Teacher’s Guide to Digital Citizenship
The horror stories of young people not grasping the reach and influence of the content they put online are familiar to all of us. From the loss of job opportunities due to unprofessional pictures or comments on social media, to the more serious threats of abduction, and even the self-harm inspired by cyber bullying, the stakes are high.
While students may often seem clueless to these dangers, some are starting to understand the risks. In a recent , details of which you can see in the infographic below, 37% of millennials aged 18 – 34 said they consider the internet scary, which is more than any other demographic.
Still, millennials know just as well as any other demographic just how important digital literacy is and will continue to be to their working lives. As such, studies like these serve to demonstrate how crucial teaching digital literacy — particularly at a young age when that digital footprint is still lightly drawn — has become. This includes teaching students about the potential dangers they face online as well how to navigate privacy risks, and so much more.
Teaching digital citizenship means embracing the reality that we’re all interconnected through the Internet, and that we therefore need to understand the responsibilities and risks that come with life online.
Why Digital Citizenship Matters
Neither educators nor parents have the means to completely control how students use technology. That only makes it more important for teachers to address digital citizenship in the classroom, so students will have a better idea of what they’re getting into once outside of it.
Lessons in digital citizenship are about both teaching students how to protect themselves and their own futures online, and also how to be thoughtful citizens who are respectful of others. By now, most of us have seen ample evidence of how the anonymity the web to offer a level of vitriol and cruelty people don’t usually practice with those they see face to face.
The Internet has the capacity to bring the worst out in people. You don’t want your students to be victims of that – not on the giving or receiving ends.
Important Topics of a Digital Citizenship Curriculum
A lot of the most important lessons for students to learn about digital citizenship can be grouped under the categories below. The lessons for each category will look a little different for various age groups. has some great suggestions for what lessons work best for different grades.
This is probably the most important topic to cover when teaching digital citizenship lessons. The Internet is great for making new connections and befriending people all over the world, but it also opens up students to contact with online predators. Students should be taught the kind of warning signs to look for when it comes to interacting with strangers online, and the kind of information they should never give out.
Understanding Digital Footprints
School-ages students see the world as being contained to the people they see every day. Even if they understand, in a general sense, that the Internet is public, it might seem impossible that anyone outside of their immediate circle would care to find out anything about them
As educators, you know better. Students need to understand how their digital footprints will follow them in life and how important it is to start caring about what those footprints look like early. Examples of how past online behavior influences people’s job prospects or verdicts in court can help students better grasp just how big of a deal digital footprints are.
Financial Responsibility Online
Digital credit card theft happens all the time. Anyone entering financial information online can be at risk of having that information stolen. With many of the biggest corporations in the world dealing with wide-scale hacks, consumers are limited in what they can do to protect their financial information online. However, there are a number of best practices students should learn in order to be better digital citizens.
You can teach students how to recognize and avoid some of the most common Internet scams, how to recognize secure sites online, and what information is not safe to share online, especially while using non secure channels like email.
Acting with Respect Online
Cyber bullying has hurt many people and even caused many children to take their own lives. Students need to understand that their actions, even those taken online and behind multiple computer screens, can and do have enormous consequences.
The emotional results of behaving disrespectfully online are arguably the most important thing to stress here, but there can be professional and legal consequences for bad online behavior as well. If you say hurtful things on social media that future potential employers (or friends, for that matter) can see, it will have long-term effects on what people think about you and may impact the opportunities you have.
The Internet is the go-to place for most research that students do today and they need to learn how to use in the most beneficial way. The ability to find good information online is a skill in and of itself, as is being able to recognize which sources aren’t reliable.
The web is filled with information that can be useful to anyone wanting to learn about just about anything. But they have to learn how to get around the stuff that’s counterproductive or outright inaccurate in order to enjoy that benefit.
Legal Restrictions Online
Your students probably already have some familiarity with concepts like illegal downloading and plagiarism, but may underestimate the potential consequences of these actions. You can discuss with them both the morality of taking actions online that break laws, as well as the risks they take if they do so.
Resources for Teaching Digital Citizenship
You don’t have to figure out how to teach all of these topics on your own, there are a lot of ideas and resources out there already.
We recently collected 15 of the for you that include lesson plans, educational games, and videos. Common Sense Media also works to provide a each year during Digital Citizenship Week (although they’re accessible all year long).
A lot of the topics that fall under the umbrella of digital citizenship seem dull or unpleasant on the surface, but that doesn’t mean teaching them has to be. Interactive exercises, games, and discussions can help your students think critically about the issues while staying engaged and interested.======================================================
For a great satire on email, visit the following:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTgYHHKs0Zwscoop_post=bcaa0440-2548-11e5-c1bd-90b11c3d2b20&__scoop_topic=2455618
Good Netiquette And A Green Internet To All!
Special Bulletin - My just released book,
is now on sales at Amazon.comGreat Reasons for Purchasing Netiquette IQ
· Get more email opens. Improve 100% or more.
· Receive more responses, interviews, appointments, prospects and sales.
· Be better understood.
· Eliminate indecision.
· Avoid being spammed 100% or more.
· Have recipient finish reading your email content.
· Save time by reducing questions.
· Increase your level of clarity.
· Improve you time management with your email.
· Have quick access to a wealth of relevant email information.
Enjoy most of what you need for email in a single book.
=================================**Important note** - contact our company for very powerful solutions for IP
management (IPv4 and IPv6, security, firewall and APT solutions):
Another Special Announcement - Tune in to my radio interview, on Rider University's station, www.1077thebronc.com I discuss my recent book, above on "Your Career Is Calling", hosted by Wanda Ellett.In addition to this blog, Netiquette IQ has a website with great assets which are being added to on a regular basis. I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, “Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". My new book, “You’re Hired! Super Charge Your Email Skills in 60 Minutes. . . And Get That Job!” has just been published and will be followed by a trilogy of books on Netiquette for young people. You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:
In addition to this blog, I maintain a radio show on BlogtalkRadio online newsletter via paper.li.I have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and Yahooa member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ and PSG of Mercer County, NJ.
I am the president of Tabula Rosa Systems, a “best of breed” reseller of products for communications, email, network management software, security products and professional services. Also, I am the president of Netiquette IQ. We are currently developing an email IQ rating system, Netiquette IQ, which promotes the fundamentals outlined in my book.
Over the past twenty-five years, I have enjoyed a dynamic and successful career and have attained an extensive background in IT and electronic communications by selling and marketing within the information technology marketplace.Anyone who would like to review the book and have it posted on my blog or website, please contact me email@example.com.