Digital Citizenship

The digital world where today’s students live, connect with others, and learn, is one that is often only partly understood by their teachers who have used technology in more traditional ways. How many teachers have posted a home-made video to YouTube or shared photos of dubious value on Facebook? And do you have a hard time understanding why your students feel compelled to post so much about themselves online?


Some ethical considerations, such as plagiarism, copyright infringement, online bullying, and netiquette are mere extensions of challenges that have faced teachers for centuries.  Others such as hacking, online safety, and digital footprints are new, or at least, very different from anything schools had to deal with in the past, certainly different from what many of us learned as students.

We all recognize the importance of preparing students to live full and positive digital lives, but some of us need a little help. Common Sense Media  has a teaching curriculum for students in Grades K-12 that addresses digital literacy and citizenship.

  • Privacy and Security—Managing online information and keeping it secure
  • Creative Credit and Copyright—Learning about creating, using, and sharing online information
  • Self-Image and Identity—Exploring how students present themselves online

  • Digital Footprint and Reputation—Examining the effect of what students share online
  • Relationships and Communication—Reflecting on the skills needed for positive online communication

  • Cyberbullying—Learning how to respond to cyberbullying situations responsibly and safely
  • Information Literacy—studying how to find, evaluate, and use the information students access online

  • Internet Safety—Examining how to stay safe while taking advantage of all the tools and resources the Internet offers

Read more about young people and digital citizenship

Teen Hackers: 10 Stories Of Young Code-Crackers
A slide show of stories about teens who illegally hacked into computers and systems and the consequences of their actions.

Cheating in school: How the digital age affects cheating and plagiarism
An interesting graphic on teens’ views about online cheating

Internet Statistics
A compilation of statistics related to children and online safety


A collection of studies by the Pew Internet and American Life Project on children and the Internet

In December 2015, Peggy Grant joined our extended network of alumni.