Digital Citizenship 26
English Language Arts 32, 34
English Language Learners 37
Students Need a Digital Driver’s License Before They Start Their Engines
T he increasing use of tablets as replacements for textbooks and the general use of mobile devices
for communication and entertainment
is becoming a reality for K– 12 schools,
especially as more schools embrace
bring-your-own-device (BYOD) options in addition to school-provided
But along with this expanded
technology access comes additional
responsibilities for schools. The U.S.
Children’s Internet Protection Act
(CIPA) and Protecting Children
in the 21st Century Act emphasize
schools’ responsibility to educate
students about internet safety. Just as
motorists take driver’s education to
learn how to recognize and react to
road situations, digital age students
need a course in how to recognize
and react to precarious situations online, such as cyberbullying and copyright infringement.
Of course, saying that you are going
to educate students about digital citizenship and doing it are two different
things. As a technology representative for the Kentucky Department of
Education, Marty Park interacts with
teachers every day, and it is through
these interactions that we discovered
the need for support in the digital citizenship area. Logistical questions that
came up in the districts were:
• How do we deliver digital
• How do we track students to make
sure they all get the training?
• How do we fund this?
For practice-its, students watch a video scenario and then answer questions.
Coming up with a free, easy-to-use
resource to answer these questions
was the genesis of the Digital Driver’s
License (DDL) project.
The DDL is a collaboratively de-
signed and delivered set of self-paced
modules—dubbed “cases”—that any-
one can use to gain exposure to some
crucial concepts in digital citizenship.
The underlying structure of the DDL
is a twist on the traditional design for
a learning management system, in
which courses are attached to instruc-
tors and institutions. In the DDL proj-
ect, cases are “community property.”
Students connect their accounts to a
school, and their results become avail-
able to the registered personnel at the
district or school. If they move to a
new school, they simply update their