Digital Citizenship 101

lessons-300x159Netiquette is a social code of conduct for the internet which by extension education netiquette is the instruction for acquiring the knowledge of netiquette (Networketiquette, 2013). It is one component of overall good digital citizenship. With billions of digital eyes scanning content every second, do not think for a mille second that poor online etiquette will not receive some sort of digital backlash! How could you possibly compete with those odds? The digital age has extended its reach of accountability. It expects that we model our individual lives in ways that demonstrate good citizenship consistently across domains and it applies to all professions especially those in any type of public milieu: educators, politicians, medical professionals, legal professionals, business people…

As professional educators, we can no longer separate our individual behavior from that of our professional conduct. Modelling these actions through our digital footprint will make a bigger impact on how to navigate these new mediums than simply lecturing to our students, colleagues and peer groups.  “Let your online behavior reveal to them how powerful online communities can be for positive, communal engagement” (Dunn, 2013)?

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                   Screenshot: Curriculum: Understanding YouTube and Digital Citizenship

One well-thought platform was developed by Google in an attempt to guide educators in delivering a sequential and comprehensive program of digital citizenship through 10 interactive lessons that integrate Utube videos to demonstrate and clarify the relevant areas.  I consider it an excellent approach to introduce learners to digital policy, online safety, identity protection and how to flag questionable content. It teaches not only how to participate in good citizenship, but how to promote awareness.

Digital-Citizenship-infographicAnother clever digital tool along the lines of digital citizenship presents information  in the form of an infographic. It offers a teaching platform for new digital contexts and provides a quick visual reference to navigate through the maze with teachable moments and instructional content. I can easily see printing off a convenient copy to help remind myself as well as learners about the pros and cons with increased digital literacy in the class or training room. The graphic covers a range of netiquette domains using proactive guidelines (Lepi, 2013):

  • Read: digital literacy
  • Watch: digital health and wellness
  • Find: digital access
  • Record: digital etiquette
  • Curate: digital law
  • Connect: digital communication
  • Collaborate: digital etiquette
  • Create: digital rights and responsibilities
  • Write: digital communication



Dunn, J (2012). 10 interactive lessons by google on digital citizenship. Edudemic, connecting education and technology.

Lepi, K. (2013) A visual guide to teaching students digital citizenship skills. Edudemic, connecting education and technology.

Networketiquette (2013). The Core Rules of Netiquette.