Digital Citizenship

Ethics, Evaluation, Internet Safety and Acceptable Use

During this Thing, we will be reviewing digital citizenship, acceptable use, sources for Cyber Safety and how to prevent identity theft.

                           Digital Citizenship

What Do You Really Know About Digital Citizenship?

Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders, and parents talk about what all users should know regarding appropriate technology use. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology. Too often we see students as well as adults misuse and abuse technology because they are unaware of what is appropriate. Our goal for this lesson is to help you become aware of what is appropriate and what could be harmful.

Read through the 9 Themes of Digital Citizenship below. Think about which areas you believe are important for your students to know about.

Nine Themes

Reviewing the 9 Themes of Digital Citizenship

REP grouping (Respect, Educate & Protect) is a more global way to look at the 9 themes of Digital Citizenship.

Respect Yourself/Respect Others

1. Digital Access: full electronic participation in society
5. Digital Etiquette: electronic standards of conduct or procedure
6. Digital Law: electronic responsibility for actions and deeds

Educate Yourself/Connect with Others

2. Digital Commerce: electronic buying and selling of goods
3. Digital Communication: electronic exchange of information
4. Digital Literacy: process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology

Protect Yourself/Protect Others

7. Digital Rights & Responsibilities: those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world
8. Digital Health & Wellness: physical & psychological well-being in a digital technology world
9. Digital Security (self-protection): electronic precautions to guarantee safety.

The resources below will assist you in modeling the REP framework for teaching and learning. It will be important that you share your knowledge with students, colleagues and parents through conversations and Face of Your Classroom.

Respect Yourself/Respect Others

Acceptable Use

Acceptable Use and appropriate use of the Internet is something that both teachers and students must understand. Educators must constantly evaluate resources and model appropriate use for students. Each school district must have an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for students and staff in order to get Universal Service Funding. These policies outline the safe practices, expectations and responsibilities of using technology within the educational environment.


The Learning First Alliance has provided a new comprehensive web library about bullying, with resources from educational organizations.  

Visit 21 Things for Students Cybersafety pages - visit Quests 7-9 (Cyberbullying, Nobody Likes A Bully, Actions Can Hurt or Help)  These Quests have statistics about bullying and additional information, videos and resources.

Twitter Etiquette

If you are a twitter user, there are many good resources to learn how to use Twitter more effectively. Check out a couple of these to see if you are responsible Tweeter:

Mashable's Complete Guide to Twitter Etiquette
Entrepreneur's The 10 Essentials of Twitter Etiquette
Lifewire's Top 10 Twitter Etiquette Tips

Accountable & Positive Talk Stems

Encourage students to show empathy and engage in positive talk, whether it is online in a discussion board or providing peer feedback in a collaborative document.  Explore this presentation where we discuss the process and frameworks as you engage your students in socially responsible converesations that show empathy:

Accountable Talk Stem Frameworks

SAY (Say something constructive, Ask a question, Yay-give praise)

SAFE (Say, Ask, Feedback, Empathize)

THINK (True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind)

TAG (Tell something you learned, Ask a Question, Give a compliment) 

Educate Yourself/Connect With Others

Google Yourself and Discover your Digital Footprint

Have you ever Googled yourself? In other words, do you know what information comes up during a Google search? It can be enlightening what you may find. Try it out and see what you find. Watch this video about evolving digital footprints.

Protect Yourself/Protect Others

Staying Safe Online

Whether emailing, chatting or using a social networking tool such as Twitter or FaceBook, it is very important to not reveal personal information online. A good example is if you are going away for the weekend, it is best not to post that you will be away. Wait until you have returned to share your vacation pictures. You should not friend, chat or email with those you do not know.

Identity Theft

Identity theft has increasingly been on the rise. We see the television commercials that are tongue in cheek, but if you have had your identity stolen it can wreak havoc with your life, finances, and credit history. The Federal Trade Commission has a site which will help you and your students stay safe. You will learn what it takes to protect your identity and what to do if you suspect identity theft.

Resources for Your Classroom

Common Sense

CommonSense Media provides a Digital Literacy & Citizenship Classroom Curriculum. This is a FREE treasure trove of resources for educators and parents. Once you register you have access to scope and sequence documents and the curriculum containing lessons and videos for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. The curriculum is aligned to ELA Common Core, AASL, and ISTE Standards For Educators. Check out their Curriculum Page and their Digital Citizenship Training Page. Be sure to check out their Teacher's Essential Guide To Cyberbullying, a FREE cyberbullying toolkit for educators.

Also available is a Digital Passport for grades 3-5. Common Sense Education’s award-winning suite of engaging games address key issues facing kids in today's digital world.

21 Things for Students

21 Things 4 Students provides lessons for students to make connections in the following areas; Digital FootPrint, Cybersafety, Social Networking & Buyer Beware.