Resources for Teaching Digital Citizenship

Citizenship has always been a component of a well-rounded curriculum.  As students increase their use of technology at home and in school, it’s important that time is allocated in the academic calendar to explore digital citizenship.  Children of all ages will interact with mobile technology, smartphones, and computers over the course of their years in the classroom.  By giving them the tools to make good decisions, monitor their own behavior and identify something that isn’t right, teachers can prepare them to use technology responsibly.

As you make a plan for helping students understand the appropriate ways to use technology for content creation, consumption and communication, you may find that these resources come in handy:

Digital Citizenship Infographic

For an overview of digital citizenship and a terrific infographic, check out this post on TeachThought.  Not only will it help you find a definition that works for your students, you’ll want to hang up copies of the “Digital Citizenship” poster throughout your school building.  There are lots of ways that children can expand on each box in the infographic featured on this page.  You may want to have students elaborate on a point, draw a picture, or create a video demonstrating what each component of digital citizenship means to them.

Video on Digital Etiquette

BrainPop is a fantastic site for helping students understand complex topics across the content areas.  They have a great short video on Digital Etiquette that discusses best practices for communicating on the Internet.  It’s straightforward and even includes a quiz and activity to review with your class.  This Digital Etiquette video is free for everyone and part of their larger series for subscribers on Digital Citizenship.


Whether it’s used as a classroom poster or a stepping stone for discussion,this infographic from Microsoft has a lot for students to talk about.  It outlines consequences for poor choices and presents some statistics that are sure to pique your students’ interest.  They may find that they agree or disagree with the data on this image but either way it can spark an informative class discussion.  Students may be inspired to poll their peers or conduct interviews to hear about the experience of other teens in their school.

Mobile Digital Citizenship with Remind

In schools where students are part of mobile learning initiatives it’s important that all members of the school community demonstrate digital citizenship.  This might mean that smartphones can be used during class in a BYOD program, but students should only be checking text messages outside of instructional time.  Students of all ages can using texting as a way to stay up to date with course work and school announcements, but they have to act responsibly when corresponding with friends.  Teachers can model best practices by communicating with students using Remind.

When it comes to discussing digital citizenship with your students make sure they have a voice.  Instead of a list of rules of what not to do with technology open up the conversation to your class.  Not only will students participate in creating a community that values the input of each member, they’ll develop a deeper understanding of why it’s important to be an upstanding digital citizen.


Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.