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Learn the Ropes on Digital Citizenship
Learn the Ropes on Digital Citizenship
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The Ropes of Digital Citizenship
It imperative to address and characterize the varying Digital Citizen-"
" or vessels sailing
the virtual waters of the cyberworld... With young people spending significant time in both the
real and digital worlds, adults must start teaching the ropes of digital citizenship, what it
means to be good digital citizens to help shape appropriate conduct in the cyberworld.
It may seem a daunting voyage, nevertheless educators and students need to enter
into an engaged
dialogue about digital citizenship. Digital Citizenship should be a serious topic and
one educators and
schools should teach intently. When ready to embark, make it an interactive and
fun adventure on the
virtual waters. A word of caution: learning to stay afloat, to paddle or sail on
Digital Citizen-"ships" is not
something that can be taught one time and then "all done." The virtual
journey is always ongoing and
"Citizenship for Cyber Kids:
Why We Must Teach Good Citizenship Skills
"Technology is with us...both the good and the bad. ...We are living in a time like the
beginning of the Industrial Revolution, where social changes are being brought on
by new technology. Our new technology, however, has some special challenges.
Some schools ban cell phones and certain websites. It is understandable why....
[but] there has to be a better answer. My video expresses...my thoughts about our
responsibility as educators to help bring up this (and the next) generation to be
good cyber citizens."
FV Cyber Citizenship,
a video by educator, Patricia Ort
Contents on this Page:
For educators...resources to teach Digital Citizenship
" sailing the...
... waters surrounding the British Isles (United Kingdom)
... waters bordering the United States
... waters around Australia and nearby countries
... the waterways of Europe
... the waters within and around Canada
" interested in...
... purchasing full access to canals and locks
Final Thoughts...and Pondering Questions
navigating waters around the
generally see online or virtual environments as "communities" they are helping to shape so
that all vessels will act more responsibly:
"Digital citizenship isn't just about recognizing and dealing with online hazards. It's about building safe spaces and
communities, understanding how to manage personal information and about being Internet savvy- using your online presence
to grow and shape your world in a safe, creative way, and inspiring others to do the same."
is the essential UK-based site helping to make the Internet a positve and safe place for
children and young people, alongside enabling them to use interactive technologies safely and responsibly. The
organization focuses on education, awareness and policy. Its
mission is to work in partnership with others (i.e.
), providing support for children, parents, teachers and others. There are links to a wide range of
resources provided for schools and parents on this website. For example,
developed a leaflet with the music industry
"Young People, Music & the Internet"
, downloadable from the Childnet website at
Some of Childnet International's Affiliates are
website provides information for educators, parents, caretakers and young people. It is used to strengthen
their awareness and understanding of what digital citizenship is and encourages users of technology to be and become
responsible DIGItal citiZENS. It shares specific advice and resources on issues such as social networking and
cyberbullying [including the video, "
Let's Fight It Together
)], and how
these relate to and affect their own and other people's online experiences and behaviours." The site is broken down into
three sections and is colour-coded to recognize whether the material is for children, parents or teachers.
has been developed for young people to advise and teach them how to stay safe and be web wise. It
includes information on: gaming, social networking, mobiles, chatting, podcasts, blogs, P2P TV and file-sharing. This
resource also provides a good help guide for parents.
provides e-Safety information and guidance for children, teachers and parents, including fun games
and activities for young people.
ChildNet's Know It All
is an interactive internet safety resource containing helpful videos, classroom activities,
quizzes, advice on cyberbullying and information for parents and teachers.
is another information site for young people, specifically teenagers, that shares advice on how
to stay safe while chatting online. It gives real-life scenarios, actual situations and informs about the potential
dangers on interactive services like chat, IM, online games, email and mobile phones.
offers information on computer security issues: file sharing, popups, identity theft, spam & phishing,
trojans & viruses and spyware & adware. The site provides simple explanations and advice on how to protect a
computer from the dangers of such programs.
