Teaching Digital Citizenship

With the ever-increasing popularity of the use of social media and technology in schools, education has become more public than ever. Teachers can flip their classrooms and post lectures and pencasts to public websites, share resources online, and chat with other teachers on Facebook and Twitter. Students can access all kinds of different online educational resources and visit  social networks created specifically for education.

The ways students learn are changing rapidly in this digital age, and with all the exciting new technology students can access, there also comes responsibility for students to conduct themselves appropriately when using technology. In honor of today’s #edchat topic (an online weekly Twitter chat for educators), I wanted to discuss digital citizenship, a sort of umbrella term that encompasses the responsible behavior students should adopt in terms of technology use.

It’s a tricky time to be a student. The digital age has brought about amazing innovations in education, but there’s also a darker, less safe side of technology that can be difficult for students to navigate: cyberbullying, online safety, and plagiarism are among a few issues that have arisen in recent years as a result of the proliferation of social media and technology.

It’s become more important than ever for teachers to talk to students about being \good digital citizens, meaning that they need to help students understand the ethical implications of using technology. As adults, we might take for granted some of the seemingly obvious practices of using technology safely and appropriately, but it’s important for teachers to emphasize appropriate guidelines for using the Internet, including:

  • Don’t to say things about friends or classmates on the Internet they wouldn’t say to their faces.
  • Copying a few lines from a random website and passing it off as your own is no different than copying a few lines from a friend’s homework assignment.
  •  Protect your privacy by never posting about personal information, location, school information, or pictures on public websites.
  • Spread the good stuff, not the bad, about your friends and peers, such as this high school student from Minnesota who created a positive Twitter account that only shared good news about his classmates and school community.
Edutopia has a great resource page for teaching students digital citizenship, and this video from Cyberwise does a great job of explaining what digital citizenship entails, and how we can prepare students to navigate the information superhighway:

So how can students be good digital citizens? What does it mean for a student to be a responsible, informed internet user? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, or share your thoughts about digital citizenship with us via Twitter at @Technapex.

Caity Doyle

Caity is a former English teacher and the editor of Technapex. Caity is extremely passionate about education and is TriplePoint PR's resident edtech expert. When not researching education policy and edtech, she enjoys running along the Bay Trail while blaring the Boss through her headphones, watching the Giants beat the Dodgers, and meeting fellow Italians in North Beach.

More Posts

About Caity Doyle

Caity is a former English teacher and the editor of Technapex. Caity is extremely passionate about education and is TriplePoint PR's resident edtech expert. When not researching education policy and edtech, she enjoys running along the Bay Trail while blaring the Boss through her headphones, watching the Giants beat the Dodgers, and meeting fellow Italians in North Beach.