Digital Citizens

What is a responsible digital citizen?

Young people today generally understand the range of risks they might face online, and they take active steps to protect themselves. Their online safety strategies draw upon school-based cyber safety and digital citizenship education, as well as the information and skills they gain through peer networks, sibling relationships, and conversations with the adults in their lives.

In February 2013 the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre published their report: Enhancing parents’ knowledge and practice of online safety. It states:

“Rather than sliding into a moral vacuum when they go online, young people draw upon the same moral framework that shapes their offline engagements. This under lines the importance of parents continuing to have open and ongoing conversations with young people about their online activities that reiterate their family’s values.”

This report is significant because it dispels much of the mythology surrounding the use of digital media and Internet use by young people. Having tech-savvy adults around them supports young people to engage online in safe, smart, respectful and responsible ways and proposes the need for the fostering of intergenerational conversations about technology use to achieve this.

An infographic at www.teachthought.com takes a more student-friendly approach by defining digital citizenship in terms of its actions and habits: using, sifting, mastering, creating–the literal actions that ultimately define the tone of a student’s interactions with their digital environments.