Digital Citizenship

The 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship can be defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use.

Digital Citizenship is broken down into 9 elements.

Element 1: Digital Access

Definition: Full electronic participation in society

As rapidly as internet access and technology have grown, socio-economic status and geographical location still play a part in keeping some from having digital access. It is important to remember that some still face these challenges and to help take steps to ensure that digital technologies continue to become more accessible. For example, in school we can ensure all student's are given access to the internet by setting regulations for BYOD- bring your own device- or have the school grant every student with a device.

Additional Links:

Element 2: Digital Commerce

Definition: The electronic buying and selling of goods

Everything from groceries and toys to cars and electronics are available for purchase online. Consumers, including students, need to be informed and aware of the risks associated with online purchasing. Secure payments and sites that protect buyer information are important principles to teach. A safe practice for digital commerce we can use is shopping on websites that have https:// in the address bar, so we know they are safe and secure before we use our bank information online.

For more about safe shopping practices:

Element 3: Digital Communication

Definition: The electronic exchange of information

With email, text-messaging, video chat and more, communication is easier than ever before. With the push of a button or the click of a mouse, sensitive information can be shared unsafely. Digital communication is a foundation skill for most
careers today, as most people will be involved in some form of conceptualizing,
producing, delivering, and receiving such communications in their jobs and
lives. Learning safe communication practices will save many people from manipulation online.

Element 4: Digital Literacy

Defintion: The process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology

Digital literacy is more than knowing how to send a text or watch a music video. It means having the knowledge and ability to use a range of technology tools for varied purposes. How to conduct online research, determine reliable sources, and use word processing software are all important skills.

Digital Literacy Courses:

Element 5: Digital Etiquette

Definition: The electronic standards of conduct or procedure

Digital Etiquette
practices should be in place to keep everyone safe. , parents need to have regular conversations with their kids about online safety, cyberbullying and digital etiquette. In fact, equipping kids with digital etiquette skills can go a long way in preventing them from becoming cyberbullies. It also can help them maintain a positive online reputation.

Etiquette for Children:

Element 6: Digital Law

Definition: The electronic responsibility for actions and deeds carried out online


Digital Law relates to crimes of stealing or causing damage to other people’s work, identity, or digital property. These offenses can include stealing someone's identity, causing damage to others ( this would be crimes such as hacking or creating and sending viruses), and

stealing someone's digital property (which can be intellectual property theft, digital piracy, or plagiarism.)


In some cases, people get caught doing forms of digital crime such as pirating movies and plagiarism. If you are caught committing these crimes, depending on how bad the crime is, you may face some jail time.

Element 7: Digital Rights and Responsibilities

Definition: Those requirements and freedoms extended to everyone in digital world

Being a full member in a digital society means that each user is afforded certain rights and these rights should be provided equally to all members. Digital citizens also have

certain responsibilities to this society; they must agree to live according to the parameters

that are mutually agreed upon by members. These boundaries may come in the form

of legal rules or regulations, or as acceptable use policies.

Campbellsville High School's Acceptable Use Policy

Element 8: Digital Health and Wellness

Definition: Physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world

Out of the world’s estimated seven billion people, six billion have access to mobile phones (Source: TIME Newsfeed). Statistics like this make it clear that many of us spend hours a day looking at screens, typing on keyboards and talking on mobile phones. Safe ergonomic practices and eye safety are physical concerns that should be addressed.

For more information on ergonomics:

Element 9: Digital Security

Definition: The electronic precautions that help ensure safety

In any society, there are individuals who steal, deface, or disrupt other people. The same is true for the digital community. It is not enough to trust other members in the community for our own safety. In our own homes, we put locks on our doors and fire alarms in our houses to provide some level of protection. The same must be true for the digital security. We need to have virus protection, backups of data, and surge control of our equipment. As responsible citizens, we must protect our information from outside forces that might cause disruption or harm.

To Learn what you can do to ensure digital security: