Teaching Students Good Digital Citizenship – Teachers have long understood the importance of instilling good citizenship in their students, focusing on social etiquette and how to treat their peers with respect in the course of their daily lives. Today, though, it’s just as important that students understand what kinds of behaviours are acceptable online. Instilling the principles of good digital citizenship can help students become smart, responsible, and respectful members of their online communities.

What Is Digital Citizenship?

We spend much of our lives today participating in virtual communities — like our social media networks, online forums, and even the comments sections of websites and blogs. Just as there are rules and norms that dictate what it means to be a good citizen in our real-life communities, there are ways to be a good “citizen” in the communities we interact with online. Being a good digital citizen means practising online safety, treating other digital citizens with respect, and following the rules set for certain online communities.

Understanding how to practice good digital citizenship will only become more important in the following years, as our lives become further entwined with internet-based communities. Students today are already using online tools to facilitate the learning process — like participating in discussions in online forums — so exposing students at an early age to the “rules” of good citizenship is increasingly important.

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