What is digital citizenship and why is digcit education important?

As defined by HB213, Digital Citizenship "means the norms of appropriate, responsible, and healthy behavior related to technology use, including digital literacy, ethics, etiquette, and security.” Typically, as can be seen in this DigCitUtah Resources Library, many digital citizenship curricula often have a heavy focus on internet safety and security. These topics are important, and understandably will be the focus of many efforts to increase digital citizenship education in the short term. This is why the resource library exists at DigCitUtah.

However, just as good citizenship is more than not breaking the law, digital citizenship is more than just avoiding harms online. Technology can enhance and magnify the ability of youth and adults to contribute to and serve in the community and even in the world. But youth and adults need to work together to consider and create more ideas around how technology can be used for good — to facilitate collaboration, creation, communication, and positive contributions to family and civic life.

For more information about ways to participate in expanding the definition of digital citizenship, see the positive pilots page and the examples of Positive DigCit -- which will be a key focus of the 2017 DigCitSummit that will be held in Utah on November 2-3.

Below, however, you can find some general resources that can get you started understanding some of the more traditional elements of digital citizenship. And be sure to look at all the categorized resource pages in the Library (see drop-down above as well).

Curricula

Grades:

K-6

“In classrooms, on mobile devices, and at home, BrainPOP engages students through animated movies, learning games, interactive quizzes, primary source activities, concept mapping, and more.”

Grades:

K-12

“Our materials are designed to empower students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world. You now can access our K-12 curriculum in three ways.” View Spanish version here.

Grades:

4-8

Addresses more of the social side of digital citizenship with a participatory pedagogy.(*Two free books available for "try and review" opportunity.) “These [21] lessons challenge students to think critically about how to relate with friends via texting and social media. The goal of this curriculum is to offer the students in your program ways to identify, analyze and solve common problems they will face in grades four through eight growing up with technology. This guide facilitates conversations and engagement.”

Grades:

6-8

An easy-to-use, three year program for middle school that includes weekly 50 minute lessons (with on-going support for parents and teachers). Because experts widely agree the most important "digital citizenship” skills are social and behavioral skills, all lessons are hands-on, peer-to-peer and build essential critical thinking skills so young people develop new social norms to guide them. Includes lessons in digital citizenship, information literacy, and media literacy. (If you are interested in piloting this program, please email michelle@epik.org. If you would like to try a free sample lesson, please email support@cybercivics.com.)

Grades: 

K-12

Mike Ribble created Digital Citizenship 'dot' net as a resource for educators and parents to understand more about digital citizenship. This is a link to DigitalCitizenship.net's resources page.

Grades: 

K-12

Jason Ohler created the wiki when working on his book. The categories reflect what "emerged as being of primary importance during the process of writing [his] book." He hopes that people will contribute to the wiki to create a more comprehensive view of digital citizenship. [His disclaimer is similar to ours: what you see here is not a comprehensive view of digcit, just a reflection of different elements that showed up in our research.]

Grades: 

K-12

"Digital Respons-Ability is a local company with extensive experience working directly with school districts and parents. Our curriculum is flexible and adaptive to any school or audience."

Grades: 

K-12

iKeep safe provides “a matrix that outlines six major topics in mobile phone safety that are critical to include in a curriculum designed to educate young people about safe, fun, healthy, and ethical mobile phone use. Each topic includes a brief description, a goal, and a table outlining specific objectives and strategies for that topic.” These principles can be used more broadly than just cell phone use.

Grades: 

4-8
“Cable Impacts brings you InCtrl, a series of free standards-based lessons, originally developed by Cable in the Classroom, that teach key digital citizenship concepts. These lessons, for students in grades 4-8, are designed to engage students through inquiry-based activities, and collaborative and creative opportunities.” These lessons are adaptable for different ages.

Grades: 

K-12
“The nation’s leading digital citizenship curriculum from Common Sense Education combined with interactive activities, assessments, and real-time feedback from Nearpod. Empower your students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in their digital lives.”

