regina Public Schools recognizes its responsibility with Digital Citizenship and recommends using Couros and Hildebrandt’s Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools guide for students K-12. I believe this is a great place for educators to start accessing lessons and resources to teach digital citizenship. I am excited to explore the unique ideas on how to teach digital citizenship in an engaging way.

Keegan Korf is the Lead Teacher of Digital Citizenship for the Omaha Public Schools and Common Sense Media. She explores how authenticity is important while teaching digital citizenship. Korf (2017) states in her Ted Talk that:

  • “Entering a public school system all eyes are on you and you must model digital citizenship.”
  • “Online narrative should reflect real life.”
  • “Empower online presence in kids for good.”


As I embrace the technology world, questions continue to arise within me; all learning and unlearning our own individual processes. As an educator, human connection and relationships drive me to march into a space that is unfamiliar to me. This is where land-based pedagogy grounds me with my own personal narrative. To me, land-based pedagogy is the connection we make with the land.  Walking, talking, being, connecting, and embodying the land through our senses is imperative to access and engage in the relationship we share with the land.  Connecting to identity provides individuals with insight into who they are and their place and confidence in the world. Unlearning the systemic colonial narratives that continue to persist within our education walls continues to be my focus. Furthering this, digital citizenship connects to students and their online identity. Their online presence is important and must be taught, modeled, and made a priority within our school settings. Common Sense Education offers lessons for grades K-12 on educating students in a safe and relatable manner. This is a great place for teachers to guide their teaching practice on digital identity. As educators, we can easily connect digital citizenship to cross-curricular outcomes. We can empower students to navigate the digital world safely and confidently. Connecting culturally responsive education along with digital citizenship will benefit our students and foster an authentic learning journey.

Thanks for reading my second blog post. Take care!


Published by Kola

I am a response teacher in Regina, Saskatchewan on Treaty 4 Territory.

3 thoughts on “Digital Tools In the School….Where Are We At?

  1. Yes! I am glad that you were able to reach out to Amanda, boy is she great! I also like how you mentioned the educational materials. They are amazing and so so so helpful! I also like media sense too. There is a lot out there if you look, but these two are definitely my favourite. I like how you tie in your land-based pedagogy with the digital world. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!


  2. I find an interesting parallel between the Treaty Education materials and Digital Citizenship continuum… Both are available for teachers, yet many still don’t know about them, or don’t use them. I wonder if there is a better way to get these resources out there?


    1. I recall educators trained to execute the Digital Citizenship teachings from Alec and Katia’s Continuum. But, I agree it should continue, and more awareness needs to happen. Educators have become more versed in various technology tools due to online teaching. I also enjoyed the breakdown Ribble offers in 9 elements of Digital Citizenship. I printed his copy and started discussing digital citizenship with some of my colleagues, and it is evident we need to grow in this area together.

      Interestingly, Jeff and I are currently working on a blog post on the similarities between Mike Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship and the Seven Grandfather Teachings. We began unwrapping the idea that Digital Citizenship is a Knowledge System. We found there to be many parallels to discuss and draw our learning from. Stay posted!
      After class, we both had a better understanding knowing that Mike Ribble had shared, The Nine Elements on Digital Citizenship for elementary, middle, and high school levels to follow. We discussed how foundational these were to becoming a healthy Digital Citizen.
      We began discussing Indigenous Worldview regarding its version of citizenship to Indigenous Epistemology. As I continue to unwrap my journey, I have discovered that Indigenous teachings come with appropriate protocols. In the Digital World, the nine elements are essentially protocols to lead a safe and protective way for students to learn how to become digital citizens.

      Liked by 1 person

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