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Digital Citizenship

At the Ottawa Catholic School Board, we strive to ensure that our students have access to current technology and that they use digital tools as part of their educational experience. Coupled with this comes the need to ensure that students understand the appropriate and responsible use of these tools.Technology and the internet pose both opportunities and challenges for our students. To support their learning journey, a team of our teachers has developed Samaritans on the Digital Road - an online resource for teachers to inspire and inform our students into becoming discerning digital citizens. 

Taught at all grade levels

student-textingSamaritans on the Digital Road ties the grade 1-12 Religion curriculum to the responsible use of technology by our students. Each grade explores a specific verse from Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. The website gives teachers tools and resources needed to teach five lessons for each grade level. The parable verses serve as a guide for the lessons, which aim to build student awareness and skills for participating in the online world. Students learn the meaning of being a "citizen" and transfer those skills to the online world as a "digital citizen." They learn how to contribute to social good and how to navigate the moral challenges found "on the road" of the Internet.

Meeting a Need

This project is a direct response to the recent School Climate Survey where it was reported that our students would benefit from explicit, directed learning focused on "Digital Citizenship." Each year the lessons will be taught to all grades in early November, as a pre-cursor to Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. Parents are encouraged to start conversations at the supper table, in the car or wherever the family meets, by asking their child about his/her learning as Samaritans on the Digital Road fills our classrooms with experiential, thought provoking activities.

Continuing into the future

These 5-lesson, grade level plans will continue to be taught each fall in all grades across the Board. (A French translation of the resource material was added in the 2014-15 school year.) The lessons are designed so that each builds upon material from the previous year. This minimizes repetition but still allows some issues to be revisited based on students' progressing levels of maturity. Where possible, lessons are not limited to a specific platform (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) so that they will continue to be applicable as new digital platforms emerge in the popular culture.

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Links

Visit the teacher resource website:


Other links of interest:

Sample List of Learning Goals

I will...  

  • learn to avoid pop-ups;
  • learn how to post pictures properly;
  • learn how to keep myself safe online;
  • learn how to avoid unsafe and inappropriate websites;
  • think through difficult situations;
  • look at online blogs and identify how they are positively affecting the world;
  • understand that our digital footprint becomes a permanent part of our reputation;
  • identify ways to be purposefully positive in my online behaviour;
  • identify some ways to determine if a website is a good source;
  • examine ways to evaluate online content;
  • identify safe online behaviour;
  • list rules that will keep me safe online;
  • learn how being a Catholic digital citizen can help connect me to people within Canada, as well as to contribute toward social justice and the common good through online social media;
  • learn how to model and practice Catholic digital citizenship and understand how important it is to treat others with dignity online because everyone is created in the image of God.