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Infographic: The 9 Rules of Digital Citizenship

Posted by Deanna Zaucha on April 06, 2016

Citizenship is the qualities that a person is expected to have as a responsible member of a community. Therefore, digital citizenship is the qualities a person is expected to have as a responsible member of the digital community.

ISTE explains that…

"For all its wonders, the digital age has also introduced its fair share of challenges. From social media and cyber bullying to cybercrime, internet addiction and privacy concerns, today’s students face a wide range of difficult issues that previous generations never had to think about.”

Therefore, they have created nine rules (and a helpful infographic) for teachers to educate their students on what it means to be a good digital citizen in the classroom. Below you will find the nine rules of digital citizenship with explanations to assist in directly applying them to your own schools and classrooms.

1. A good digital citizen advocates for equal digital rights and access for all.
Currently, only 56% of Hispanic, 62% of African-American, and 74% of white U.S. citizens have internet access at home. Shouldn’t we try to close that achievement gap?

2. A good digital citizen treats others with respect in online spaces and never cyberbullies.
88% of social media-using teens have witnessed someone being mean or cruel. By introducing a positive behavior reinforcement system into technology-infused schools you begin to improve overall school culture. With a bit of incentive, students begin to extend good behavior in the classroom and beyond and even encourage others online to do the same.

3. A good digital citizen does not steal or damage others’ digital work, identity, or property.
While the average teen’s media player contains 800 unlicensed downloaded or shared songs, infusing digital citizenship skills into daily instruction can help students develop the skills necessary to thrive in a knowledge economy. This will help them make the best decision to not compromise others’ intelligence.

4. A good digital citizen makes appropriate decisions when communicating through a variety of digital channels.
Adding technology to the classroom can be a positive addition, but 6 million teens report that they have received inappropriate images from someone they know. This is why it is important to not only focus on enhancing communication, but the connections you make with your students to open a dialogue about the possible dangers of technology.

5. A good digital citizen uses digital tools to advance their learning and keep up with changing technologies.
96% of working Americans use digital technology on the job. This statistic should include teachers. Similar to Google’s 20% rule of spending time on projects outside of work, teachers can apply the 20% rule to class-time for students wanting to work on projects of their choosing and expand their learning.

6. A good digital citizen makes responsible online purchasing decisions and protects their payment information.
A typical teen reports having lost an average of $400 to cybercrime. Educating students on the appropriate ways to navigate, interact, create, and share on the web will help keep their privacy more private.

7. A good digital citizen upholds basic human rights in all digital forums.
26% of U.S. high school teachers believe websites should not publish freely without “government approval.” Do you agree?

8. A good digital citizen protects personal information from outside forces that might cause harm.
54% of teens frequently have private online conversations with strangers. This reminds us that digital citizenship isn’t only about dealing with online tools for education, but building a safe space for your students while they understand how to be internet-savvy.

9. A good digital citizen proactively limits health risks of technology, from physical to psychological.
The trick is knowing which statistics are technology myths and which are facts. For example, you may hear that 8% of youth ages 8-18 are addicted to video games, but do we know what type of video games? They could be education or development games that could be helpful to this age group.

For a daily reminder of these digital citizenship rules, download the infographic below to hang in your schools and classrooms.


From managing personal information to privacy laws, these topics impact instruction and everyday life. Help prepare educators and students for the responsibilities of a digital world – both in the classroom and at home.

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Topics: Education Trends, Professional Development, K-12 Education, Education Technology

Deanna Zaucha

Written by Deanna Zaucha

Deanna Zaucha is the Content Marketing Specialist at Chalkable, and also manages their social media presence. In her free time, she can be found on the dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with the latest trends in education, marketing, and technology. Read more from Deanna on Twitter.