What is digital citizenship?

all-digital-citizens_24x36Chances are the term may be as puzzling for you as it is for the students, but breaking it down into two separate words helped us come up with a good definition.

Kids today are growing up in a digital world.  And the digital part increasingly interacts with the physical part. The Internet and computer resources we use to connect with friends, view media, and create all fall under the category of digital tools. Staying ahead of what kids are doing, making, and viewing on their phones and tablets is nearly impossible.  One day, teens are using Twitter, the next it’s Snapchat. How’s a parent to know what high school age kids are into and what the risks might be?

Citizenship was the next term the students defined.  A citizen is a member of a community or society.  Being a good digital citizen goes beyond being a positive member of your school or neighborhood, though. The super-connected world that we live in today means that we are citizens of a global community and what we say and do online can be seen by people across the globe and will last forever.

There are lots of ways to be a good digital citizen.  Understanding how media tries to influence our purchases and habits is one way.  Good digital citizens are also able to find a healthy balance with media to meet their physical, nutritional, and social needs.  Sharing, oversharing, and remixing are terms that teens should understand as they begin to leave their own digital footprints on the web.

A resource that we have use is Common Sense Media.  This is a website that provides parents and teachers with a variety of advice about mobile apps, video games, movies, and reviews of other media.  There are even suggestions for what to watch and talk about together as a family. Use the link below to explore more information about digital citizenship and become an ally for your child as they navigate an ever-changing digital world.


Adopted and modified from Eric Carson of ACES

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