Addressing Social and Emotional Learning Through Digital Citizenship

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Daniel Vargas Campos  

Join us to learn how technology introduces unique social and emotional challenges to students’ lives. We'll discuss pedagogical strategies to address these challenges to foster students’ digital wellbeing, and explore free activities to support social and emotional learning in digital life.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Principals/head teachers, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: The presentation will include menti polls to allow attendees to engage with the presenter and to share their perspectives. The polls can be accessed on any wi-fi-enabled device with an internet browser. Attendees will not need to download any app.
Topic: Digital citizenship
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Education Leaders:
Equity and Citizenship Advocate
  • Cultivate responsible online behavior, including the safe, ethical and legal use of technology.
For Educators:
  • Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.
For Students:
Digital Citizen
  • Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.
Related exhibitors:
Common Sense Education

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The pandemic has accelerated student’s reliance on technology to learn and socialize. This increase in student’s dependence on technology has exacerbated social and emotional challenges, ranging from the impact of digital environments on identity development to device addiction and digital drama. Many of the issues that educators witness in school are connected to the digital lives of students. As a result, educators must find ways to align digital citizenship education and social-emotional learning. The goal of this session is to guide educators in making this alignment. By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

• Identify technology trends that are impacting the social and emotional wellbeing of their students
• Reflect on how they can align existing SEL and digital citizenship initiatives at their school
• Implement pedagogical strategies that promote student agency and wellbeing, including perspective-taking through scenarios, navigating digital dilemmas with thinking routines, and building empathy with others through video viewing
• Leave with ready-to-use K-12 CASEL-aligned quick activities, family engagement resources, and additional professional development opportunities.


Introduction (10 minutes)
We will start the session by engaging participants with a Kahoot! Trivia. There are four trivia questions, and each surfaces an insight from Common Sense Media's research on the impact of media and technology on young people's social and emotional well-being. As participants learn the correct answers, we will share additional context to illustrate how these trends connect to digital citizenship.

For example, one finding we will share is that teens report encountering more hateful content online today than they did two years ago. We will use this insight to connect the SEL competency of social awareness to the digital citizenship skill of being an upstander online.

By making these connections between SEL and digital citizenship explicit and grounding them in research, we hope educators will start to identify the possibility of addressing both content areas simultaneously, and most importantly, start making connections to all curricular areas.

Pedagogical Strategies to Address SEL in Digital Life (15 minutes)
Next, we will poll the audience. The goal of the poll is for participants to share examples of challenges they have encountered when trying to talk to their students about the impact that technology has on their lives.

After acknowledging the responses from the audience, we will share examples of activities that address SEL in Digital Life. Each sample activity focuses on a grade-level specific challenge and covers a strategy to address it. The strategies we will share include: using thinking routines, analyzing digital dilemmas or scenarios, and video discussions.

Conclusion and Sharing Resources (5 minutes)
We will conclude the presentation by sharing free turn-key resources that our team developed to help promote SEL in digital life. Resources include:
• Our SEL in Digital Life Resource Center: The SEL in Digital Life Resource Center includes free, turnkey free, and turnkey educational resources, including CASEL-aligned quick activities for grades K-12, accompanying family engagement resources, lesson plans focused on using film to teach SEL, and related professional development resources.
• A corresponding skills progression chart for grades K-12

Supporting research

• Tweens, Teens, Tech, and Mental Health: Coming of Age in an Increasingly Digital, Uncertain, and Unequal World, 2020 (

• Coping with COVID-19: How Young People Use Digital Media to Manage Their Mental Health (

• The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Kids Age Zero to Eight, 2020 (

• Teaching digital citizens in today's world: Research and insights behind the
Common Sense K–12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum, 2021 (

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Daniel Vargas Campos, Common Sense Media

Daniel Vargas Campos is an Education Content Specialist at Common Sense Education. He develops research-backed educational resources that support young people to thrive in a digitally interconnected world. He has over 4 years of experience as a content creator in the education technology space. Before joining Common Sense Education, Daniel was a graduate instructor and researcher at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education where he studied the impact of educational technologies in the lives of students from non-dominant backgrounds. He holds an MA in Social and Cultural Studies from UC Berkeley and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Tufts University.

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