Global Connection

What Type of Digital Citizens Do We Want Students to Be?

Posted by jglassman on

by Dr. Mike Ribble, Ed.D.

With Digital Citizen week behind us, how can we continue this discussion with students throughout the year? It is important that we constantly remind them about being safe online and reviewing digital etiquette. Inserting powerful messages and concrete examples about being good digital citizens is key.  

Children need to recognize that it’s people who make good and bad choices, not the digital tools we use. When we press enter we are making a choice, not our computers. It is important to remind students on an ongoing basis how to behave online.  I write about the “Five Be’s” for being a good digital citizen, and a good citizen in general:

  1. BE We Not Me. Know that we are better together than we are by ourselves. The digital world is about positive interactions.  
  2. BE an Example. Model good behavior. Be an example of character online and off.  
  3. BE Curious. Ask questions, search for answers, and teach/learn from each other.     
  4. BE a Citizen. Recognize our differences, but be willing to find common ground. Find your voice in a digital world .
  5. BE Empathetic. Focus on how others may receive your message.  Take your time when sharing ideas. Use the THINK model by asking if your message is True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind.  

We want to help everyone, especially kids, make the right choices not only during Digital Citizenship Week but all year.  The @DigCitKids group provides a community for like-minded kids to gather online and share their stories and teach each other peer-to-peer, thereby promoting and extending the Be We Not Me concept described above.  To show support for building student-centered activism in this arena, BrainPOP and other leaders in the Digital Citizenship movement will join The Digital Citizenship Institute in participating in the 3rd Annual Digital Citizenship Summit, where these ideas and others will be discussed.