Digital Citizenship: Teaching Kids to use Technology Responsibly

November 5, 2015



Digital citizenship is a growing movement in which educators and tutors teach students how to use the internet responsibly. When students post inappropriate items on social media or bully other students, they may be damaging their reputations for life. Not only do students face dangers from themselves, but also from others online.


Digital citizenship aims to educate students so that they can utilize the internet safely and protect themselves and their families. They also learn how to use social media appropriately and interact with others in a positive way.


Digital Citizenship

This year celebrated the very first Digital Citizenship week which ran from October 18-24. In this new movement, students are taught how to harness the incredible power of the internet as a resource and a tool to further their education.


One of the key principles of the movement is to teach students how to be responsible digital citizens. That entails staying safe on the internet, being respectful and contributing meaningfully.


Digital citizenship covers broader topics like managing your reputation online, media literacy, copyright laws, and privacy. Students are taught to find reliable sources for research and how to recognize scams.


Staying Safe Online

Students are going to be spending a lot of time online, so parents and educators must teach them how to do so safely. Digital citizenship teaches students how to create secure passwords and to discern which information is private and which is public so that they only share details about their lives that are appropriate.


Photographs are discussed at length with a view to what should be shared and what is private. Even innocent pictures can put students at risk.  For example; a picture of you in front of your home may inadvertently reveal your address.


Protection also extends to hacking and students are taught about spam, malware, viruses, phishing, ransomware, and identity theft.


Students need to reflect on the way in which they use the internet and social media, the effect their use has on their own reputations and the way they interact with others. Increasingly, digital citizenship is becoming an essential part of education as students learn to be caring, responsible, safe users of the internet.


Digital Citizenship Resources

  • Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum for K-12: This offers resources for every grade and activities to be incorporated into lessons. 

  • iKeepSafe and Google: Helps students find reliable sources for research, keep safe when they are online and recognize scams.  

  • CyberWise Resources: helps to keep educators, tutors and parents up to date on digital technology. A wonderful resource for those parents who aren’t social-media savvy.

  • Teaching Digital Citizenship from Cable Impacts: Covers digital citizen topics for grades 4-8.

  • Resources from Digizen: a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, tutors and students. 

  • Digital Citizenship Videos: videos and lesson plans for all grades.

Encourage open communication with your children about their digital usage and online safety and model good examples for your children. We live in a very tech-savvy world where daily online, digital media usage has become unavoidable.

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