Saturday, June 27, 2015

Why Digital Citizenship Should Be Taught

Today’s world is ever changing, especially when it comes to the digital world.  People of all ages are embracing technology whether it is in the form of a tablet, smartphone, or computer.  This technology is not going away anytime soon!  Having learned so much this summer about becoming a 21st tech-infused teacher, I realized how important it is to teach my students about digital citizenship.  They are the future and the ones who thrive on this digital technology.  The students need to know how to behave like a digital citizen.

Kids are growing up on a digital playground and no one is on recess duty.--Kevin Honeycutt

Now is the time to embrace technology in the classroom and teach digital citizenship.  We teachers need to step up and use the technology in our classroom everyday.  Most students have a smartphone, tablet, or computer in their hands before and after school.  My students love the opportunity to use a computer in the classroom.  Seeing them engaged and motivated inspires me to embed technology in my lessons and projects.  With that being said, we need to guide these young people on how to be safe, responsible, and respectful while being connected.

Our students need to learn netiquette, the correct way of communicating online.  When teachers set the foundation, the students will learn the basics for correct behavior for being connected.  They need to realize they are not alone when they are chatting online.  What they write or send when connected is visible to others.   Students need to be taught about respect and protecting themselves and others.  This could help prevent cyber-bullying, which is becoming a bigger issue.  Also, future employers research applicants or their current employees social media to see what they have posted.  Some have turned down candidates for a job or fired employees for what they have posted.  Why not start teaching about digital footprints to the students at a younger age?

Common Core State Standards encourages students at every grade level to do research, collaborate, use critical thinking, and publish work online. The Internet contains so much information and it can be overwhelming.  Some of that information is trusting and others not so trusting. Teaching our students about websites and how to correctly cite their research to be published will encourage them another step closer to being a good digital citizen.   

Where do we begin to do this?  There are many websites, lesson plans, and videos available to use a resources and guides to get us started.  These resources are engaging and age appropriate. I have listed a few of them below just to get you started.

In our ever-changing digital world, let’s help our students become the best digital citizens possible. By embracing technology in our classrooms, we can encourage them to problem solve, think critically, collaborate, and be a producer of information.  Let’s prepare them with the positive foundation they need to handle the challenges of being in a connected world.  

FreeTechnology4Teachers article on the importance of digital citizenship


  1. Very informative and understandable. The quote about our children are in a digital playground without a monitor really hits home. I am responsible for assisting teachers and students with ways to be safe on the internet and how to use proper netiquette but I often forget it as a parent. Thanks for all of your hard work on this project!

  2. Thank you for your comment. That statement is what really triggered this article. It hit home as a parent as well as a teacher.

  3. Nice work, Julie. I especially like the infographic.

  4. I love the quote from Kevin Honeycutt---it is so true! Thanks for sharing.

    1. That quote really hit home! It made me realize I was not on "recess duty" and it is time to step up!

  5. I love the quote from Kevin Honeycutt---it is so true! Thanks for sharing.

  6. You used so many wonderful characteristics for this article, Julie. Of course, the topic is spot on. The visuals are excellent--nicely sum up content for those who don't want to read too much. And the resource list is great for those who want to dig deeper. Exemplary article.