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
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.