This blog is for you and your students to read together. It covers the basics of digital citizenship and why it matters.

 
So what is digital citizenship?

Digital citizenship is all about understanding how to act responsibly online. You might have noticed, you’ve got the whole world available at a click! And with this incredible access, it’s crucial to know the basics of digital etiquette and staying safe online.

Being a good digital citizen is just like being a good friend in real life; it’s all about understanding others, being kind, and creating healthy connections. Plus, having strong digital skills will be super valuable for your future career, as more jobs will require them in the years ahead.

So, let’s break down digital citizenship for you into four main parts: Respect, Digital Footprint, Protection, and Copyright.

Respect

At the heart of being a great digital citizen is a simple rule: treat others online as you’d like to be treated in person!

Online messaging can sometimes be misunderstood since we don’t have the usual face-to-face clues like tone of voice or body language. To understand this better, maybe you could chat with friends about times when messages got confusing or seemed different than intended. This will help you realize the importance of clear communication!

Cyberbullying is also something we need to talk about. Being a responsible digital citizen helps in preventing it. Remember, if you or someone you know faces any kind of online bullying, it’s crucial to talk about it with your parents, teachers, or another trusted adult. Discussing the real emotional effects of cyberbullying can help everyone understand its impact better.

Digital Footprint

Just like footprints in the sand, whatever you post online leaves a trace. Remember, “think before you post” just as you’d “think before you speak.” With colleges, employers, and even friends looking us up online, it’s essential to be aware of the image you’re putting out there. Digital literacy is more than just using apps — it’s also about understanding your online data, how it’s used, and what you’re agreeing to in those long terms and conditions!

Protection

Staying safe online is super essential. Know how to set strong, unique passwords and maybe use safe apps to store and remember them. Also, be careful about sharing personal info like your home address or even recognizable landmarks in your pictures. Have you ever checked a photo for its location tag or thought about the kind of details you share online? It’s fun to quiz yourself and your friends on these to ensure you all stay safe.

With the rise of scams and tricky emails, it’s essential to recognize suspicious messages. Discuss with friends or teachers about identifying fake emails or messages, and you might learn some cool tips!

Copyright

Just like you wouldn’t want someone to take your belongings without asking, it’s crucial to respect online content. Always remember to give credit where it’s due, and not just say, “I found it on Google.” Starting early in understanding the importance of giving credit can help you in your school projects and beyond.

It’s also crucial to develop a knack for identifying trustworthy sources online and understanding the difference between real and fake news.

Remember, while there are things to be cautious about, the online world offers some amazing ways to connect, learn, and have fun. As you grow up, you’ll navigate both the real and digital worlds, and understanding digital citizenship will make this journey smoother and safer.

For more digital citizenship resources and activities, check out the Kami Library!