Adventures of Kara, Winston and SMART Crew
is a collection of 5 animated videos. Ideal for parents, teachers
and students new to internet safety and involves guiding the cartoon characters in their quest, helping them make
smart online decisions along the way.
Young People & Social Networking
aims to help parents and teachers understand the positive and creative ways young people
are using social networking spaces (e.g. Bebo, MySpace, Facebook.) It also points out the potential risks of using these sites and
potential ways to minimize them.
"Young People & Social Networking Sites"
is a social networking guide for parents
and teachers available at
digital citizen-"ships" travelling through U.S. waters
, the focus
is on individual ethical behaviour.
"Digital citizenship...a concept that helps teachers and technology leaders understand what students
and technology users
should know to use technology appropriately. It is more than just a teaching tool;
it is a way to prepare people for a society full
of technology....Too often we are seeing students as well as
adults misusing and abusing technology but not sure what to do...
The issue is more than what the users
do not know - it encompasses appropriate technology usage."
Four routes are recommended for Digital citizen-"
" interested in travelling in U.S. waters:
Mike Ribble's Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship
Common Sense Media
Click to Connect to the 9 Themes of Digital Citizenship
Mike Ribble's "Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship"
Nine themes are suggested to instruct new recruits
(children, teens, students)
& seasoned sailors
(adults, educators, parents),
on how to demonstrate or exercise the attributes of
behaviour with regard to technology use".
Digital technology - Using Technology Appropriately
) and his books,
(i.e. Digital Citizenship in Schools, and Raising a Digital Child), provide detailed descriptions of each theme or element
with suggestions for class instruction.
Digital Rights & Responsibilities
Digital Health & Wellness
These nine themes, as identified by Ribble, set the
journey or the voyage for how we work with each other
in a global, digital world and create a foundation to
help educate people on the issues facing them in an
increasingly technological world.
Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship
For Information on Ribble's Work, including Teaching Ideas:
Excerpts from Ribble's book,
Digital Citizenship in Schools
Ch. 5 Teaching Digital Citizenship to Students.pdf
Ch. 6 Foundational Lessons in Digital Citizenship.pdf
Ch. 7 Guided Lessons in Digital Citizenship.pdf
Excerpt from Ribble's book,
Raising a Digital Child
Links & Resources on the
Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship:
Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship
Digital Citizenship in the Classroom: Nine Elements, an Overview
Digital Citizenship: Rights roles and Responsibilities in a Digital Society
(lessons on nine elements)
Lesson Unit on Digital Citizenship
(lessons on nine elements)
Digital Citizenship at MICDS
(wikispace with lessons & links)
Heartland AEA: Digital Citizenship Site
(pbworks or public workspace with lessons & links)
Digital Citizenship: The Road to Becoming a Digital Citizen
YouTube: The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship
by bbrandino68 (video 1:57mins.)
YouTube: Digital Citizenship - One Small Step Live From the Moon
by vrominger (video 1:30mins.)
YouTube: 9 Themes of Digital Citizenship
by laurawolf0102 (video 1:24mins.)
Other Tidbits on
Ribble's Teachings of Digital Citizenship:
Learning & Leading with Technology: "Digital Citizenship for Implementation"
Learning & Leading with Technology: "Developing Ethical Direction"
Digital Citizenship Compass
Digital Citizenship Gazette
(46-paged document, with lessons, scenarios, ethical compass, handouts, resources, etc.)
is a US-based website designed to help individuals of all ages learn to be safe online and in the real world.
is an educational program of the
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
creates age-appropriate activities to help teach children safety and responsible online behaviour. Parents and guardians,
educators and law enforcement who want to understand more about the Internet and the possible risks children face
online can learn dynamic ways to teach personal safety by visiting
. Anyone can access innovative
tools such as animated video clips, safety pledges and classroom activities at no cost.
For a sampling,
check out the videos:
NetSmartz: Tracking Teresa
"Even though Teresa has tried not to reveal personal information online, she's left enough clues that she could be in danger."
