What Does it Mean to be a Digital Citizen?
A digital citizen is someone who has an identity on the Internet. Being a digital citizen means that you are part of a digital community and therefore, you must exercise self-awareness in addition to awareness of others in the community. Digital citizenship is accompanied by many rights and responsibilities, which are intended to protect you as well as everyone else with whom you interact.
Key Digital Rights:
- Right to access and use computers and/or other electronic devices
- Right to access and use digital content
- Right to create and share digital media
- Right to privacy in digital communities
- Right to express your ideas and opinions freely
- Right to report anyone or anything that seems inappropriate
Key Digital Responsibilities:
- Use appropriate language and behavior when interacting with others (i.e. no cyberbullying)
- Respect the opinions and ideas of others
- Obey all intellectual property laws
- Do not use or share others' work without permission
- Follow rules and/or codes of conduct for every Internet site
- Responsibility to report cyberbullying, threats, and inappropriate use of digital resources
Teaching Students About Digital Rights and Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of teachers to educate their students about appropriate, responsible, and safe behavior within a digital environment. This education should include all nine elements of digital citizenship. One of the most common methods for providing students with this information is through the development of an Acceptable Use Policy. This provides a set of rules that students should follow when accessing an electronic network or the Internet. Most schools require that students review and sign an acceptable use policy before being granted access to the school's computers, electronic devices, and electronic network. The Public Service Announcement below provides information about the acceptable use policy at Delaware Technical Community College, a higher education institution with four campuses across the state of Delaware.
PSA: Acceptable Use Policy at DTCC
Please check out this interactive tutorial that is designed to educate students, parents, and teachers about all of the important aspects of appropriate use of digital resources. Click on the button below to play along!