Digital Citizenship


The goal of the Digital Citizenship module is to prepare you, as an educator, to become proficient with Standard III of the Maryland Teacher Technology Standards. This standard requires that teachers demonstrate an understanding of the legal, social, and ethical issues related to technology use.


Throughout this module, we will engage in several interactive tasks to increase our understanding of digital citizenship including using the 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship, presented by Mike Ribble and Gerald Bailey, from Digital Citizenship in Schools ©2007, ISTE® (International Society for Technology in Education), All rights reserved.

Our module goals include the following:

Learning Sections 12 day Course

This module is divided into nine sections. Within each section, you will view video clips, read web-based articles to build background knowledge, participate in discussions and small group projects, and reflect upon your learning through several journal assignments which will be submitted to the course facilitator. To complete some of the activities in Section 2 and 4, you will need to have access to your School Improvement Plan (SIP), as well as your district's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). Listed below is a breakdown of the specific tasks related to each of the sections.

In Session 1, you will learn about digital citizenship and digital footprints. As a result of this session, you will define digital citizenship and identify the advantages and disadvantages of having a digital footprint. You will begin by exploring the idea of a digital footprint and conduct research on your own digital footprint. Next you will use the discussion board to introduce yourself to colleagues and discuss the importance of understanding digital footprints for today's educators.

In Session 2, you will learn about digital access as you study the impact of the digital divide on today's students and reflect on the digital divide in educational settings. Throughout this session, be sure to consider actions that could be taken by schools, at the local, state, and national level, to narrow the digital divide for all students.


Digital Law has been defined as "the legal rights and restrictions governing technology use" according to Mike Ribble's Nine Elements website. In this session, you will identify legal issues related to the use of technology in an educational setting. Specifically, you will learn about the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and how knowing these acts will benefit you as you work with your students.

Session 5 focuses on educators' actions. What actions must educators take to protect the technology hardware and software in the classroom? How can 21st century educators protect themselves in today's digital society? In this session, you will be assigned to small groups to conduct research. As a product of your learning, your small group will submit a "top ten" list of recommendations to the class.

In Session 6, you will make recommendations about the impact of digital health and safety in a classroom environment. You will begin this session by viewing a series of photographs that demonstrate common errors. Next, you will read about digital health and safety from a variety of Web sites. Then you will pull your ideas together to form your reflection of this section.

Do today's students seem to speak in code? The texting generation has created its own version of the English language that allows messages to be sent and received in record time and with full understanding at a quick glance. Do you have trouble deciphering the messages? Do you follow appropriate netiquette guidelines? Do your students demonstrate effective communication and respect when communicating online? In Session 7, you will discuss various types of digital communication and the value of each tool in a classroom. In addition, you will identify digital etiquette (netiquette) guidelines that should be reflected in technology use in and outside of the classroom.

Cyberbullying has been defined as the harassment or intimidation of someone through the use of cell phones, instant messaging, email, chat rooms, or social networking sites. In Session 8, you will explore resources that can help you define, identify and prevent this cruel and pervasive behavior. You will share your concerns with colleagues as you discuss how cyberbullying is impacting teaching and learning.

In the article "Navigate the Digital Rapids" from the March/April 2010 edition of Learning and Leading with Technology, authors Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis suggest that "Digital Citizenship is far more than digital literacy, just as 21st century skills encompass so much more than simply skills." In this culminating session, you will consider how you can use the information that you have learned in this pilot module to facilitate digital citizenship within your classroom as you create a product to share with your colleagues.


You are expected to complete all module activities; participate fully in discussion forum conversations; respond in your journal and complete a final independent project. The guidelines below outline module expectations.

Discussion Forum Participation Participants are expected to contribute at least two postings (1 original and 1 response) in each section that requires a discussion forum response. Responses will be evaluated based on demonstration of knowledge of course content and connections made among concepts in course and professional practice. Guidelines for discussion forum posts are available as a resource for facilitators and participants.
Learning Section Activities Participants are expected to complete the required readings and activities as posted in the each of the learning sections. One activity that will be graded is the Top Ten Ways to Stay Safe Online that will be created collaboratively. Top Ten List Expectations are available as a resource for facilitators and participants.
Reflective Journal Participants are expected to respond thoughtfully to journal entry prompts as posted in the learning sections. Guidelines for the journal entries are available as a resource for facilitators and participants.
Culminating Project Participants are expected to complete a final project that demonstrates their learning about digital citizenship. Guidelines for completion of the final project are available as a resource for facilitators and participants.


Grades are based on active and reflective participation and completion and quality of assignments. See rubrics for specific guidelines for each assignment. At the successful completion of all course activities, participants who earn an 80% or above will receive a "pass" designation. Participants who earn less than 80% will receive a "fail" designation. Grades will be apportioned as follows:

Course Components Points
Per Section
Total Points Percentage/Weight
Discussion and Collaboration 4 16 20%
Journal Reflections 2 8 20%
Top Ten List 4 4 20%
Final Project and Discussion 12 12 40%

Optional Readings

Throughout the course, you will be directed to review and become familiar with a variety of web-based resources. In addition to the sites listed in each section, you are encouraged to continue your learning by accessing the optional readings included in this section.