Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship is effectively and ethically navigating digital dilemmas, including but not limited to cyberbullying, digital footprints, online drama, privacy and security, communication, and overall internet safety; being as good a citizen online as in person. This is in part taken from Common Sense’s explanation of Digital Citizenship.

Digital Citizenship is not just for kids, it's not just cyberbullying, or blocking social media from schools. It encompasses a range of categories to teach citizenship in a digital age—one of the goals of education. 

Most of these categories are covered on this page for educators and guardians to look at case studies and conversations surrounding digital citizenship.


Digital Identity explores the way that an online identity can be developed in healthy ways. This covers social media, safety online, privacy, and self-image. Encouraging students to develop a positive and encouraging digital identity is pertinent to maintaining their safety. 

Relationships in Digital Citizenship focus on how online relationships are as present as face-to-face relationships. Students need to be informed of the impact of their digital footprint, how long their information stays online, the impact online behavior has on both peer's and their own personal lives. Teaching empathy is vital to humanizing those that students interact with online.

We live in a world where students find and utilize information online. While this gives students access to an entire world of information, it also gives them access to false information. Through education, we believe that we should teach students how to best use their online resources.

Protection in Digital Citizenship means keeping students safe both on and offline. The digital world and "real" world are deeply integrated, therefore we need to give students guidance for online living in the same way we teach them how to cross the street, not interact with strangers, etc. They need to understand their responsibility to others online and how to have a healthy relationship with digital activity.



Ribble, Mike. Digital Citizenship in Schools: Nine Elements All Students Should Know. 3rd ed., International Society for Technology in Education, 2015.



Jonathan Graham
Elementary Digital Learning Specialist