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A Simple Guide to All That Teachers Need to Know about Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship is a key component of the technology and media literacy. We should not only teach our students how to be  good citizens in the real physical world  but how they can be good netizens of the online world  as well.Today's learning requires alot of use of technology and most imprtant of all, our students are using technology on a daily basis- text messaging, blogging, Facebooking, Twittering, watching videos, gaming and networking. They live in two different but interconnected worlds. What they do online can have a severe repercussions on their real life if not properly instructed on digital safety issues and this is where digital citizenship fits in.

digital citizenship

Digital citizenship can be defined as " the norms of appropriate, responsible behaviour with regard to technology use."It is the combinatio of technical and social skills that enable a person to be successful and safe in the information age. Just like literacy and numeracy initiatives which provide people with the skills to ' participate in the work force, digital literacy has become an essential skill to be a confident, connected, and actively involved life long learner.'

The role of teachers

 Teachers can play an important role in helping students make safe, smart and responsible decisions both in online and offline world. Here are some key ideas they should make clear to students in regard to the use of technology :

  • Conduct yourself in a civil manner in the online world, just like you would be expected to behave in the offline world
  • Behave responsibly and compassionately in all your online actions
  • Don't give out personal information online
  • Watch out for each other in your online community and networks

digital citizenship

Characteristic of a digital citizen

Here is a set of characteristics that makes a digital citizen :

  • Confident and capable of using Information Communication Technologies ( ICT )
  • Use technology to participate in educational, cultural, and economic activities
  • Uses and develops critical thinking skills in cyberspace
  • Use ICT to relate to others in positive, meaningful ways
  • Respects the concepts of privacy and freedom of speech in a digital world
  • Contributes and actively promotes the values of digital citizenship

digital citizenship

Free resources for teachers on cybersafety and cyber-bullying

Check out these awesome free resources to learn how to teach your students to stay safe while using internet :

1- Free Online Safety Tips and Tools to Protect Kids and Inform Parents about Internet Dangers

2- Google+ Safety Guide for Educators

3- Free Tools about Internet Safety for teachers and Parents

4- Free Resources to Teach about Bullying

5- All you Need to Know about Cyber-bullying

6- The Core Rules of Netiquette

digital citizenship

Lessons for teachers on Digital citizenship

Below is a set of lessons provided by Google in Education in an interactive curriculum aimed to support teachers of secondary students.  Check them out  :

  1. What Makes YouTube Unique - Basic facts and figures (40 minutes) - Teacher's Guide Lesson 1,Slides Lesson 1
  2. Detecting Lies - (35 minutes) - Teacher's Guide Lesson 2Slides Lesson 2
  3. Safety Mode - (5 minutes) - Teacher's Guide Lesson 3Slides Lesson 3
  4. Online Reputation and Cyberbullying - (45 minutes) - Teacher's Guide Lesson 4Slides Lesson 4
  5. Policy - The Community Guidelines (20 minutes) - Teacher's Guide Lesson 5Slides Lesson 5
  6. Reporting content - Flagging (20 minutes) - Teacher's Guide Lesson 6Slides Lesson 6
  7. Privacy part 1 - (40 minutes) - Teacher's Guide Lesson 7Slides Lesson 7
  8. Privacy part 2 - (50 minutes) - Teacher's Guide Lesson 8Slides Lesson 8
  9. Copyright - (40 mins) - Teacher's Guide Lesson 9Slides Lesson 9
  10. Additional resources/Appendix including parent resources - Teacher's Guide Additional MaterialsSlides Additional Materials
Or you can download the Full Teacher's Guide or the Full Set of Slides in PDF.

Webliography :

Digital Citizenship Resource Center
How to follow netiquette rules
Curriculum : Understanding YouTube and Digital Citizenship
Netsafe Learn Guide Protect
21 Things for students
Nine themes of digital citizenship
Digital Education Revolution

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