digital citizenship

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. 

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



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.

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:

Stop the Bully

Click the image and visit 21 Things for Students Cybersafety - visit quests 7-9 (Cyberbullying, Nobody Likes A Bully, Webonauts Academy on the web site. These Quests have statistics about bullying and additional information, videos and resources.

Educate Yourself/Connect With Others

Cyber Safety Initiative

The Attorney General runs what is known as the Michigan CSI. This program is geared towards students K-8 and is an in-school program. However, there are many good resources on the supporting website.

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. 

Information Literacy Quiz

See how much you know about web literacy. Take the quiz at November Learning  and see where you fall.

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

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 Media

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 Teachers. Check out their Curriculum Page. Be sure to check out their Standing up, Not Standing By 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 Things4Students 

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

Check out the additional resources for Digital Citizenship

Learning Objectives

After completing this Thing, the educator will:

  • Know elements of digital citizenship, identity theft and cyber safety
  • Understand how to prevent identity theft and stay safe on the Internet
  • Make connections with technology standards and best practice
  • Transfer the learning to professional practice by modeling digital citizenship, acceptable use and cyber safety


21 Things Assignment:

1. After thinking about the 9 themes of Digital Citizenship pick one specific area. Review & research resources about the area you have chosen. Share relevant resources for students and/or parents in an appropriate location in your Face of Your Classroom environment. Share the link to this page in your Digital Portfolio.

2. Take the very short survey giving feedback for this Thing.


Addressing the ISTE Standards-T:

1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity b;

3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning a;

4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility a,b,c



  1. Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback;
  2. Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition;
  3. Cooperative Learning