Sunday, December 1, 2013

Digital Citizenship

I liked the simplicity of the definition for Digital Citizenship found at written by Mike Ribble, “Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use.” It is the determination of  those norms that takes time and effort and should be decided within the community.  
  • What is appropriate and responsible use? 
  • What do students need to know to use technology responsibly? 
  • How will we protect our students?
The article divided Digital Citizenship into  9 digital themes,  These ideas might be used to help define the specifics of appropriate and responsible digital behavior.

Also of interest in this article is the concept of “REP’s” (Respect, Educate, Protect)  and these ideas could be intertwined with the expectations for behavior defined in a school's behavioral matrices.  (e.g. Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Caring).

"Respect Your Self/Respect Others
- Etiquette
- Access
- Law
Educate Your Self/Connect with Others
- Communication
- Literacy
- Commerce
Protect Your Self/Protect Others
-Rights and Responsibility
- Safety (Security)
- Health and Welfare"

Before reading the above article,  the aspect of access and opportunity for all may not have been included in my definition of “Digital Citizenship”.  However, it is clear to me that technology can either help bridge the gap in our community or widen the inequality. It is my opinion that 1:1 digital tools for all students will support equity for students.

For now this is my definition of Digital Citizenship:

Digital Citizenship includes the defining of a community's standards for  1) Appropriate and responsible use of technology 2) On-line behavior that mirrors or exceeds off-line behavioral expectations 3) Seeking and sharing knowledge of the processes and procedures in using technology 4) Providing adequate resources to support community members’ access to technology resources. 

A school or district's definition for Digital Citizenship should encompass universal access, socially and educationally appropriate and responsible use of technology, and providing and acquiring the education needed to be safe, proficient and ethical users of all resources. These concepts cannot be assumed, school districts must be deliberate to include these skills in their curriculum.


  1. I absolutely agree that digicit cannot be assumed but must be deliberately & explicitly taught and revisited, both at school and at home!... much as we do with any positive behavior intervention system. Good citizens make good digital citizens.

  2. I think this is a powerful reflection on digital citizenship and our responsibilities to our students. Your comments about equal access are especially poignant in our community. As we increase the number of 1:1 devices, we need to direct teach the safe, responsible and respectful use of the tech. This is a mirror of character development classes and PBIS in schools and districts everywhere. Let's marry the two and create a comprehensive tech curriculum!