Civic engagement in the digital age means providing students the skills and knowledge they need to be prepared for college, careers, and community life. The Wisconsin Standards for Information and Technology Literacy (ITL) are foundational for building these skills and relevant knowledge. The ITL standards provide a framework for empowering students to take ownership of their learning, be engaged in activities and apply what they learning to real-world situations. The standards promote collaboration and making safe and healthy decisions while navigating digital tools. The ITL standards focus on students being agents of change while building the skills and knowledge needed to be successful and productive members of the global community.
Making a connection between course content and how it applies to real-world situations helps students better understand the impact it has on the global community. The Oakland Unified School District understands the importance of this connection as well as the connection between digital literacy and civic engagement. The school district takes you through their journey in a video created for the TeachingChannel.org. They also provide lesson planning docs with materials, resources, and discussion questions to use in your own classroom.
Allowing for voice and choice in the classroom is a powerful way to get students engaged and involved in their learning. This is also an important aspect for the ITL standards in creating empowered student learners. Research shows that when students have a connection to topics and can apply what they are learning, the learning becomes more meaningful to them. Common Sense Education agrees with this and has published an article by Young Whan Choi (from the Oakland Unified School District) with some materials to support this thinking. On their page about Civic Engagement in the Digital Age, the article talks about how to "Help Students Become Civically Engaged" using topics that interest them.