Reflection on Digital Citizenship


During the first week of reading the resources provided and taking part in discussions, it helped me to truly learn the meaning of digital citizenship.  When I originally thought of citizenship, I thought of having morals and doing what’s best for society.  After reading the materials, I realized that being a digital citizen is very similar, but just that the society is online.  I understood this very quickly after I looked up the definition of citizenship and compared it to Ribble’s definition of digital citizenship.  What I learned was that the key guidelines to digital citizenship are the nine elements.  These guidelines really stuck with me because I saw how they all related to what I see in the news and in my own classroom.  Students know how to use technology, but do they know how to use it appropriately?  After reading the article by Ohler, “Digital Citizenship Means Character Education for the Digital Age”, I realized the teachers need to be instructing students about digital citizenship.  I learned that digital citizenship communicates and acts with respect towards themselves and others in the digital society.

After determining what digital citizenship is, I started to think of how I can help my students to become good digital citizens.  We just got Chromebooks, in our school. We also started using Canvas and are getting into discussions and really using the digital tools.  Students must be prepared to interact with others online.  I believe there are so many resources to help our students achieve this goal.  I think that I could show have the “Citizenship in the Digital Age” poster posted in my room.  It would be a great talking point and serve as a constant reminder to students of the expectations that I set in my classroom and in the digital world.  Following the poster, I would speak with students about Ribble’s nine elements and the importance of each element.  Opening it up, for classroom discussion, would allow for students to really invest in the concept. As a closure to show how real digital citizenship is, I would share Curran’s study.  I would discuss ” iCitizen: Are You a Socially Responsible Digital Citizen?”.  I think this would make it real to the students.  Showing them a actual event in which cyber bullying caused someone to commit suicide shows the severity of words.  It shows the extreme consequences of one’s actions if they choose not to be a good digital citizen.

This week has made me think about not only the importance of teaching our students about digital citizenship, but how to do it.  The resources provided gave me a starting point and a plan.  It’s important that I prepare my students for the real world of digital interaction.  They will be using technology, in their post-secondary life, whether it’s for personal use, school or work.  They will need to know how to act responsibly.  By teaching them my own “character education” lessons (Ohler, 2012),  I will be ensuring that my students will become model digital citizens.


Brichacek, A. (2017, December 14). Infographic: Citizenship in the digital age. Retrieved from ISTE website:

Curran, M. (2012, June). iCitizen: Are you a socially responsible digital citizen. Paper presented at the International Society for Technology Education Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX. Retrieved from

Ohler, J. (2012). Digital citizenship means character education for the digital age. Education Digest, 77(8), 14-17.  Retrieved from:

Ribble, M. (2015). Nine elements. Retrieved from: