Muddling through the blogosphere

“Oh no they didn’t!” – Modeling good digital citizenship


I blog often about digital citizenship topics. Part of my day job (technology integration specialist for the Elk Grove Unified School District) involves supporting the teaching of digital citizenship across grade levels and subject areas. Beyond the school day, I co-curate the Digital ID Project.

Back to my day job. For the past 7 years, as the co-coordinator of our district-wide digital citizenship program, I’ve teamed with our very talented graphic designer and web specialist, Kathleen Watt, on all components of the program. We have written this post together.

If you visit our Digital Citizenship website, you will see a graphic, created by Kathleen, to show visitors at a glance the four areas of digital citizenship we focus on (cyberbullying, building positive digital footprints, respecting intellectual property, and protecting online privacy).

This post is in response to the need to teach – and model – respect for intellectual property. More specifically, it is our reaction to Digital Citizenship and Copyright Stations, a post we came upon this morning via the wonderful, timely DigCit Daily. We are always looking for new ideas for teaching about copyright, since our teachers often share that they are trying to build their comfort levels in teaching about intellectual property rights and responsibilities.

To see one of our digital citizenship images copied without crediting the source was disappointing – and ironic, considering the image is being used as part of another district’s digital citizenship program. A quick reverse image search on Google turned “disappointing” into “troubling.” We find it hard to believe that more than a few educators have taken the image without attributing it back to Elk Grove – all for the purpose of promoting their own digital citizenship programs. (Shout out to the Plumas Lake School for crediting the source!)

We’ve created the Oh no they didn’t! slideshow to show our reaction, reflection, and next steps in dealing with the apparently very real issue of educators perhaps teaching, but not modeling, respect for intellectual property.


  1. Love your exploration of how your image was used and how you turned that into a lesson about citation and ownership. Plus, I like that image (and if I use it, I promise to let folks know where it came from). I wonder if you thought about a watermark on it?

    • Hi Kevin,

      We’re going to license it this week under Creative Commons (BY NC SA). I realize that the general public might now know that since 1976, any works in tangible form are automatically copyrighted, so hopefully the CC licensing will encourage teachers to model respect for intellectual property. Still kind of surprised by the number of teachers and districts using our #digcit graphic for their own #digcit programs. It’s a good reminder to teach students about Google’s reverse image search.

  2. I think that all companies do their best to protect Creative Commons and keep their privacy hidden and away from others.

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