Digital Citizenship: To Educate, Respect and Protect

“Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology” – Dr. Mike Ribble

When meeting with parents, teachers, or other stakeholders in the conversation around tech-enabled teaching and learning, we often come back to the idea of balance. The idea of striking a balance between new technologies and existing practices, as well as balancing the time we spend in front of a screen, as opposed to away from a screen, is very important.  But perhaps we should broaden the conversation to consider all of the elements of Digital Citizenship; of which balance is only one.

digital_citizenship_1280-740x523The nine elements of digital citizenship, as coined by Dr. Mike Ribble, can be broken down into three groups. Consider, as we ride this tidal wave of technology, that it is our professional responsibility to Educate, Respect, and Protect while working in online environments.  When we Educate, we’re talking about things like digital communication, digital literacy and digital commerce. Respect relates to digital etiquette, digital access and digital law. To Protect means to think about digital rights, digital health and digital safety. It is imperative that we not only speak about these elements of citizenry, by model them, and teach specifically to them in our classrooms.

Common Sense Media is an incredible online resources for parents, teachers, and other consumers of technology, that provides lessons, conversations and guidelines around things like:

  • Learning with TechnologyCommon sense Logo
  • Cyberbullying
  • Screen time
  • Professional Development
  • Digital Citizenship

It is a fantastic starting point for those that are interested in conversations and lesson ideas around rights and responsibilities in online spaces.

If you have any questions about ways to incorporate digital citizenship ideas into your classroom, feel free to contact your NGL Tech Coach. We’d be happy to bring you into the conversation.


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