This is an NSTeens video about acceptable behaviour when playing an online game.
"Are you being competitive, or are you
crossing the line and being a griefer?"
is an associate with the
, a US-designed site, identifies itself as "the world's largest internet safety, help & education resource."
There are PDF printables for parents, a collection of lesson plans under the educator link offer resources and ideas for
the classroom and the
Hot Topics section keeps the site up to date with subjects such as cyberbullying, MySpace, texting,
child pornography, etc. The
Cyber Safety through Information Literacy
are lessons and learning objects that can
serve as professional development and effective teaching and learning tools. Check out their
flash animation videos
cybersafety topics. This organization has several other sub-sites (
Common Sense Media
offers a digital literacy and citizenship curriculum for elementary students, available for free. The standard-based
curriculum covers five basic areas: identity (how to present yourself online); privacy (the world sees everything you write); ownership
(plagiarism, reproducing creative work); credibility (legitimate sources of information); and community (interactingwith others).
Digital Citizenship Lessons & Activities:
changed ownership to
Common Sense Media
For a Lesson sampler:
Get Cybersmart with Phineas and Ferb
Digital citizen-"ships" moving through waters bordering Australia
and nearby countries
have docking access to safe marina-"sites" or wharf-"sites". These
anchor-stops provide supplies (or resources) to address issues of cyber citizenship,
cyber bullying, responsible digital safety and intellectual property.
Similar to UK's "community approach", Australia's focus is
"in dealing with incidences of cyberbullying and to establish programs of
support in and for schools to address social problems online, to encourage children, young people and schools to model the
constructive use of technology and to create and engage in safe communities.
to consider if endeavouring to anchor in Australian waters:
website, (by the Australian Communications & Media Authority), presents a range of quizzes and
resources targeting young people and parents with tips on unwanted contact, cyberbullying, online friends, playing games online,
keeping the balance, digital footprint, P2P/filesharing, inappropriate content, financial security & online shopping, identity theft and
web 2.0 terminology & tools. The site is unique in its detailed sections for user groups including young children, children, teens,
parents, libraries and schools.
The State of New South Wales (NSW), Department of Education & Training (DET) and Centre for Learning Innovation (CLI) created
a unique site called
. The site is about "staying safe and healthy while using digital technology, appropriate and
inappropriate online behaviour and being a positive contributor in an online world." It provides links or rather "a suite of student
learning materials and teacher professional learning designed to guide students through the thrills and spills of the online world."
Think You Know
from the Australian Federal Place and Microsoft Australia (2009) is a school-based cyber safety program to assist
familiesand educators on protecting children from online sex offenders, cyber bullies and scammers. The site is divided into three
age levels of activities: 5-7, 8-10 and 11-16. Students ages 5-7 meet Hector and take a tour and see interactive information about
Internet safety. There are several interactive cartoons and other educational material. Students ages 8-10 meet Griff and his friends
to learn how to stay safe while using email, cell phones, chat rooms and other new technologies. The site for the older students
includes video clips, information and more. All three sub-site provide age-appropriate activities with upbeat music and interactives.
There are also links or parents and teachers. The teachers link features lesson plans to coincide with the cartoons and/or video clips.
The lesson plans require membership, which is easy and free. Viewing the cartoons does not require membership.
E-security Education Package is a series of media-rich learning activities created for both elementary & secondary schools.
The site, developed by the Australian Government, is designed to educate students on e-security issues and to build awareness on the
importance to stay smart online.
NETSAFE, the Internet Safety Group
in New Zealand covers a broad range of issues regarding cyber citizenship andsafety with
communication technologies. There are numerous resources such as the
NETSAFE step-by-step kit
are two websites for kids, the
Schools & ECE file
provides cybersafety advice, guidance and support for
teachers, an informational guide for
parents and the
Digital citizen-"ships" travelling various European water routes,
to explore tourist spots, take in the local sights and scenes or experience the European culture and
traditions that are deeply rooted in everyday life.
