Category Archives: Online Resources

Digital Citizenship: To Educate, Respect and Protect

“Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology” – Dr. Mike Ribble

When meeting with parents, teachers, or other stakeholders in the conversation around tech-enabled teaching and learning, we often come back to the idea of balance. The idea of striking a balance between new technologies and existing practices, as well as balancing the time we spend in front of a screen, as opposed to away from a screen, is very important.  But perhaps we should broaden the conversation to consider all of the elements of Digital Citizenship; of which balance is only one.

digital_citizenship_1280-740x523The nine elements of digital citizenship, as coined by Dr. Mike Ribble, can be broken down into three groups. Consider, as we ride this tidal wave of technology, that it is our professional responsibility to Educate, Respect, and Protect while working in online environments.  When we Educate, we’re talking about things like digital communication, digital literacy and digital commerce. Respect relates to digital etiquette, digital access and digital law. To Protect means to think about digital rights, digital health and digital safety. It is imperative that we not only speak about these elements of citizenry, by model them, and teach specifically to them in our classrooms.

Common Sense Media is an incredible online resources for parents, teachers, and other consumers of technology, that provides lessons, conversations and guidelines around things like:

  • Learning with TechnologyCommon sense Logo
  • Cyberbullying
  • Screen time
  • Professional Development
  • Digital Citizenship

It is a fantastic starting point for those that are interested in conversations and lesson ideas around rights and responsibilities in online spaces.

If you have any questions about ways to incorporate digital citizenship ideas into your classroom, feel free to contact your NGL Tech Coach. We’d be happy to bring you into the conversation.


Twitter to the Rescue!

SuperTwitterIn our most recent PD sessions and department meetings, we’ve really begun to push the notion that Twitter is one the most powerful tools to build learning networks. It also allows you to share, store and aggregate ideas to push your practice to the next level.

If you’ve yet to join Twitter, I’d encourage you to do so, and I’d like to offer you a few quick tips to help you along the way.

  1. Create an account that includes your full name. Don’t be cryptic or crafty. We want to find you, connect with you and learn with you. As an example, my twitter handle is @iAMTrevorHammer.
  2. Start by following some professionals that you know and trust. Members of the program department, NGL team, and like-minded individuals in your family of schools make a great start!
  3. Dip your toes in the Twitter pool by simply ‘liking’ and ‘retweeting’ posts that match your mindset and professional goals. Sharing those tweets with your network will amplify your practice and philosophy.
  4. Use and follow the hashtag #amdsblearns. As a team, we use this hashtag to make it easier to remain connected, and share a conversation around teaching and learning.
  5. Reach out and ask for guidance. I’d be happy to meet with you and walk you through the use and benefits of Twitter. And I’d love to expand the conversation to things like TweetDeck, Hootsuite, and Paper.Li.

Let’s push the conversation, get connected and share! Follow us to get the conversation rolling!

@iAMTrevorHammer   @iAMRickSaunders    @iAMJoeyJackson    @iAMKCarr @LeighCassell

A Great Starting Point


As much as we often try to steer the conversation away from a lengthy list of apps, and more toward the pedagogy involved, we do understand the need for a well-stocked tool box.

If you need a place to start, try this EdTechTeacher resources to search out Apps based on academic subject, topic, or learning activity.


Building Creativity

This is a website (Part of Project Zero at Harvard) that helps teachers and students build skills in creativity. Listed here are a number of exercises that promote creative thought, collaboration and problem solving. I have also included the Map of Understanding which is a graphic from the same project, that diagrams the different ways we come to understand a concept.

Understanding map circle

Creativity Routines

OWL (Online Writing Lab)

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide can find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out-of-class instruction. (Purdue University)


Khan Academy

This site has more than 4,200 educational videos that help you to learn a variety of topics, from math and computing to music and there is also a new Ontario Curriculum Math Grade 6 section. An excellent resource for students who want to be exposed to a variety of different approaches to understanding a concept.

A great feature of the free app is the ability to download any of the videos to view later.