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The Forest Hills Local School District from Cincinnati, Ohio is pleased to having an outstanding Elementary Team. This team consists of educators from several of the Elementary Schools within the Forest Hills School District. The team members are:

Julie Thorp, 5th Grade Teacher, Sherwood Elementary
Lisa Courtney, Elementary Math Specialist
Marie Mehring, 3rd Grade, Ayer Elementary
Linda Lagemann, 4th Grade Teacher, Wilson Elementary
Lauren Wiethorn, 1st Grade Teacher, Ayer Elementary
Annette Thomas, 3rd Grade Teacher, Maddux Elementary
Ann Hambleton, 3rd Grade Teacher, Summit Elementary
We are looking forward to a great year of professional growth!


Action Research Project

Project Focus: Instructional

Topic: Digital Citizenship

Grades: 1-6



As we enter the ever changing world of 21st century learning, we believe that it is essential for our students to have the tools necessary to be safe, effective, and respectful digital citizens. As a team we have researched and created a curriculum for grades 1-6 using the acronym, SMART:

Safety first

My creation or give credit

Awareness of accuracy

Responsible postings

Traceable footprint

At each grade level we have accumulated lessons and support material that will allow educators to empower their students with these essential tools.

Problem or Issue

  • Problem/Question:

    • What do learners need to know at various ages in order to successfully use technological tools in a productive, respectful and safe manner?


  • Essential Understanding:

    • Students will understand that when using technology, they need to be safe, responsible and effective contributors.

  • Essential Questions:

    • What is digital citizenship?
    • Why is it important?
    • What is your digital footprint?
    • How can you create a digital footprint that reflects you in a positive way?

  • Students will know...

    • A digital footprint is the word used to describe the trail, or "footprints", that people leave online.
    • A digital footprint is everything we do online which should represent who we are, and what we stand for and we must have the knowledge that this representation will stick with us potentially forever.
    • The information you share is often public
    • How to share information, what to share, and with whom to share
    • Some sources/resources on the internet are not valid or legitimate
    • How to correctly document and use resources for learning
    • Difference between appropriate and inappropriate information
      • Students will be: SMART
      • Safety first
      • My creation or give credit
      • Awareness of accuracy
      • Respectful postings
      • Traceable footprints

  • Students will be able to..

    • Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning and productivity
    • Respond appropriately to inappropriate information on the internet
    • Use technology to locate, evaluate and collect information from a variety of sources
    • Determine whether a source is valid and reliable
    • Practice safe, legal and responsible use of information
    • Create, research and communicate with effective tools
    • Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences


Grades 1 - 3

Grades 4 - 6

Implementation Plan

  • As a committee, our future plans is to continue to share our Action Research with the FHSD in order to assist our curriculum department in the planning and implementation of a future Digital Citizenship Curriculum.

Little Red Riding Hood Play

In addition to using the various resources at each grade level, the teachers are encouraged to use a visual representation with a hand for SMART (five fingers).

Evaluation and Results

To determine student growth throughout the course of the school year, each student will complete a primary or intermediate pre/post assessment. The pre-assessment will be used to determine their current understanding of Digital Citizenship based off of the SMART acronym. The results of the baseline data will be used by teachers to implement, and tailor, instruction in order to effectively teach the Digital Citizenship curriculum throughout the year.

In addition, the students will work individually, or within a group, to complete a culminating project showcasing what they have learned at each grade level. The students will have the opportunity to select a project idea from either the Primary Digital Citizenship Choice Board.docx or iIntermediate Digital Citizenship Choice Board.docx. The students will be evaluated on their ability to demonstrated understanding of the five components of the Digital Citizenship curriculum (SMART). Educators will be able to document evidence on the “Being a S.M.A.R.T. Digital Citizen” SMART Learning Checklist.docx.

Each year, the pre/post assessment, along with evidence of the culminating project will be placed in an individual “Digital Citizenship Portfolio”.
At the end of 3rd and 6th grade, the students will use the assessments within their portfolios to complete a reflection highlighting their growth.

Evaluation Tools:
Primary Digital Citizenship Choice Board.docx
Intermediate Digital Citizenship Choice Board.docx
SMART Learning Checklist.docx

Artifacts and Documentation