Connected Educators A-Z: D is for Digital Citizenship

As our lives are led to a great degree online, we are daily tasked with thinking about how our online actions and the actions of others impact us. In the early days of the web, it seems as though there was a big focus on online safety. Safety online is VERY important. We need to assure that there are safe measures employed and advocated by all.

Typically, when people act with mutual respect and responsibility, we say that they are good citizens. When this is in place in online interactions, we call it digital citizenship.

On top of the safety issue though is a real and recurring need to talk about appropriate ways to interact. As technology evolves and reinvents itself daily, these issues are ever changing too.

Digital Citizenship Issues

  • How to comment appropriately
  • How to license your work and cite the work of others
  • How to keep private information private
  • How to speak to a global audience
  • What are the rules for using particular social networks? How can I make sure I comply?
  • What makes up a positive online reputation?

When my children were small, there were daily reminders that were part of our daily lives. Be careful, don’t cross the street without an adult, don’t talk to strangers’. When we look at young people today, do we feel as thought they are getting the right reminders about online safety and responsible online behavior? Are these imparted daily by adults that students trust?  Below I am sharing my updated list of Digital Citizenship Resources. Which are your favorites? What would you add?

When schools and families take the time to share good digital citizenship practice, it is of benefit to us as individuals and to our global family!

17 Digital Citizenship Resources For School Leaders, Teacher Leaders and Families



These sites have resources for teaching Digital Citizenship in the classroom

  1. Google Interactive Lessons
  2. Google’s Family Safety Center
  3. Common Sense Media
  4. Netsmartz
  5. Be Cyber Wise
  6. Digital Citizenship Site
  7. Yahoo Safely
  8. Cable in the Classroom
  9. FOSI Family Online Safety Institute

Blogs and Projects

These blogs address topics around Digital Citizenship frequently

  1. Anne Collier – Net Family News
  2. Danah Boyd
  3. Innovative Educator Blog
  4. Digiteen –

Research To Know About

This research is related to the topic and can provide insights

  1. Zero to Eight -Children’s Mobile Technology Use in America by Common Sense Media
  2. Youth Safety on a Living Internet Study  – Study
  3. The Good Play Project
  4. Pew Internet and American Life Project
  5. Netsmartz Statistics

Related Posts
Online Safety Bridge Between Home and School –  TechConnects
Getting Started with Digital Citizenship – TechConnects

Teachers Learning about Digital Citizenship

One only needs to read the headlines to know that there is a pressing need to emphasize both safe and responsible use of the internet. With the whirlwind pace of change in technology there is no doubt that ongoing discussions of what is right, what is true and what it means to be a good ‘Digital Citizen’ can benefit us all. In fact, they are essential.

The teachers in our Philadelphia area Archdiocesan schools were invited to a session called Digital Citizenship for Classroom Teachers held on Oct 14th online via Elluminate. The goal was to discuss Digital Citizenship in support of safe and responsible uses of technology in their classrooms on a daily basis.The was part of a series of Virtual Academy sessions held last year and this year in conjunction with Powerful Learning Practice.  We were fortunate to have Robin Ellis, Clarence Fisher and Alec Couros as presenters. Each shared richly from their experiences with working online in innovative and effective ways with teachers and students. Below are the links shared and a link to the online session in Elluminate. Please share any other resources that you suggest for classrooms.

5 categories of Digital Citizenship Outlined

  • Etiquette, Safety and Privacy,
  • Research and Truth Finding
  • Online Ownership
  • Literacy and Communication
  • Tools

One Liners for Digital Citizenship

During our online session with Robin Ellis, teachers created some Digital Citizenship one liners. Just as we say ‘Be careful crossing the street’ or ‘Drive safely’ we should have some one liners for being a good online digital citizen. One that many are familiar with is the famous, Think Before You Post’. These are ones our teachers came up with. What would you add?

  • Digital Footprints are forever
  • Digital Footprints never disappear
  • Develop a clean digital footprint
  • Nothing posted online is ever truly private
  • Be the best self you can be everywhere – in person and online
  • It’s like posting a sign on your front lawn
  • Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

Websites to Support Digital Citizenship Lesson cards as found on


Netsmartz Real Life Stories

Netsmartz Public Service Announcements

Related Posts

Five Reasons to Teach Digital Citizenship

Stalking in English Class

Watch our Virtual Academy – Digital Citizenship for Teachers  Archived Session

Archived Sessions – Digital Citizenship for Teachers – Virtual Acacemy held Oct 14, 2010 :

Afternoon Session  – Given by Robin Ellis

Evening Session in Elluminate – Given by Clarence Fisher and Alec Couros

View the Presentation below

Digital Citizenship – To Empower

This video is from the Family Online Safety Institute and it emphasizes one of the very important reasons that we should teach Digital Citizenship. Digital Citizenship and responsible use of technology education should be a part of our work in education each day.

Five Reasons to Teach Digital Citizenship

  1. It helps to keep children safe. Keeping children and youth safe and secure  is a top priority whether online or not online.
  2. It fosters important and time honored ethical tenants and values such as Respect, Kindness, Compassion.
  3. It allows children and youth to take their place as contributors to the 21st century world community.
  4. It empowers our youth to learn with and to take advantage of the wealth of powerful resources online.
  5. It develops critical skills that will become increasingly important in an ever changing, technology rich world.

Why do you think that Digital Citizenship education is important? What reasons would you add?

Digital Citizenship Resources

Related Posts:

Digital Dossier