Civics classes can help students learn their rights, privileges, and duties as a part of a larger society. For that reason, we include civics in most education programs. But today, being a positive part of society includes not only our words, actions, and behaviors in “the real world” — but those online as well.
Helping anyone, including students, understand the potential and potential dangers of the online world can be tough. Luckily, many are working on spreading awareness of what it takes to be a good digital citizen.
Defining Digital Citizenship
It’s all about staying safe while staying connected and understanding the realities of the digital world that we spend so much of our time in. Being aware of one’s actions online is a lot like our behavior in face-to-face society. That is, a good citizen should also be a good digital citizen.
With so many aspects of our lives online — no less now because of restrictions to gatherings — from banking to schooling, it’s important to consider our digital behaviors, and for educators to help learners understand the potential and potential pitfalls of the connected life.
Here’s a simple, memorable definition:
“The quality of habits, actions, and consumption patterns that impact the ecology of digital content and communities.”Terry Heick, https://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/the-definition-of-digital-citzenship/
Virtual Library offers this definition:
Digital citizenship can be defined as engaging in appropriate and responsible behaviour when using technology.
It encompasses digital literacy, ethics, etiquette, online safety, norms, rights, culture and more.
A digital citizen is one who knows what is right and wrong, exhibits intelligent technology behavior, and makes good choices when using technology.https://www.virtuallibrary.info/digital-citizenship.html
Good digital literacy could include using strong passwords and password managers, understanding our personal online “brand,” and ensuring that our actions and words online are safe and secure, and that privacy is maintained, especially for students.
Defining the Event
Digital Citizenship Week is designed to promote awareness of sound digital literacy habits and inspire best practices in organizations and individuals. That means sharing ways to interact safely online. This year, it is observed October 19–23.
Common Sense Education is sharing events you can take part in to better understand your role as a good digital citizen.
- Digital Citizenship and Supporting Young People’s Lives Online (RSVP)
- Helping Kids Use Social Media Responsibly: An Educator’s Guide to “Social Media TestDrive” (RSVP)
- Workshop for Educators: Digital Citizenship and Supporting Young People’s Lives Online (RSVP)
- And more!
You can also check out a planning calendar, activities organized by age and grade, and many other resources.
More from TechNotes
Looking for more ways to understand this topic, and inform your students (and staff, educators, and families) about staying smart online? Check out more digital literacy resources from TCEA below, and don’t forget to share your ideas in the comments!
- Google-ize Your Digital Citizenship
- Celebrate Digital Citizenship Week with a Positive Digital Footprint
- A New Tool for Digital Citizenship
- Celebrating Digital Citizenship Week with Powerful Resources
- Internet Security 101: What Teachers and Students Need to Know
- Ed Tech News Roundup: Digital Citizenship, Rural Schools, and More
- Are You a Victim of Typosquatting?
- Research in the Age of the Filter Bubble