Tag Archives: #digcitweek

Digital Citizenship Week

Happy Digital Citizenship week. While I don’t philosophically believe in dedicating just one week to what I believe should be a part of our daily practice, it’s a great way to draw attention to the ways in which we are helping teachers and students understand how to behave in ethical and responsible ways online. I think of this week as a springboard for an entire year of opportunity to contextualize learning around digital citizenship!

Beyond Cybersafety

I am very heartened to see that many schools and teachers are moving beyond a fear-mongering-stay-off-the-internet approach to keeping kids safe online. I still get chills when I think of young Charlotte (whom I feature in Social LEADia) being told that her “parents must not love her” because they let her create a website inviting people to share their favourite books. I know we still have a long way to go, but showing students how they can contribute positively and creatively in online spaces is happening with greater frequency.

For example, it is good to see the new ISTE Citizen standards have included some of the wisdom that many educators have been sharing for a while now and shift towards positive. This week might be a great time to have a look at  the Standard Statements, reflective questions, and tips. Here is an example from the Educator standards:

Educators inspire students to positively contribute to and responsibly participate in the digital world.

a. Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community. 

Educators inspire students to positively contribute to and responsibly participate in the digital world.

b. Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency

c. Mentor students in safe, legal and ethical practice with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property. 

Beyond Digital Citizenship

One of the things I try to do in Social LEADia, is share the stories of kids who are “using the vast reach of technology and social media to improve the lives, well-being, and circumstances of others (Couros, 2013).  They do this by learning and sharing learning, by empowering others without a voice, and by being a more positive influence on others. You may argue that not all students can be leaders and so focusing on positive digital citizenship is a better approach. And I would agree, but digital leadership is about leading change and about putting ownership in the hands of students. It is about forging a new path for others to follow. Not everyone can change the world, but we all have the power to change the world of another person.

This idea came through loud and clear in the panel discussion for Edumatch which I had the honour of moderating to launch Digital Citizenship week with Nancy Watson of ISTE’s @DigCitPLN.  I brought together educators and students I feature in the book for a conversation around using social media and inspiring kids to make a difference. You can watch it here:

Resources and ideas:

  1. I encourage you beginning this week to have a look at the accounts of the students on this Twitter list and to check out the blogs & websites of these student leaders, while also taking a look at your own school community or classroom for kids who are inspiring others to action both online and offline.

By showing our students examples of kids who are leading (as Darren Pamayah does with his students), we show students role models they may never otherwise see if they are following celebrities and cat videos online.


2. Check out these quick visual tips created by Kathleen Currie Smith based on Chapter 7 of Social LEADia

3. Check out these Digital Citizenship Lessons in Two Minutes or Less by Nancy Watson.

4. Check out @DigCitKids ideas here.

5. Check out the various resources I have curated for Chapter 7 which are sure to help you all year long.


Please share your own stories and your action plan in the comments below.

Happy Digital Citizenship week!



ISTE Standards FOR EDUCATORS. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2017, from http://www.iste.org/standards/for-educators