I found a website on digital citizenship that I think breaks down what digital citizenship is very well. Digital citizenship is broken down into nine elements on this digital citizenship website: http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html. The nine steps include these: digital access, digital commerce, digital communication, digital literacy, digital etiquette, digital law, digital rights and responsibilities, digital health and wellness, and digital security. Digital access is simply the ability to get to a computer and have internet. Digital commerce is buying and selling products on the internet. Digital communication is the ability to communicate with people around the world without risk to yourself. Digital literacy is the ability to use the internet and all its tools to your advantage. Digital etiquette is just like etiquette in person… if you wouldn’t be rude to someone in person, do not do it online. Digital law has to do with copyrights and the proper use of articles, images, and etc. Digital rights and responsibilities are the rights given by the constitution that carry to the internet: free speech and privacy. Digital health and wellness is knowing the amount of time you should and should not be on the internet. Digital security is being safe on the internet against people who might want to steal your identity or physically harm you.
I also read a blog post by a teacher: Living our Lives Online that I found very compelling. The teacher who posted this blog is also a mother who has gone to great lengths to inform her sons of the dangers of being online. She writes about struggling with adding her students on Instagram, and finally decides to be a role model to her students online. I also enjoyed reading this article: Digital Citizenship Survival Kit. This is also a teacher writing tips to other teachers on teaching digital citizenship to students. This teacher likes to use props in her classroom to teach digital citizenship. My favorite metaphor she uses is a tube of toothpaste to show her students that what you post online cannot be taken away (what you squeeze out of a tube of toothpaste you cannot put the toothpaste back into the tube fully).
I think digital citizenship is a lot like normal citizenship. You have to be part of the society to be considered a citizen. You have to obey the rules of the land to be a citizen. You have to be kind to the other citizens in order to be a good citizen. You have to know how to navigate your community to be a citizen. I cannot say how much I despise cyber bullies. Bullying is a thing that I think almost everyone goes through, and it is just as wrong online as it is in person (and more pathetic). In order to be a good digital citizen, you must contribute with the community and maintain your humanity.
Photo Credit: Games For Change