"Around the world, there has been a general recognition that these profound changes necessitate the development of a "new type" of
citizenship: digital citizenship. Digital Citizenship is the ability to participate in society's basic functions through the telecommunications
system. A digital citizen can use digital technologies to manage increasing amounts of complex information, critically sort through the
information, choose information that is relevant and effectively use that information and have etiquette as well as responsibility for actions
and deeds across physical and virtual domains."
is a European network of national nodes coordinating and promoting safe, responsible use of the Internet and mobile
devices. Its mission is to empower citizens to use the internet and other technologies, positively, safely and effectively. The
network calls for shared responsibility for the protection of the rights and needs of all citizens, in particular children and teens.
Insafe partners work together to address emerging trends, share best practice, information and resources and to support the
development of information literacy for all.
is a comprehensive European site that addresses ICT issues causing concern for schools today.
These include bullying by mobile phone and the Internet, the inappropriate posting of images on social networking sites,
and the mismanagement of personal information. Includes downloadable cyberbullying
, coverage of
and a video-sharing community.
Through the Wild Web Woods
is a game by the
Council of Europe
to help children, (ages 7-11), learn basic Internet safety rules.
The game uses fairy tales to guide children through a maze of potential dangers on the way to the e-city Komet, while teaching
them to protect identity and personal data, participate safely in chat rooms, recognize sites and online games containing harmful
content, develop a critical approach towards information found on the Internet, and protect their computers against spam and
viruses. The Teacher’s Guide is structured in eight lessons to provide educators with explanations, tips and practical exercises
for children on topics such as managing online identity, learning about children’s rights, how much time they should spend online,
privacy and security.
" travelling Canadian water routes, dock to
"We live in the age of digital citizenship, but so many of us have never examined what constitutes responsible, ethical and
safe use of the internet based technologies....[These "topic portals"] examine our challenges and responsibilities as citizens
in a global online community by offering a number of resources to help young people develop the digital literacy skills and
tools they need to use the Web wisely, safely, and ethically."
Media Awareness Network
The Media Awareness Network provides resources and support in media and information literacy,
with sections such as Internet safety and cyber bullying. The website is specifically targeted to
parents and teachers. Their
Passport to the Internet
helps students develop critical thinking skills
and provides information on online safety, authenticating online information, recognizing online
marketing ploys, protecting privacy, managing online relationships and dealing with cyberbullying.
**Passport to the Internet: Student tutorial for Internet literacy**
is an Internet literacy tutorial,
guiding Gr. 4-8 students in developing critical thinking skills. Using simulations, the tutorial teaches
online safety, for example, how to authenticate online information, recognize online marketing ploys,
protect their privacy, manage online relationships and how to deal with cyberbullying. A teacher's
guide with instructions, background information, classroom activities and handouts is also available.
There are 5 modules to the tutorial:
Social networking site challenging students to create a profile while protecting their privacy.
Co-Co’s Choco Match
Simulated advertising game teaching the “tricks of the trade” online
advertisers use to reach young consumers.
Research assignment teaching authentication skills through a mock search engine and
by having students judge the reliability of three different websites.
General introduction to safe and wise web surfing, showing students how to judge what is
behind a link, e-mail, banner ad or search result before clicking on it.
Instant messaging program in which students engage in four conversations, allowing
them to make ethical choices about how to reply to their online “buddies” and how to deal with issues such as
uploading photos and videos, stranger contact and cyberbullying.
Passport to the Internet
is available through a licensing arrangement only. The Ontario Ministry of Education
Passport to the Internet
on behalf of the Ontario Software Acquisition Program
(OSAPAC) for all publicly funded elementary schools, First Nations
elementary schools and faculties
Ontario. For further information,
Ontario Educational Software
Service (OESS) representative at school,
authority or faculty of eduation levels.
). Click on the
tab and enter one or
two words of your board name. Or consult the teacher-librarian / tech coach at your school.)
