4. Supporting children and young people to participate safely, eff
ectively, critically and responsibly in a world filled with social m
edia and digital technologies is a priority for educators the world
over. The notion of digital citizenship has evolved to encompass
a range of competences, attributes and behaviors that harness the
benefits and opportunities the online world affords while building
resilience to potential harms.
5. Young people today inhabit a world that has been transformed by
digital technologies, effortlessly enabling connectedness through so
cial media and access to vast quantities of information. Making sens
e of this hyper rich information and engaging effectively and respon
sibly poses a whole set of new challenges for educators as they seek
to prepare young people as citizens, exercising their rights and parti
cipating effectively in the affairs of the community.
6. Digital Citizenship refers to the ability to engage positivel
y, critically and competently in the digital environment, dr
awing on the skills of effective communication and creati
on, to practice forms of social participation that are respec
tful of human rights and dignity through the responsible u
se of technology.
The competent and positive engagement with digital technologies (creatin
g, working, sharing, socializing, investigating, playing, communicating an
d learning); participating actively and responsibly (values, skills, attitudes
, knowledge) in communities (local, national, global) at all levels (politica
l, economic, social, cultural and intercultural); being involved in a double
process of lifelong learning (in formal, informal and non-formal settings
) and continuously defending human dignity.
19. Children now have access to personal devices before they lea
ve elementary school. Schools are also giving students technolog
y to use or requiring them to bring their own device to use for sc
hool purposes. It is important to teach students how to use their t
echnology appropriately so that it doesn’t have a negative impact
on their future.
20. There are consequences to all of our actions, including digital o
nes. Students need to know and understand these so they can mak
e good choices. The use of social media has skyrocketed. Students
now live their lives digitally. Some of them post about every aspec
t of their lives directly to social media using Instagram, Twitter, Y
ouTube, and even Tik Tok, which is a short video involving music
that they can record.
21. Cyberbullying is using technology to badger another per
son via social media, texting, and personal messages like
direct messages (DM) and email. While bullying has been
an issue in schools for a long time, cyberbullying is on th
e rise. Many children find it easier to be cruel to others di
gitally because there is a disconnect in the relationship wi
th that person. The bully doesn’t have to look at the victi
m anymore. They can post a message and be done with it.
Teaching students how to handle cyberbullying and how t
o avoid it is crucial to their mental well-being and safety.
22. Digital Citizenship for Students
About teaching them how to be good stewards of the digital wo
rld. As probably the highest priority is teaching them to protect the
mselves. This means showing them the difference between their pe
rsonal and public life. Teach them what an appropriate photo to po
st is. How to respond to a friend when they are angry, and it’s prob
ably not posting on social media about it. Not everything that happ
ens to them needs to be published online, so teaching them what s
hould and shouldn’t be posted is very beneficial.
23. A great acronym for students to use and even see posted in classroo
ms and hallways around school is “THINK”. Before they post som
ething online, whether it is information, a photo, or a post of any ki
nd, they should ask themselves if it is true, helpful, inspiring, neces
sary, and kind. If the answer to any of the questions is no, then they
probably shouldn’t post or share the information. Is it kind to post
about how a friend hurt your feelings? Is it necessary for someone t
o ask where you live? Is it inspiring to post a motivational picture?
Many students think with their emotions, so if teachers and other st
aff can help them stop and think about their actions before the stud
ent does something rash, it can be very beneficial to the student. Th
at’s why signs like the image can be posted all through the school t
o remind students to make wise choices in what they share with the
24. Digital Citizenship for Teachers
Digital citizenship for teachers starts with the teachers themselves.
They need to be educated on what digital citizenship is, why it is im
portant, and how to address it with students and parents. Having pro
fessional development over digital citizenship to make sure all staff
is knowledgeable about this topic is a great place to start.
25. Another asset to use and even educate is parents. Many times pare
nts aren’t even aware of how to teach their children how to be goo
d stewards of the digital world and information. Schools can host i
nformational nights where parents can learn more about it and ho
w to help their children at home. This is also a great way to get fa
milies on board with teaching digital citizenship to students. If the
parents find the information important as well as the staff at schoo
l, students are more likely to see its importance, too.