Cyber Civics: Level 3

Media Literacy for Positive Participation

In our multimedia world, digital citizens need skills to critically evaluate and creatively produce media—not just the printed word, but visual and audio media too! This program provides a turnkey curriculum plus support for a full year of "Media Literacy For Positive Participation" in-classroom lessons. Includes lessons on "fake" news, sexting, media stereotypes, and more!

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About Level 3


This, the powerful final level of Cyber Civics, focuses on media literacy which is "the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms." Within this turnkey program you will find lesson PLANSs (downloadable and easy-to-teach), videos, parent engagement letters, background materials, and access to one-to-one support -- so that you can teach these important skills.


For a free online demo, contact us

Watch "What IS Media Literacy"


Media Literacy IS CRITICAL


"No longer is it enough to be able to read the printed word; children, youth, and adults too, need the ability to both critically interpret the powerful images of a multimedia culture and express themselves in multiple media forms."

 -Elizabeth Thoman and Tessa Jolls,

"Media Literacy: A National Priority for a Changing World"

In 2015, the Pew Research Center reported that "teens go online 'almost constantly'" facilitated by the widespread access to new technologies. For more hours per day than they spend in school or with their families, they are exposed to the powerful images and sounds of a multimedia world. In order to become literate participants, young people must be just as fluent in the language of images and sounds as they are at reading the printed word. Additionally, they need opportunities to practice using critical thinking skills to evaluate the daily assault of media messages (including misinformation) and to learn how to become positive participants in the dialogue of their day. This is so important that many states across the U.S. have recently mandated that "media literacy" lessons be taught in school.


Read about current Media Literacy Legislation here

Download NAMLE's Core Principles of Media Literacy


After developing Cyber Civics: Level 1 (Digital Citizenship) and Level 2 (Information Literacy), it was clear our students were prepared and eager to put their critical thinking skills to work both analyzing and creating media messages. That's why this powerful third level of Cyber Civics was created. While there are excellent lessons in media literacy available elsewhere, Cyber Civics curates the best and combines them with new lessons that build upon the strong foundation of the previous two years of this program. Like Levels 1 and 2, this level emphasizes ethical and critical thinking, discussion and decision-making through hands-on projects, problem-solving activities, and role-playing games. Although Level 3 can be taught without technology, it works best when students use computers or tablets.


Ask us for a sample lesson


Frequently Asked Questions


  • Low subscription cost is determined by size of school.

  • Subscribing schools/organizations receive a school-wide license with full support.

  • Any teacher at subscribing school or organization can open a private account and get access to lesson plans (downloadable PDF's), videos, teacher guides, and parent letters.

  • Always current resources and constantly updated.

  • Teachers receive a monthly newsletter announcing new lessons and resources.

  • Multiple school/district discounts available.

  • Low home school cost.
  • For online demonstrations or onsite presentations, contact us.

See our full FAQ's



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“Since the Cyber Civics classes started at our school, there have been only three reported incidences of poor digital behavior; none in the last two years. This is unheard of in this day and age. What has been a small investment has paid off tenfold. Plus it allows us to put our energy on what matters most, learning and teaching in a happy, safe, and healthy community.”

-Shaheer Faltas, Administrator at the Founding School


"After seeing Journey School's Cyber Civics program presentation and learning more about it, I am pleased to endorse it on behalf of Charters OC as a solution to helping young people learn how to use digital media competently and thoughtfully."


-Susan Mas, Executive Director, Charters OC- an initiative of Innovators OC and the California Charter Schools Association

"An excellent resource to teach students how to be safe and wise online. The activities, videos, resources, and support staff are top notch."

-Morgan Hensley, Teacher, Southwestern Middle School, Hanover, IN

"Cyber Civics lays a strong foundation for healthy digital ethics, information and computer literacy so when children face inevitable, difficult choices online, they will make the right decisions."

-Dr. Paul Helfrich, Teacher, Westside Waldorf School, L.A., CA

"The thoughtfulness and breadth of the program is an asset to our school, and the parents are very happy to have "tech-driver's-ed" in our curriculum."

-Soni Albright, City of Lakes Waldorf School


"We know that digital-citizenship education works. The Journey School in Aliso Viejo, a small Southern California city, is an example of a digital-citizenship success story. Since instituting a three-year middle school series on digital citizenship, information literacy on evaluation of online sources, and media-literacy courses to teach critical-thinking skills around media texts of all kinds—music videos, film, print advertising—the school has nearly eliminated bullying and behavioral issues and significantly boosted standardized-test scores."

-Education Week, July 2016

Cyber Civics is the best digital media literacy curriculum I've seen yet as it is developmentally based and creative."


-Sheila Reilly, Administrator, Woodland Star Charter School


"Since cyber-life is imperative to a child's future, isn't it about time to demand that schools implement Cyber Civics classes?"


-Online Safety Expert Sue Scheff, in "Digital Citizenship Is a Important as Potty Training: Let's Start Cyber Civics In All Schools


“If a Cyber Civics or digital literacy class is offered in your school or community, sign the kids up."

Kelly Wallace, CNN, in "5 Things To Think About Before Buying Your Child a Cell Phone"

Subscriber-Only Curriculum


Students discover the difference between “consuming” and “producing” media as they learn what it means to live in a “participatory culture” (a term coined by scholar Henry Jenkins). They begin to understand how to participate and contribute to media discourse in powerful and positive ways.

  • Teacher Guide

  • Parent Letter w/Activities

  • Are You a Consumer or a Producer?

  • Are You a Multitasker?

  • Let's Get Blogging (2 Parts)



In the book, Net Smart: How To Thrive Online, Stanford professor Howard Rheingold introduces the C.R.A.P. Detection test: “The first thing we all need to know about information online is how to detect crap, a technical term I use for information tainted by ignorance, inept communication, or deliberate deception.” In this unit students learn how to use Rheingold’s test, an unforgettable tool that will help them assess the reliability of information and websites they find online.

  • Teacher Guide

  • Parent Letter w/Activities

  • C.R.A.P. Detection

  • Using C.R.A.P. Detection Skills



One of the wonderful things about living in a participatory culture is that anyone and everyone can be a purveyor of information and news. This is one of the great downsides too. This unit teaches students how to be critical consumers of news media, and helps them understand how misinformation can spread via the Internet and social media, and even find its way into mainstream “news.”

  • Teacher Guide

  • Parent Letter w/Activities

  • What's News?

  • Understanding "Fake" News

  • Clickbait and Deepfakes

  • Simon Says It's Fake

  • Quiz



A critical media participant should know how to recognize and understand the role media plays in creating and perpetuating stereotypes. In this unit students put C.R.A.P. Detection skills to work as they take a critical look at media stereotypes.

  • Teacher Guide
    Parent Letter w/Activities

  • Seeing Stereotypes

  • Stereotypes All Around Us

  • Selling to Stereotype (2 Parts)



On Instagram and YouTube, Snapchat and more, the messages young people consume and create are visual. This unit helps students learn how to read and create visual media, and also teaches them how to be less susceptible to visual manipulations.

  • Teacher Guide

  • Parent Letter w/Activities

  • Before There Was Photoshop

  • Every Picture Tells a Story

  • Spot That Photoshop

  • Food Takes Center Stage

  • Quiz



Sexting, “the sending OR receiving of sexually suggestive, nude, or seminude images,” is a serious digital age issue and in many states individuals who distribute, possess, or produce a sexually explicit image of a minor could be charged under the state’s child pornography statutes. Many young people are unaware of the potentially serious consequences of sexting, which is addressed in this unit.

  • Teacher Guide

  • Parent Letter w/Activities

  • Let's Talk About Sexting

  • Sexting: What To Do About It



The ultimate objective of these lessons is to transition students from being “digital citizens” into becoming “digital leaders” who will wield technology with purpose and positivity. This unit arms students with powerful skills and knowledge of tools that can help them achieve this end.

  • Teacher Guide

  • Parent Letter w/Activities

  • The Power of Social Media

  • Trolls, Lurkers, and Upstanders

  • Your Brain on Tech

  • Emerging Technologies and Ethical Thinking

  • Final Activity: Are You a Consumer or a Producer Now?



We recommend that all schools use this extra unit in conjunction with an “8th grade project” or a “passion project” of a student’s choice. These lessons show students how to use digital media to research, write, cite, and create a research project. These are all important research skills students will use in high school and beyond.

  • Teacher Guide

  • Parent Letter w/Activities

  • Filters and Operators

  • Search Like a Pro

  • Avoiding Plagiarism

  • How To Cite Right

  • Let's Review! Copyright, Fair Use, Public Domain

  • Present Like a Pro



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© 2020 Cyber Civics LLC™

Finalist for the Project Tomorrow/OC Tech Alliance "Innovation in Education" Award.

2017 "Media Literacy Teacher" Award from NAMLE