The Media Awareness network's website also includes resources for educators and parents to
support them in addressing new challenges and issues that arise as young people go on the
Internet. This includes the
Be Web Aware
public education program on Internet safety. The
objective of the project is to ensure young Canadians benefit from the Internet, while being safe
and responsible in their online activities.
Kids in the Know
is a safety curriculum designed to empower children and reduce their risk of
victimization. It focuses on building self-esteem through teaching critical problem-solving skills.
The program uses an inclusive, community-based approach to heighten safety awareness.
Privacy Commissioner of Canada: My Privacy, My Choice, My Life
Managing personal information on the Internet is a huge issue with teens. They do not
understand what is really private and what is not. This web site from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada would be great for inclusion in any digital citizenship class.
'Net Know-How: Resources for Digital Citizenship
The Net Know-How...Resources for Digital Citizenship site, an associate with the 2Learn.ca
Education Society, exists to "challenge teachers, students and parents to explore the whys
and hows of using the 'Net effectively" by providing resource links and background information
on Web 2.0 tools, digital citizenship, plagiarism, copyright, safety and cyberbullying."
2Learn.ca Education Society of Alberta
has a number of affiliates:
Ready2Learn.ca, and KidsLove2Learn.ca are a few. Its mission is to "initiate, advocate and
share with educators technology-enriched teaching, learning and leadership options for tomorrow, empowered by unique alliances with educational and community partners." To access all affiliates,
the URL address is:
For Digital Citizen-"ships" agreeing to pay a registration fee to travel through Canals & Locks, the
following web portals or sites are worthy of consideration...
Web Wise Kids
educates youth and families to be responsible citizens in their digital lives,
encouraging them to work together so that kids have a safe and rewarding experience online. Web Wise Kids uses simulated experiential
learning games to teach Internet safety and encourages families to work together so kids have a safe and rewarding experience online.
Website is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering today's youth to make wise choices online through easy-to-use, Internet safety
education programs for young people. Students are taught lessons using unique computer games with fun, interactive simulations based
on real-life criminal cases. There are four interactive cybersafety adventure games:
these games must be purchased. Although this site sells its programs to help parents and children stay safe on the Internet, the
sections for Teens and Parents contain valuable information and tools. In addition to examples of how scary and intrusive unsafe use of
the Internet can be, the pages for parents and teens offer Safety Tips and a downloadable Internet Safety Plan.
WEB WISE KIDS
creates animated, award-winning online curriculum-based content that engages students,
supports educators, and bolsters achievement such as
features lesson plans, video tutorials, graphic organizers, best practices and so forth. Some sections are free, but to access all topics
via a log in process, monetary registration is required.
Ideal for both group and one-on-one settings, BrainPOP is used from introducing a new lesson or topic to illustrating complex subject
matter to reviewing before a test. Content is aligned to academic standards and easily searchable online. Uniquely suited for 21st-century
learning, products are compatible with interactive whiteboards, learner response systems, projectors, Macs and PCs. No downloading,
installation, or special hardware is required. To subscribe, visit the
BrainPOP: Digital Citizenship
For Digital Citizen-"ships" interested in exploring Lighthouses....
Cable in the Classroom
(CIC) website offers information, tools, teacher
guides, and resources for teaching media and technology. Key sections
cover digital citizenship, a positive and proactive instructional approach to
internet safety and security that includes digital literacy and ethical
behaviours; using educational video programming, and; maximizing the
educational power of broadband. This video explains CIC's "new mission
and revamped website":
Cable in the Classroom's New Mission: Digital Citizenship & More...
For Digital Citizen-"ships" embarking on fishing expeditions, below are links for more information & resources....
Anne Bubnic Public Lists
(diigo bookmarking site)
Anne Bubnic has been chronicling and teaching youth and Internet safety for several years. She maintains a Diigo social bookmarking site in the area of
digital citizenship, where educators around the world gather to share research,best practices, videos and web links to guide students in the virtual environment.
