Empowering student voice through digital citizenship

By Leah Moore 10/9/2017 Digital citizenship

There are two common misconceptions about digital citizenship that are preventing teachers from making an impact with it in their classrooms. The first is that digital citizenship can be taught in just one lesson or schoolwide assembly. The second is that it’s all about what kids should not be doing online as opposed to what they should be doing. It’s time to set the record straight.

We reached out to a handful of educators to ask them about how the conversation around digital citizenship is changing and which insights they would like to share with others. As the responses came in, a theme began to emerge: an emphasis on “citizenship” within the term “digital citizenship.”

“The term ‘digital citizenship’ comes from the idea that we are ‘citizens’ of the digital world, and as such, we have rights, privileges, and duties in the digital space,” says LeeAnn Lindsey, a member of the ISTE Standards Core Leadership Team. “When taught in a positive light, digital citizenship introduces students to the wealth of opportunities afforded to them via technology, and helps them navigate effectively through the digital world resulting in healthy interactions, a positive digital presence and increased learning opportunities.”

What many are missing from digital citizenship is the power technology has to amplify student voice and empower them to use digital tools to make a difference in their communities, both in the physical world and online. Additionally, educators must weave digital citizenship throughout the curriculum so that it becomes the foundation that students’ build digital age skills upon.

Sign up for five days of digital citizenship “coffee breaks” with ISTE to get more great insights and inspiration from experts like LeeAnn Lindsey.

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115 days ago
It's my belief if you're using electronics in your classroom, you should incorporate lessons in Digital Citizenship. Teachers must also be role models for their students to show the importance of this topic.
163 days ago
I found that elementary level classrooms are not incorporating digital citizenship lessons and practice opportunities. This is really missing the mark since most of elementary age students are on social media with no guidance or very little. During my grad school days, my pln and I created a unit, Games Around the World that fosters practice of good digital citizenship. Here is a link to the online unit if interested. If you are looking for more elementary lessons with social media and digital citizenship practice. My blog lists a few lessons and the link at the end "Social Media Projects" is my curation of elementary lessons. If anyone has more, leave it the comments. I need to update my resources.