ISTE Standard 4 – Digital Citizenship

What are ways that I can model digital citizenship to students and invite them to participate in positive, safe and proactive ways with an evolving digital culture?

According to Lindsay & Davis (2010), digital citizenship is about “transforming yourself into a professional who can effectively research technology trends, monitor the uses of technology in your school or district, avoid the fear factor that can easily paralyze you, and empower student-centered learning to create vibrant, exciting learning projects” (p. 12). Within their statement there is an aspect of strong leadership, willingness to go beyond normal technological comfort zones, and a desire to know a student’s experience with different technologies. As an educator the skills may not be easy to develop at first, but the excitement, innovation and willingness to engage other educators and students around what they see and do through computers, tablets, phones, and the internet are a pre-requisite of a growing learner.

In an article Karin shared on elements of digital citizenship, the nine different digital elements can be grouped into 3 themes or REP: Respect, Educate and Protect (2016). While all are important to developing student understanding of their use and impact through technology, what interested me most was the Respect theme which encompasses digital etiquette, access, and law. Many times students view the internet as a vast and free resource which they may use and view as they please. As a teacher I can model the correct ways to give credit for images, information and text used from the internet as well as demonstrate how to respond properly in comments, feedback, and forums. One resource I found for structuring activities and conversations about digital citizenship is through a full free curriculum provided by Common Sense Media.

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An example unit from the Common Sense Media Scope & Sequence

The scope and sequence runs common themes of digital citizenship through tasks such as research and themes such as identity and safety. Not only showing students but inviting them into conversation around their present digital culture and exposure may enable me as an educator to remain at the forefront of technological trends and to foresee positive and beneficial ways to guide my students into blending their growing cultural expertise with constructive learning in and out of the classroom.


Common Sense Education (2015). Scope & Sequence: Common Sense K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum. Retrieved from

Lindsay, J., Davis, V. (2010). Navigate the Digital Rapids. Learning & Leading With Technology, 37(6), 12-15. Retrieved from

Ribble, M. (2016). Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship. Retrieved from



2 thoughts on “ISTE Standard 4 – Digital Citizenship

  1. Jenessa,
    I am so glad you found my resource helpful! I think the resource you shared–Common Sense Media–is amazing! I think it’s great that it offers the full curriculum of digital citizenship and safety. I hope we both have the chance to use it in our classes. I know it will all be helpful for my students in the next few months when they start a research project. Thank you for sharing such a great post!


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