Digital Citizenship

In an increasingly technology-driven, knowledge-intensive, and globalized world, it is important to prepare our students for success. “In a world that is constantly changing, Ontario students will be better prepared to adapt, achieve and excel, regardless of the challenges they face”. (Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario, 2014).

The digital domain is changing how students perceive, interact with, and respond to the world. Innovations in technology have provided new opportunities for learning, both in and out of school, and have enabled students to connect to learning communities around the world. Social media is an immersive environment that can no longer be ignored if schools are to remain relevant. These innovations call for the development of new knowledge, skills and social behaviours to ensure these tools are used in responsible and ethical ways.

This resource is intended to guide educators as they embed the concepts and skills of digital citizenship into their daily practice. It provides links to existing lessons, videos, interactives, and more, at various divisions, with reference to specific digital citizenship categories and criteria:

  • Critical thinking and Information Literacy
  • Creation and Credit
  • Presence and Communication
  • Health and Protection

The resource provides various contexts for learning about digital citizenship, making classroom connections through rich curriculum-based tasks that model effective integration of pedagogy and technology. The links to existing resources provide lesson materials, and the classroom connections provide starting points for teachers to develop lessons and assessments specific to the needs of their students. It is crucial that teachers preview the links and associated content to ensure that they are suitable for student use. All content will not be suitable for all audiences.

Teachers are also reminded to review board procedures for approved technologies and request student and/or parent signatures for acceptable use. Many online tools identify age restrictions for account creations and, therefore, terms of use/service must be regularly reviewed.

The links to existing resources provide lesson materials, and the classroom connections provide starting points for teachers to develop lessons and assessments specific to the needs of their students. It is crucial that teachers preview the links and associated content to ensure that they are suitable for student use. All content will not be suitable for all audiences.

Teachers are also reminded to review board procedures for approved technologies and request student and/or parent signatures for acceptable use. Many online tools identify age restrictions for account creations and, therefore, terms of use/service must be regularly reviewed.

CTMPiconsCatCritical Thinking CCMPiconsCatCreation and Credit COMPiconsCatCommunication HPMPiconsCatProtection

Critical Thinking and Information Literacy
A digital citizen is one who…
  • uses effective strategies to search for information (e.g., keywords, narrowing a search)
  • uses credible online resources (e.g., databases, encyclopedias, ebooks)
  • evaluates and reflects critically on information/resources/sites
  • applies an inquiry model to gather, use and evaluate information in order to build knowledge

Creation and Credit
A digital citizen is one who…
  • respects intellectual property of others (e.g., paraphrases and gives credit)
  • uses digital resources responsibly and adheres to user agreements
  • understands and gives credence to the consequences of unauthorized distribution
  • utilizes appropriate licensing options for personal creations (e.g., Creative Commons)

Presence and Communication
A digital citizen is one who…
  • communicates appropriately according to the audience (e.g., conventions, voice, form)
  • contributes positively to the local and global communities
  • identifies and responds appropriately to online issues (e.g., cyberbullying, sexting, etc.)
  • develops a positive reputation and digital footprint

Health and Protection
A digital citizen is one who…
  • implements precautions for online security (e.g., passwords, settings)
  • protects the privacy of self and others
  • balances offline and online activities (e.g., gaming, texting, social networking, etc.)
  • uses devices with attention to physical and mental health