Digital Citizenship and Literacy

For Organizational and School Leaders, Teacher Leaders and Families


These sites have resources for teaching Digital Citizenship in the classroom

Google Interactive
Google’s Family Safety Center
Google Safety Center
Common Sense Media
    Unit Assessments – Common Sense Media
    Digital Compass – (Grades 6 and up)
    Student Badges –
NetsmartzSafety Pledges
Be Cyber Wise
Digital Citizenship Site
Yahoo Safely
Cable in the Classroom
FOSI Family Online Safety Institute
ebonauts – School or District/Diocese Assessments and Curriculum – Subscription
ISTE Standards Nets-A, Nets-S, Nets-T
ISTE Poster and Infographic
Online Safety for Kids @symballo by Sylvia Buller 


These blogs address topics related to Digital Citizenship
Anne Collier – Net Family News
Danah Boyd
Innovative Educator Blog

Research To Know About

Zero to Eight -Children’s Mobile Technology Use in America by Common Sense Media
Youth Safety on a Living Internet Study – Study
The Good Play Project
Pew Internet and American Life Project

Related Posts on TechConnects
Online Safety Bridge Between Home and School – TechConnects
Getting Started with Digital Citizenship – TechConnects


Using the above links, select resource(s) for use with teachers or students. Discuss the following:
1. Why did you select this resource? What appeals most to you about it.
2. How can it be used in your school(s)?
3. What 3 steps would you need to take to use this resource?
4. How will you measure or evaluate the benefit?

Page Link

QR Code – Scan


Outsourcing Some of the WorkloadCreative Commons License Joe The Goat Farmer via Compfight

Resources for Technology and Learning

AUPs Catholicedchat WMOF2015
Social Media Educational Technology Planning and Policies for Leadership and Technology
Digital Citizenship Tech Tools  Blogs and Toolkits – K12Blueprint
Evaluating Content and ‘Fake News’ Webtools and Apps Chrome Extensions


NETS – Administrators – National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators
Internet Savvy – Digital Citizenship Resources
Catholic Schools Connect – Connecting Schools

Educator Use of Social Networks

When I first began to use twitter, I thought it an unusual concept. What could I say and who would I follow? What would communicating openly look like? What could it possibly have to offer educators?

That was September of 2008. I found out quickly that it was an incredible and powerful tool.  Once I began to use it, I quickly realized the immense benefits in terms of professional learning, building community and shared ideas.  A study I came across this week underscored those benefits and caused me to reflect on what drew me in.

Making a Social Network Meaningful

What was really beneficial to me in this shift was how I happened upon Twitter. It was in a workshop held for 20 of our high schools in the Archdiocese of Phila. We had 5 people from each school including administrators and teachers. In looking back what got me hooked was knowing I’d be connecting initially to people I already knew.

The fact that others in our schools were getting onto Twitter meant a lot to me. I wanted to delve into it myself. The fact that our workshop was being led by others well versed in using twitter did too. (Willrich45, snbeach)
It was:

  • Social
  • Professionally Enriching
  • An Place to Connect with Like-Minded Educators

What Does the Research Say?

In reading this article posted in Edweek, I recalled what drew me in and still does! – connecting with like minded individuals who shared the same interests.

The article highlights data collected by MMS Education noting a trend towards private social networking and online communities. Though open and public social networking is here to stay, private communities have a solid base and that base if growing! Private communities allow for both a more targeted and seemingly safer way to connect with others for educators.

26 percent of teachers said they would join a new social network tailored to educators in the next year, while only 5 percent said they would join a new network for personal use

Social networks are now an integral part of the lives of many. Perhaps this study reflects your own practice. If so, what do you find to be most beneficial to you?

As school leaders and teacher leaders, will you encourage others to join a social network for educators? Will you build a social network of your own?



Too Much Texting

It’s likely that you have a smartphone. If not, most regular phones allow us to send text messages. We as a society have gradually gotten somewhat used to being available by text 24/7.  What if any conversations should we be having about Texting Etiquette?

According to Shelly Turkle, a clinical psychologist and the founder of MIT’s  Initiative on Technology and Self, “The pull of these devices is so strong, that we’ve become used to them faster than anyone would have suspected”.