She continues to catalogue and annotate thousands of items of interest, combining them into many helpful lists of various digital citizenship topics.
is one example of Anne Bubnic's list: This site stands for Advocates for Digital Citizenship, Safety & Success, "a grassroot effort of educators,
parents and teens to promote digital citizenship, safety and success...advocacy for wise, balanced, researched based actions in the offline world to promote
online citizenship, safety and success."
Hokanson's Cyber Smart Corner
Hokanson's Cyber Smart Corner
is a growing list of digital citizenship and internet safety resources. Resources are from around the web, divided by grade
level and available online.
Links are stored in grade level files for teachers to introduce or direct students to sites about using technology appropriately and to be mindful of their
citizenship skills in digital technology, (similar to Hoknanson's site as above, but a smaller version)
A small website, but provides free teacher guides on copyright issues and responsible online behaviour. In partnership with the BSA, the Business
Software Alliance,a pamphlet for parents is also available.
B4UCopy Elementary School Teacher's Guide
B4UCopy Middle School Teacher's Guide
B4UCopy Information for Parents
Created by Susan Watt, Technology Support Teacher for the Waterloo Region D.S.B., the site provides ideas and links to resources for teachers, students
students and parents to help understand the powerful potential of today's web 2.0, and to support them in their efforts to use it safely and effectively.
Final Thoughts and Pondering Questions...
The virtual voyage is always ongoing, always changing...
"Citizenship to Global to Digital...The Search Is On...."
Digital Citizenship I, II, III
by tgianno (Original version, 35 seconds)
by emdach (Canadian version II, 35 seconds)
by emdach (Canadian version III, 35 seconds)
Why Teach Digital Citizenship?
One only needs to read the headlines to know there is a pressing need to emphasize both safe and responsible use of the Internet
and digital tools. With the whirlwind pace of change in technology there is no doubt instruction of what is right, what is true and what
it means to be a good ‘Digital Citizen’ can benefit us all. Actually, all this discussion is essential. And why?
Five Reasons to Teach Digital Citizenship
It keeps children safe. Keeping children safe and secure is a top priority whether in the virtual world or not.
It fosters important, time-honoured ethical beliefs and character values such as Respect, Kindness, Compassion, Virtue,etc...
It allows children and youth to take their place as contributors in the 21st century global community.
It empowers children to learn with others and to take advantage of the wealth of powerful web resources and new technologies.
It develops creativity and critical thinking skills that will become increasingly important in an ever changing, technology-rich world.
It is also important to guide children's use of technology. When they are young, at the developmental stage, they should use the
Internet and technological devices in protected "safe places" with simple rules. As they grow, their explorations on the Internet
and with technology will expand, but schools and educators must continue imparting knowledge and skills, discussing safe and
responsible choices and monitoring their activities in the virtual world. Eventually, older teens and young adults, hopefully, have the
knowledge, skills and values to consistently make good choices on their own.
It's no surprise that most of the qualities necessary to become a responsible "digital citizen" are similar to the qualities we would
wish for in a regular citizen. We spend a lot of time, both in and out of school, teaching students how to become model citizens in
the real world. But are we diligent when it comes to teaching them how to behave in the cyber world? Or should schools and
educators leave it to parents to prepare their young to use digital technology safely and wisely? Even if you are not a tech-savvy
educator, qualities like respect, responsibility, kindness, all those traits in character development would be a pretty good roadmap
to follow. Where do you stand?
Questions to Ponder...
How will you interest your colleagues and students on the issues of digital citizenship?
How will you get them involved in being
responsible digital citizens?
How would you help others develop a sense of ethics and responsibility with the use of information technology?
What would Digital Citizenship look like in your school, in your classroom?
What kinds of behaviours do you observe with people using technology that might make you wonder: "Is this appropriate?" "How
can I address this?" "How can I teach them about...?
There are hundreds of thousands of sites, pages, blogs, wikispaces, nings, presentations and documents offering a myriad of ideas and suggestions for teaching
This particular page has tried to organize a collection...and yet so much more can be added...
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