Digital Citizenship Lesson

Which Me Should I Be?

Digital Literacy & Citizenship. (2015). 1st ed. [ebook] Common Sense Media. Available at: [Accessed 13 Jan. 2015].

Essential Question:

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Student Objectives:

  1. I can reflect on the benefits and risks of presenting my identity in different ways online.
  2. I can evaluate - from an ethical point of view - the feelings, motivations, contexts, and possible outcomes associated with adopting different roles online.
  3. I can judge whether certain ways people present themselves online are harmless or harmful.

Henry's Story

  • Sometimes you might express different parts of your personality online because you want to be accepted by friends or people in an online community. Or you might do it to experiment and see how others react.
  • Other times, you might cross over into lying to or deceiving others by pretending you are someone you’re not.
  • It is important that you take responsibility for who you are and what you want to be online, and also consider how this might affect people you interact with online.


Watch the video about Henry, a teen who enjoys participating in an online world where he doesn't (fully) reveal his identity. Keep Henry's story in mind as you move on to the next activity.
Henry's Story - Creating Online Identities

Henry's Story - Creating Online Identities: Video Survey


Open the PDF linked below which contains case studies. Have one person in your group download. In your small groups, discuss the case studies and where you would place them on the line. Annotate the PDF with the names of the students in your group, and place the names of the case studies on the line where your group decides they should be. Share your responses with the class.
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Closing Discussion as a Class

1. What motivates people to present themselves differently online than in person?

2. What consequences – positive or negative – might people experience if they present themselves differently online?

3. How can presenting oneself differently online impact other people?

Excerpt From: Common Sense Media. “Digital Literacy & Citizenship Student Workbook: Grades 6-8.” Common Sense Media, 2014. iBooks.