Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship is knowing the appropriate use of technology and making responsible choices when using it. To understand the complexity of digital citizenship Mark Ribble has identified nine elements that together make up digital citizenship. They can be grouped into three categories.


  • Digital access: Advocating for equal digital rights and access is where digital citizenship starts.
  • Digital etiquette: Rules and policies aren't enough — we need to teach everyone about appropriate conduct online.
  • Digital law: It’s critical that users understand it’s a crime to steal or damage another’s digital work, identity or property.


  • Digital communication: With so many communication options available, users need to learn how to make appropriate decisions.
  • Digital literacy: We need to teach students how to learn in a digital society.
  • Digital commerce: As users make more purchases online, they must understand how to be effective consumers in a digital economy.


  • Digital rights and responsibilities: We must inform people of their basic digital rights to privacy, freedom of speech, etc.
  • Digital safety and security: Digital citizens need to know how to protect their information from outside forces that might cause harm.
  • Digital health and wellness: From physical issues, such as repetitive stress syndrome, to psychological issues, such as internet addiction, users should understand the health risks of technology.