What is Digital Citizenship?


I am so excited to begin this next class.  Digital citizenship is something that I have long been interested in.  I want to see my students become good people in real life and online.  This is what I have learned thus far.  Digital citizenship is a topic that affects all technology users, must be introduced at a young age, and should be reinforced throughout a learner’s lifetime.

A number of websites refer to Ribble’s (2015) definition of digital citizenship which “is described as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use” (p. 15).  Curiously, I looked at Dictionary.com.  The definition of a digital citizen from Dictionary.com (2016) is “a person who develops the skills and knowledge to effectively use the Internet and other digital technology, especially in order to participate responsibly in social and civic activities.”  In a blog published through Edutopia.org by Davis (2014), she identifies the difference between citizenship and digital citizenship as “citizenship is what we do to fulfill our role as a citizen. That role starts as soon as we click on the internet.”  Davis goes even further to identify the “Nine Ps” of digital citizenship that are very similar to Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship.

9 elements

After looking at all of these resources, I believe that citizenship and digital citizenship are not that different.  Citizenship is how we act or behave and how we treat others.  Digital citizenship is how we act or behave and how we treat others in an online setting.  The most important concepts as teachers that we can teach our students is how to be good citizens everywhere and all the time.  Teaching digital citizenship to students who are growing up in a digital world should be just as important as teaching them to be good citizens in real life.  There are a vast number of resources on the web.

Another resource for the course was the iCitizen Project done by Curran (2012).  I found it interesting that in her research she discovered “…that fewer than one-fourth of U.S. teachers have had any professional development on teaching cyber ethics in the classroom” (p. 4).  This is a staggering fact.  Teachers need to be prepared to educate today’s learners which includes instruction on cyberbullying, digital responsibilities, digital law, and many more.

I am so excited to continue learning about a topic that affects so many people around the world.


Curran, M. B. (2012). ICitizen: Are You a Socially Responsible Digital Citizen? Retrieved July 17, 2016, from http://www.gonevirtual.org/uploads/6/0/8/6/6086473/icitizen_iste12_paper.pdf

Davis, V. (2014, October 24). What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship. Retrieved July 17, 2016, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-citizenship-need-to-know-vicki-davis

digital citizen. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved July 17, 2016 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/digital-citizen

Ribble, M. (2015). Digital citizenship in schools: Nine elements all students should know (3rd ed.). Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education

What Are The Elements Of Digital Citizenship? | Sehwag International School. (n.d.). Retrieved July 17, 2016, from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/468304061233595546/


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