Learning & Innovation


Isn't it just plain citizenship

“We are citizens of the world. The tragedy of our times is that we do not know this.”

Woodrow Wilson

I don’t particularly like the term “digital citizenship”. Somehow it implies that good citizenship in a digital world is inherently different than in the non-digital. It shouldn’t be.

But behaviour would indicate otherwise.

For a variety of reasons, our kiddos have a tricky time navigating the online environment. They struggle to unplug and #lookup. It is unfamiliar to use the digital world for learning and creating instead of consuming and social media-ing. And so–just like we challenge our students to practice kindness, compassion, independence, and creativity in the four walls of our classrooms, we must encourage this in the online environment too.

But what does this look like? Well, consider how you encourage kindness or independence or creativity? These skills are modeled, referenced, and scaffolded repeatedly across content areas throughout a school day.

Consider some of ISTE’s (International Society for Technology in Education) tips for encouraging digital citizenship:

Tip #1 Make digital citizenship a core piece of curriculum–not an elective.

Tip #2 Know what resources are available to you

Tip #3 Teach students how to create and produce content to a global audience

Tip #4 Model good digital citizenship when communicating with students, parents–and fellow educators.

Tip #5 Demonstrate consistently how social media can be used for good

Or maybe just start with a conversation or a question or acknowledging Digital Citizenship week, October 15-19, 2018. Want some resources to help? Check the Digital Citizenship section of our SPSD Learning & Innovation site.


Digital Citizenship in Schools – ISTE

Digital Citizenship Policy Development Guide – Alberta Education

Education Talk Radio – Digital Citizenship in School

Growing Up Digital (GUD) Alberta

(A) Way Magazine (Jan 2010) – Raising a Digital Child

Tedx Talks – iGen: The Smartphone Generation | Jean Twenge

N. Woodford

October 2018