Digital Citizenship

“Students have an opportunity to make a difference and we need to focus on giving them both the opportunities and tools to make a difference in their world through the effective use of technology and social media.”

George Couros, Digital Leadership Blog Post

Digital Citizenship:

Think before you post! This video and the accompanying lessons (linked below) teaches students about digital citizenship. We offer the top ten to think about before you post to social media platforms. See the full lyrics and lesson plan at

UBC Digital Tattoo: Connect: Social Media video featuring the good, the bad and the ugly of how to present yourself online by looking at some common “types” found in social media.

Sample Stories:

Tech “Hygiene”

Open letter from Jana Investments about Apple Responsibility for iPhone addiction

Nearly all chidren under 4 have used mobile devices: US study suggests CBC

Digital Citizenship Planning at Esquimalt High School: Step 1: Take the survey

Curriculum: BC

BC Curriculum Digital Literacy Competencies (

BC’s Digital Literacy Framework proposes that:

 “students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behaviour.”
The framework identifies ten aspects of digital citizenship and describes student outcomes for each from K-12:
  1. Internet safety
  2. privacy and security
  3. relationship and communication
  4. cyber-bullying
  5. digital footprint and reputation
  6. self-image and identity
  7. creative credit and copyright
  8. legal and ethical aspects
  9. balance attitude towards technology
  10. understanding and awareness of the role of ICT in society

DRAFT BC Curriculum for Physical and Health Education (

Beginning in Grade 4 and continuing until Grade 9  the draft BC curriculum states that students will know and understand the “Safe use of the internet and social media”.

School Districts’ Resources:

Curriculum: Outside BC

  1. Province of Alberta Digital Citizenship Policy Development Guide (Canada)

  2. Lester B. Pearson School Board, Québec – Digital Citizenship: Preparing Students for the Future (Canada)
  3. State of Kentucky Digital Driver’s License Program (United States)
  4. New South Wales Department of Education and Training Digital Citizenship Resource (Australia)
  5. DigiTeen Project (Multinational group working on digital citizenship for teenagers)

Professional Resources:

Digital Citizenship (

Mike Ribble identifies nine elements of digital citizenship: access, commerce, communication, literacy, etiquette, law, rights and responsibility, health and wellness, and security. Digital Citizenship in School (Ribble, 2011)

Digital Citizenship, MOOC 2014, University of Alaska Southeast ( and (Google+ Community)

Dr. Jason Ohler, professor at University of Alaska Southeast,  facilitated a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on digital citizenship as an extension to his book Digital Community, Digital Citizen (Ohler, 2010).

Net Family News (

Anne Collier was one of the co-chairs of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group

Understanding Digital Citizenship by Alec Couros

Digital Citizenship in Schools by Judy O’Connell

Online Resources: Canada

Youth Privacy (

Created by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada Youth Privacy focusses on youth awareness and education about privacy and technology use and provides Powerpoint presentations (with speaker’s notes for teachers of students from grade 4 to 12) to help teachers teach students how technology affects privacy and how students can secure their online identity.

Social Smarts: Privacy, the Internet and You (

This website is created by the Canadian Office of the Privacy Commission of Canada, Youth Privacy department. Graphic novels are designed in PDF version, or HTML version along with a discussion guide  to help youth navigate online privacy risks.

MediaSmarts (

MediaSmarts is an award-winning Canadian non‐profit organization that promotes digital and media literacy. This easy to use website provides comprehensive information and accessible and practical resources including:

  • recent Canadian-based research
  • overviews of key media and digital issues
  • lesson plans and professional development resources and
  • parent resources.

The site can be searched by grade level, topic and province to identify relevant units and lesson plans.

Canadian Centre for Child Protection (

This Canadian non-profit society’s website provides many resources including a tip line for online safety, Kids in the Know, a child abuse prevention program and other resources for teachers and parents.

Need Help Now (

This site provides step by step instructions for kids who want to have images removed from Facebook, Instagram, etc.

The Door That’s Not Locked (

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is committed to helping parents, teachers and members of the public better understand the web. The website aims to help keep kids safe as they explore and enjoy the online world.

Cyber-Bullying: Always On? Always Aware (

Plagiarism (

Online Resources: British Columbia

Safe Online Outreach Society (

SafeOnline’s vision is to help current and future generations to be informed and responsible users of digital technology. This BC-based non-profit society offers teacher training and school presentations regarding the internet, cyber-bullying, and online safety.

Digital Tattoo (

Developed by students with the support of the University of British Columbia, this website aims to raise awareness about how students can protect their digital identities, connect safely and effectively online and use the internet in their academic lives to inform the impact of their online activity on their careers.

Online Resources: United States

Digital Literacy and Citizenship Classroom Curriculum (

This non‐profit provides independent reviews of movies, games, apps and websites and also suggests those best for learning and most appropriate for various ages. The educational resources include K to 12 curricula, professional development, scope and sequences and strategies for engaging parents.

PBS: Digital Nation (

This documentary investigates the implications of living in a world consumed by technology and the impact that this constant connectivity may have on future generations.

Cyberbullying Research Center (

This comprehensive website is based on the work of the American researcher, Dr. Sameer Hinduja and provides many printable “tip” pages to prevent and respond to bullying.

Netsmartz (

This website, hosted by the National Institute for Missing and Exploited Children, provides resources that enable children to learn about safety on and offline. Entertaining, educational videos, games, activities and presentations enable children to learn about potential internet risks and how to protect themselves from exploitation.

Teaching Digital Citizenship (

Cable Impacts brings you InCtrl, a series of free standards-based lessons, originally developed by Cable in the Classroom, that teach key digital citizenship concepts. These lessons, for students in grades 4-8, are designed to engage students through inquiry-based activities, and collaborative and creative opportunities

Online Resources: United Kingdom

Digizen (

The British website Digizen, encourages us to be responsible Digital Citizens by providing resources, games, and films on topics such as social networking and cyber bullying for teachers, parents and children.