Are You a Good Digital Citizen?


The digital world is a huge place that can be pretty intimidating. In my future classroom I can see my self incorporating technology frequently. Social media and technology is only becoming more and more prevalent and it is important for educators to be well verse in technology in order to effectively teach about it. Saying that, I believe in an I thou teaching philosophy, this means creating a strong bond and trusting relationship with my students. In order for my students to feel safe and open with me they need to know that I understand their world both in person and online.


Digital Etiquette – I believe digital etiquette is something that can start to be taught in grades as early as 1 and 2. It is important to teach the lesson “if you won’t say it to their face, you shouldn’t say it online”. A great way to help students practice digital etiquette is by designing ELA assignments focused around blogging or discussion forums. Teachers can use platforms such as: Seesaw, Edmodo, Mentimeter or google classrooms. I believe utilizing these types of platforms allows students the opportunity to gain awareness of who reads their words and how those words can be interpreted then internalized. By the end students should be able to look at the digital world with a critical eye to decide for themselves what is right and wrong to say and do.

Digital Law – Unlike digital etiquette I think digital law is better to begin teaching in older grades like 5, 6 or 7. An important aspect of digital law for students to understand are the rules and regulations surrounding copyright and fair-use within the digital communities. A lesson surrounding this topic can be integrated into Arts education. By the end students should know how to properly site and use others artwork (drawing, video, song, book etc.)

Digital Fluency –I think this aspect of digital citizenship would be best to practice with all grades within the social studies classroom. Social studies creates an opportunity for teachers to present how to find valid sources as well as give examples of untrustworthy sources. For example, the teacher can demonstrate researching current events to the class, then the students can rotate through bringing different current events to share. By the end students should be able to effectively and efficiently use search engines as well as be able to differentiate between valid and invalid sources.

Digital Health and Welfare – Personally, this is one of the most important aspects of digital citizenship and it can be incorporated into health education at all grade levels. Just like students are made aware of the food pyramid and exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Lessons surrounding how extended periods of screen time can affect us physically and mentally should be incorporated. Students can make presentations on how too much technology can cause unhealthy habits. By the end students should be able to look at technology with a critical eye and decide for themselves how to live a healthy tech lifestyle.

To me these 4 elements of digital citizenship are the ones that stood out as the most important. What element do you think is most important?


3 Replies to “Are You a Good Digital Citizen?”

  1. Great post! All of these approaches are important! I think digital etiquette is important because students need to know that once something is posted it can never be erased. This is a big concept for young people to understand. This is a very important topic that needs to be taught in the classroom!

  2. I really like your idea of using Digital Law in art to teach about citing works!
    In my opinion, Digital Fluency/ Literacy is the most important, at least in our current world. Navigating through cites and sources that are promoting disinformation is a huge issue and we need to teach our students about how to research properly. Although, all nine elements are important to consider at least in some capacity, because together they contribute to that online awareness.

  3. I love your blog post ending with a question! It really invites feedback and gives everyone a place to start! I agree with all your points on the 4 elements you spoke of and I would have to say that digital health and welfare is one of the most important points. With so much of our society moving online all the time, it is important to educate our students about how that affects us mentally. Particularly for young females, who are now constantly comparing themselves and their lives to the filtered images and selective sharing of social media.

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