Big Picture

In Part III of Digital Community, Digital Citizenship, I create a hypothetical "ideal school board" whose members want to develop a digital citizenship program in their district. Before getting down to specifics, they want to understand the "big pictu re" issues surrounding digital citizenship. I identify some key resources for them to consider to help frame their understanding. These are described below.

Invitation to readers: please add your resources to this page. Please add any resources here related to the "big picture " of digital citizenship. Also, feel free to add links to any of the pages you see in the navigation column at the left. When in doubt about where to add something, please add it to the "Other" category and I will sort it out later.

To add to this wiki you need an invitation from me. Although anyone can view this wiki, if you want to add to it you will n eed an invitation from me to join as a collaborator. Just email me ( and I w ill make it so. Thank you for your contributions.

Big Picture Resources for Developing a Digital Citizenship Program

Some of the key "big picture" resources I consulted in writing Digital Community, Digital Citizen:

Always-on/Always-on-you: The Tethered Self, By Sherry Turkle (in J. E. Katz (ed.), Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies. Cambridge: MIT, 2008). This resource helps us understand how integral being in the online domain has become. My ode to Dr. Turkle:
  • Dr. Turkle’s wise and articulate research on the emerging nature of the digital self has been a key part of public and academic discussion of the nature of digital kids since personal computers first made their appearance in the 1980s. In this chapter from Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies (MIT, 2008), she connects the dots that confuse so many of us about the changing nature of self, identity, boundaries and community as we live during wireless times. Her focus on the wireless teen, and its implications for maturity and socialization, are essential to our understanding of creating schools that address the realities of the adolescent and teen experience.
Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use. This is Nancy Willard's site which provides links to a treasure trove of materials addressing many issues related to digital citizenship, from cyberbullying to copyright. She is one of the most thoughtful, prolific and tenacious writers in this area.

Digital Citizenship in the Schools, By Mike Ribble & Gerald Bailey (Eugene, OR: ISTE (2007). From Mike Ribble's website:
  • Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology. Too often we are seeing students as well as adults misusing and abusing technology but not sure what to do. The issue is more than what the users do not know but what is considered appropriate technology usage.
Pew Internet & American Life Project. Pew is consistently a solid source of research on how the Internet is changing us as a culture. From their website: "The Pew Internet & American Life Project is one of seven projects that make up the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit "fact tank" that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The Project produces reports exploring the impact of the internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life." Reports include:
Tutorial about Digital Citizenship, by Jason Ohler. This tutorial - a PowerPoint presentation available through Slideshare - includes an analysis of the evolution of ISTE standards. In 2005 I developed professional development materials that addressed ISTE Standard VI- The Social, Ethical, Legal and Human Issues related to the use of technology in education for Apple computer. It has been updated to reflect the refreshed standards. It also includes material presented in Part II of Digital Community, Digital Citizen with regard to proactively assessing the impacts of technology.

Young People, Ethics and the New Media: A Synthesis of the Good Play Project. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (2009). By James, C., et. al. (2009). From the book's website:
  • The authors argue that five key issues are at stake in the new media: identity, privacy, ownership and authorship, credibility, and participation. Drawing on evidence from informant interviews, emerging scholarship on new media, and theoretical insights from psychology, sociology, political science, and cultural studies, the report explores the ways in which youth may be redefining these concepts as they engage with new digital media. The authors propose a model of "good play" that involves the unique affordances of the new digital media; related technical and new media literacies; cognitive and moral development and values; online and offline peer culture; and ethical supports, including the absence or presence of adult mentors and relevant educational curricula. This proposed model for ethical play sets the stage for the next part of the GoodPlay project, an empirical study that will invite young people to share their stories of engagement with the new digital media.

Other resources

Other "big picture" books that help frame the issues of digital citizenship, all of which are referenced in Part I of Digital Community, Digital Citizen:

The Hidden Dimension, by Edward T. Hall.
New York: Anchor Books (1966). From Hall's work comes the key idea of "proxemics," the study of how people interact with space. I adapt this for my study of virtual space. I wrote to Edward T. Hall to tell him I was doing so, and he was very encouraging in my adaptation of his work to the understanding of virtual community.

No Sense of Place, by Joshua Meyrowitz (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985). A key analysis of how electronic media changes our sense of connection to physical place. Although the author is mostly concerned with television, much of what he says holds true for the plethora of media in which we are all immersed. From Wikipedia:
  • No Sense of Place...won the 1986 "Best Book on Electronic Media" Award of the National Association of Broadcasters and the Broadcast Education Association. Meyrowitz uses the example of the television to describe how technologies have shaped and influenced the social relations we encounter on a daily basis, proposing that television has been responsible for a significant cultural shift towards new and egalitarian social interactions. He demonstrates how television is a "secret exposing" machine which allows individuals to watch others in an unprecedented fashion. According to Meyrowitz, it is this characteristic that is responsible for television breaking down the barriers between children and adults, men and women and even humanising and demystifying the powerful. These themes were earlier explored by media scholar Neil Postman in his 1982 book The Disappearance of Childhood.
Here Comes Everybody, by Clay Shirky. (London: Penguin Books, 2008). An absolute must read for anyone trying to understand how the internet is allowing us to reorganize ourselves.

Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out - Kids Living and Learning with New Media, by Mizuko Ito et al. Conventional wisdom about young people's use of digital technology often equates generational identity with technology identity: today's teens seem constantly plugged in to video games, social networks sites, and text messaging. Yet there is little actual research that investigates the intricate dynamics of youth's social and recreational use of digital media. Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out fills this gap, reporting on an ambitious three-year ethnographic investigation into how young people are living and learning with new media in varied settings—at home, in after school programs, and in online spaces.

Readers' Big Picture Resources

Add your resources here. Feel free to include your contact information: