Digital Citizenship


Photo CC- By OdSchools

I’ve heard the term “digital citizenship” a few times mostly in things for this class but never thought much of it. The websites I looked into really helped me clarify what exactly it is and it answered many of my questions about digital citizenship.

Basically I learned that digital citizenship is the “guidelines for responsible, appropriate behavior when one is using technology.” This definition is from an article called 5-Minute Film Festival: Teaching Digital Citizenship. After watching a short five minute video on digital citizenship I learned about a website that offers activities, lesson plans, lessons, and all sorts of other tools that help teachers teach their students just how important digital citizenship is. You can check out this incredibly helpful website here.

Kids tend to dismiss people’s feelings when it comes to getting the most laughs and “likes.” Teaching students to become an ethical online citizen means teaching them what is okay and not okay to post online and do online. Cyber bullying seems to be a big issue when it comes to problems of digital citizenship, courses such as the one linked above help students recognize just how hurtful but also permanent things are online.

Another video I really enjoyed while researching was a TED talk by Juan Enriquez titled Your online life, permanent as a tattoo. You can watch this video here. I just love the title, I think it really makes you think about just how permanent things we do online really are. Anything we post can be found by anyone and we make think we deleted it but really it is still out there and still in the minds of people that saw it. This is what we need to teach students, be careful what you post you never know who will see it. My mom gave me the advice “Don’t post anything online unless your okay with your grandmother seeing it.” This advice would be great to share with all students while talking and teaching digital citizenship.


Photo CC- By QuotesGram

My question is what is the best way we can teach our students just how important our behavior is online? I love an activity I saw while researching that helped just a little during this topic. On the first website I found they showed an activity where the students would color on a blank footprint on a piece of paper. On the footprint students are to draw what they want the world to know them by. The teacher then explains that their footprint represents their online footprint. Everything you do online is permanent and cannot be taken off no matter how hard they try. This activity teaches them to think before commenting, posting, blogging, or anything else online. I would love to do this activity in my future classroom.


Photo CC- By SBHera

I can imagine there are several other ways to teach digital citizenship to students. I’m also sure everyone has their own opinion on which strategy is best. I would say as long as we get the point across to the students it doesn’t matter what strategy/activity is done. It’s just the matter of finding the best way for each student to understand the significance of digital citizenship in a way that prevents them from having an unethical online behavior.

We all know technology is growing everyday. My biggest question is how are we suppose to teach our students and our own children how to be safe from the dangers of technology and keep an ethical online digital citizenship when we don’t know what technology will be like in the next year let alone the next thirty years. It is definitely something that scares me when I think too much into it.


Photo CC- By chsbleuprint


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