Yesterday, I read this article in the New York Times by a student who is questioning her own use of technology and specifically her cell phone.

She concludes, “The worst part of my whole experience was realizing that I really am addicted to my phone. One study described Internet addicts as those using the Internet an average of 38 hours per week for nonacademic or non-employment purposes. These days, most people accumulate that many hours before Wednesday. When I have my phone with me, I check it literally every five minutes. This is something that I didn’t even realize until I stopped using it altogether.

So here’s my final take-away: I’m going to spend more time in the real world and less bonding with my phone.”

In the video below, college students from St. Joseph’s University tackle the issue with a PSA about Texting Etiquette.

We know this is not just an issue for young people. In our own lives we may notice that either we or others are referring a little too often to that ever present phone. When it comes to using my phone in the presence of others, I consciously try to be respectful of others. This may include turning off my phone or turning the volume off. Even so – I know I can be guilty of this. -Checking email, Facebook, twitter, or answering a seemingly important text.

Perhaps at a meeting a request has been made for everyone to stay off of their phones. Families may set rules for phone use. We are all figuring this out together as we go perhaps.

Banning phones is not the answer. In fact, there are plenty of positive ways to use this technology both in the classroom and out.

What do you think?  Will ‘phone etiquette’ become commonplace? How can we do that if phones are not allowed in school?

Should texting etiquette be part of the digital citizenship or netiquette we teach at school? Perhaps it is – IMHO : )

Connected Educators A to Z – T is for Twitter

Twitter is a powerful tool for connecting with others. It is one social media tool that continues to intrigue us and connect us in new ways all the time.
First just a whisper, twitter arrived on the scene in 2007. Twitter was mocked by some but embraced by others. I started using it in September 2008 to connect with other technology and education professionals. It has been an amazing tool for connecting, learning and collaborating.

I had the opportunity to work with a group of teachers learning about using Twitter for the classroom. Below is the presentation given to Archbishop John Carroll High School in Radnor.

Related Resources

If you are new to twitter and are looking for others to follow, check out this list of people to follow in education by Edudemic.


Connected Educators A to Z: G is for Grants and Funding

Many of today’s resources available to connected educators are free. They are a gift that educators use to learn, grow and connect. Twitter, Facebook, Blogger and Skype to name just a few – are free! Connected learning support can incur expenses though. Money for things such as hardware, connectivity, software, assessment systems and professional development are needed.

12 Tips for School Technology Funding

  1. Heed The Research – Stay on top of the ever changing learning environment -technologies-to-watch-2012/
  2. Tune in to Digital Learning Needs – Find out about the latest strategies and tools for learning. How are they being used successfully?
  3. Build a Team – Tap teachers, parents, students and members of the school and local community
  4. Make a Plan –Technology plans and Curriculum plans should work hand in hand
  5. Create Smart Goals – Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time trackable
  6. Dig In to Grant Resources  – Explore funding options online. From shopping rewards to larger grants, there are many untapped resources available to schools
  7. Aim For Quality, Free Access to grant databases 
  8. Jog the Web Funding Sources – The web is replete with resources to boost funding. Find ones that meet your needs and pursue the support you need
  9. Tell Your Compelling Story – Let your school community know about the school goals and the learning that is happening. They will love to be a part of the success story.
  10. Get Social – Use social media to connect with the larger school and local community. They are on Facebook, Twitter. Your school should be too!
  11. Meet Supporters Where They Are – Blend face to face and online communications to reach out. Realize that people have varying connections preferences.
  12. Evaluate and Begin Anew – Set regular times to assess and gauge progress. Adopt an ongoing schedule for seeking new funding and support for your programs

12 Links for School Grants and Funding

  1. The Foundation Center – Site and Newsletter
  2. Grant Space via Foundation Center (Search areas for free Foundation Center access) – Find Us
  3. Guidestar – Funder Resources
  4. Technology Grants- News and Resources
  5. K-12 Grants –
  6. E-School News – Funding Page
  7. Specific Tech Companies have offerings – Acer
  8. Tech and Learning Grants Directory – 2012-2013
  9. Non Profit Technology Network
  10. US Government – Funding Pages
  11. Full Collection of Resources – Sheryl Abshire
  12. All #TechFunding Links in presentation – Diigo

Recently I had the honor of presenting to a the Educational Technology Committee at the Diocese of Harrisburg. Below are the resources shared that day.

Connected Educators A-Z: F is for Face to Face

Conferences and meetings have always been places where people could go to learn. At conferences you hear of new concepts, design new strategies, learn a skill. In today’s web enriched environment though, we can do all of those things online. We attend webinars, tweet, and Linkin. We email, Facebook, skype and chat. We can learn online easily and explore topics in depth.

So why attend conferences face to face?  To meet people face to face, to hear their stories, to build relationships. To quote this piece by Sr. Geralyn in the VFLR blog. If we are to provide well for the learning of today’s students we need to

Broaden their vision with your understanding of their world. If that world is way beyond your knowledge, leverage some assistance from another educator.

Just listen to these young adults as they discuss the benefits of Face to Face talk below.

As educators, it is important for us to discern how to best support all new and innovative venues for learning – to make online learning, educational uses of technology AND face to face learning the best it can be!

As powerfully as the tools of today can provide learning and forge connections, face to face gatherings

 can deepen our learning and partnerships.

An upcoming conference is planned in Philadelphia and is hosted by Powerful Learning Practice. The agenda is packed with inspiring speakers and collaborative opportunities for educators. This can be just the place to talk with connected educators from all over the world.

Having the opportunity to meet and greet innovative and passionate educators does not come along every day.  I’m happy to be part of the planning team for this conference. I look forward to connecting with other educators there – face to face!
PLP Live 2012 - Friday September 28 - Philadelphia

Contact Me

~Providing Consulting online or face to face. I can help your School or Organization to implement technology for 21st Century learning and communicating.

-Get assistance finding the Technology resources and support you need. All work is individually customized to your needs

Email today for information and pricing.

  • Policy and Planning
  1. Technology Planning
  2. Social Media Policies
  3. Acceptable Use Policies
  • Social Media
  1. Marketing on Facebook and the Social Web
  2. Communications Strategies for using Social Media
  • Professional Development
  1. Virtual Professional Learning Programs
  2. Professional Development Planning and Delivery
  • Digital Communications
  1. School Website Optimization
  2. New Website Procurement
  • Technology and Learning – Tech In Education
  1. Social Media for Schools -Web 2.0 Tools and Implementation
  2. Tablet and Ipad Implementations
  3. Technology Assessments – Assess Teachers, Administrators, Programs. Includes full reporting

Email Nancy Caramanico at TechConnects  to arrange consultation and view sample projects



Technology can be a tool for empowering each of us. We lead, learn and communicate in new ways each day. I truly believe that keeping in tune with those changes  can help us to grow and work more effectively and make a positive difference in the world especially in education.

A lifelong learner and technology education enthusiast, I help leaders to reach their goals using new technologies. I founded Cara Tec, LLC an independent consulting firm. I have taught online college courses for several schools. I also have taught in the Graduate Educational Leadership programs as an adjunct professor. With 19 years experience in various roles as Digital Content Manager for World Meeting of Families 2015 and the Visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia, Technology Director K-12, staff developer, I am enthusiastic about the ways in which technology can support all of us in achieving our goals and making positive impact. I use this blog for celebrating and exploring innovative use of digital technology and social media in and for learning.

My other websites



Currently Contributing Editor for Acer Education Blog and SchoolCIO sponsored by Tech&Learning

EdTechK-12 Top 50 Blogger, June 2012

As the Director of Technology at the Archdiocese I worked with teachers and administrators in support of learning through technology related programs and tools. I connect with our schools via several online communities and also via my EngageWithTech wiki. I am a former  Director of Technology, K-12 for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catholic Schools. (2006-2011)

  • Member of the Advisory Board for School CIO
  • Member of Education Advisory Board, Acer
  • Contributing Author to More Instructional Strategies for Rigor and Relevance distributed by the International Center Leadership in Education
  • Mercy Vocational Board of Education, since 2012

I have an Instructional Technology Educational Specialist Certification and Masters from St. Joseph’s University. I am grateful for the opportunities to learn continually, hearing ideas, solutions and best practices, from others via my own learning network online.
Twitter: ncara

Linked in: Nancy Caramanico

Independent Consulting Services – Cara Tec