Digital Citizenship in the Classroom

ISTE Standard 4: Digital Citizenship

According to the website, digital citizenship can be defined as “the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use.” The moment one connects to the World Wide Web they become digital citizens; no passport required to travel and stay connected to the world! So what does this mean to me as an educator living in a society where technology advances daily? How can I support my students when most of them know more about technology than I do? What is my responsibility as an educator and digital citizen in teaching my students what it means to be digitally responsible with regard to technology? I have been mulling over these questions the past few weeks and feel like I have come to the solid belief that not only is it important for me to teach my students what it is to be a digital citizen but also model how this is done.

My first step in doing this was researching what elements make up digital citizenship. Most websites identify nine elements of digital citizenship. I especially liked Vicki Davis’ “9 Key Ps” of Digital Citizenship. The article featured in was insightful in how I might teach my own students digital citizenship. The “9 Key Ps” are:

  1. Passwords
  2. Privacy
  3. Personal Information
  4. Photographs
  5. Property
  6. Permission
  7. Protection
  8. Professionalism
  9. Personal Brand

I like how she uses the P’s to help students learn the key elements of digital citizenship. Our school does not teach digital citizenship, but I think it is crucial we begin teaching our students how to become digital citizens. While I don’t think I can persuade my school board to buy digital citizenship curriculum like “Common Sense curriculum”, I can at least begin teaching my own students what it means to be a digital citizen by using the “9 Key Ps”.

Next, I plan to teach a Digital Citizen mini lesson twice a week and plan aligned activities for students to demonstrate what they are learning. To visually enhance these lessons I created a poster ( to help students reference the “9 key Ps” and I made a graphic organizer similar to the poster for students to fill in as we go through each mini lesson. Furthermore, I will share each of the mini lesson learning target and activities with parents, so that they can learn/support their student at home. At the end of the Digital Citizenship Unit I will divide students into nine groups and give them one “key p” to become experts on. They will need to put together a short presentation for the class and provide a visual such as a poster or power point that supports their put together a digital citizenship poster that represents the “p” they are. At the end of the unit we will present our posters in the computer lab to motivate other classes to become digital citizens.

I encourage all educators to learn more about digital citizenship. If your school does not teach it do a quick Google search on resources and materials you could use in your own class. It is our responsibility to teach students how to be responsible when using technology. Technology is continuing to advance, we live in a digital age and we must make sure we are preparing our students!


Davis, V. (2014). What your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship. Retrieved March 14th, from

K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum| Common Sense Media. (n.d.). Retrieved March 14th, 2016, from

Ribble, M. (n.d.). Nine Elements. Retrieved March 14, 2016, from

This entry was posted in 2 Instruction, 4 Content Knowledge, 8 Professional Practice and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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