Grades: 

K-12
“NetSafe Utah provides online videos and resources for kids, teens, parents and educators, including Internet Safety information that Utah schools need to meet the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requirements.”

Grades: 

K-12
“NetSmartz is specifically designed not to function as a traditional curriculum, but rather as an adaptable resource that can fit into the demanding curricula in today’s schools. NetSmartz activities can be used in any order and fit almost any time frame, allowing you to customize the integration of the resources to suit your students’ needs.” It includes animated videos and documentary shorts for classroom lessons, internet safety presentations, safety pledges, handouts, and teachable recipes. Utah NetSmartz provides assemblies for K-12.

Grades: 

K-12
“Essential information for students, teachers and parents about digital citizenship and being safe, positive and responsible online.”

Videos

Grades:

K-12

“Be Cyber Savvy” – YouTube Videos for Elementary, Secondary, Parents & Educators  Links to digcit videos and other resources for information and games here.

Grades:

K-12

Videos introduce children and teens to various facets of digital citizenship.

Grades:

K-12

Several videos addressing different aspects of digital citizenship. This is the federal government’s website to help us be “safe, secure and responsible online.”

Interactive Games

Grades:

K-6

“In classrooms, on mobile devices, and at home, BrainPOP engages students through animated movies, learning games, interactive quizzes, primary source activities, concept mapping, and more.”

Grades:

3-6

“Webonauts Internet Academy is a web original game for PBS KIDS GO! that gives kids 8- to 10-year-old an opportunity to have some fun while exploring what it means to be a citizen in a web-infused‚ information-rich world. It is an engaging experience on its own but becomes all the more powerful when parents and teachers use game play as a springboard for conversations about media literacy and citizenship in the 21st Century.”

Grades:

K-12

“Come in to find the latest information on the sites you like to visit, mobiles and new technology. Find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it. If you look after young people there’s an area for you too – with resources you can use in the classroom or at home.”

Educator Training

CE Credit:

YES

K-12 Online Curriculum Training. After receiving the training and completing a survey you'll receive a link to a certificate you can use to document professional development hours.

CE Credit:

YES

A one-hour online educator training covering Digital Literacy & Ethics, Inappropriate Content, Online Sexual Solicitation, Online Privacy, Sexting, Cyberbullying.

PBS

CE Credit:

YES

“This course will provide an introduction to the foundational concepts of digital literacy and citizenship, including online safety, critical consumption of online information, and ethical participation in the digital world. Learners will develop grade-level appropriate methods of introducing these topics with their students.”

CE Credit:

YES

“Professional Development courses for Digital Classrooms.”

Student Projects

Students create an action plan and use one of the Web 2.0 tools to create a presentation about a specific aspect of digital citizenship. Some completed student projects are shared on this middle school’s website.

Helpful Resources & Tips

Through assemblies, presentations, social media campaigns, and student leadership trainings, #ICANHELP GIVES STUDENTS THE POWER to become digital leaders and “be the change they want to see” online.

Digital Citizenship is integrally connected to character education.

“Helping schools, families, and students harness the power of technology responsibly. 1-to-1 Essentials offers the guidance you need in order to proactively, rather than reactively, address issues that schools commonly face when going 1-to-1. We encourage you to explore, customize, and choose the resources that will best support your school community.”

“This free, year-long program includes everything parent facilitators need to encourage their schools and communities to use connected technologies in ways that are both fun and safe. Our resources include a step-by-step hosting guide, conversation topics, and printable resources to share -- all carefully researched and crafted by Common Sense educational technology experts.”

“The Online Safety Roadshow is a 45-minute digital citizenship assembly for teens that strives to be like a Drivers Ed for the web. The presentation covers five key tips to staying safe and successful on the web.”

National PTA and the Partnership for 21st Century talk of the ability to “participate safely, intelligently, productively and responsibly in the digital world” as being critical to a 21st-century education. Learn the 4 Cs of 21st century learning and citizenship.