Digital Citizenship

Ryan Booth (TEC-511)

What is Digital Citizenship?

Digital Citizenship is the ideas and norms around student use of technology in our schools. This encompasses email etiquette online interactions with others as well as digital use policies regarding content of websites and digital materials. The overall goal of digital citizenship is to promote responsible and appropriate use of technology by both students and staff members.

Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship

Digital Etiquette: Technology issues need to be used as teachable moments. Digital Etiquette is one of the tougher elements to take on because people are often embarrassed or afraid of approaching people regarding their digital etiquette. A good rule of thumb when thinking about your own digital etiquette is to picture your grandmother sitting behind you when you are using district technology. If you wouldn't write it or view it in front of your grandma then you probably shouldn't be doing it on district technology.


Digital Literacy: There is a big difference between access and literacy. Simply having technology does not guarantee that students and staff know how to use technology. It would be like having a library full of books but not knowing how to read, or how to determine if a book is a credible source of information. Digital literacy encompasses the knowledge it takes to use technology efficiently and responsibly.


Digital Access: The other areas of digital citizenship rely on the available and access to technology. We now live in a digital society, in order to participate fully in our society we must allow our students and staff to have access to technology. We have come to a point in history where being connected to the internet is essential in participation in our society.


Digital Security: The internet has become the wild west, it is a world in which people can start new lives and become anything and anyone they want. Many times with little consequences. We must teach student to protect themselves online while using technology both inside or outside our classroom walls.


Digital Health and Wellness: The use of technology produces a strain on our health. Our eyes were not evolved to stair at a digital screen for hours everyday. Our bodies where not meant to sit in office chairs for eight hours a day. While using technology we must realize these strains and make sure we are taking the appropriate precautions while using the technology.


Digital Commerce: Information and digital goods have become a legitimate marketplace for business and commerce. People and companies sell goods that don't even exist in the 'real' world. This digital marketplace has also created a number of illegal activities in the digital environment We must understand that students must prosper in both the digital world and the real world.


Digital Communication: The world has become smaller than ever. With programs like Skype and the explosion of cell phone use have made access to communication easier than ever. A student can pick up a computer and easily talk and even see students and live resources anywhere in the world. We now live in a world, where communication has become instant. No longer does it take weeks to deliver a message to a foreign country, pen pals can communicate via instant messaging without much setup or cost.


Digital Rights and Responsibilities: The basic ideals of free speech and privacy has become blurred and take on new meetings in the digital world. Students must realize the rules of the game before they start playing. The rules of the online world are still being written and rewritten everyday. Students must keep up in the changing world of their own digital rights and responsibilities.


Digital Law: Just as students need to know their rights and responsibilities they need to realize there are laws that govern the digital world, and consequences for breaking those laws. These laws apply to anyone and all who work or play online.


A more in depth analysis of the nine elements of digital citizenship can be found on digitalcitizenship.net.

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Why Teach Digital Citizenship?