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Introduction to Digital Citizenship for Teachers and Parents

Introduction to Digital Citizenship for Teachers and Parents

Author: Lauren Brownell

Knowledge is power and the objective of this packet is to empower educators and parents by introducing them to the vast research, information and resources that have already been developed to help them and their children utilize technology and be safe and responsible while doing it.  Digital Citizenship is our goal and is the extraordinary resource we will explore in this packet.   

Technology is changing every aspect of the world in which we live, including the ways in which children are being educated. While it sometimes feels overwhelming to be trying to figure technology out for ourselves, the issue for educators and parents is doubly challenging. The concept of digital citizenship can serve as a guide to help navigate the waters of incorporating technology into educational curriculum and keeping children safe while doing it. This packet explores the concept of digital citizenship and provides an excellent introductory resource.

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Digital Citizenship Defined

In his book Digital Community, Digital Citizen (Corwin Press, 2010), Dr. Jason Ohler explains that, "Digital Citizenship is a holistic and positive approach to helping children learn how to be safe and secure, as well as smart and effective participants in a digital world. That means helping them understand their rights and responsibilities, recognize the benefits and risks, and realize the personal and ethical implications of their actions."Cover of Dr. Jason Ohler's book on Digital Citizenship


As parents, we often lament that our children did not come with an instruction manual.  However, when it comes to navigating the waters of parenting in this technological age, understanding and utilizing the resources available to you will help ease your concerns about how technology can effectively be integrated into your child's education. The tools available will also help you develop parameters and a set of standards for technology use in your own home.

Comprehensive Presentation on Digital Citizenship

This is the slideshow that accompanied a full presentation to the constituents of Digital Citizenship (parents, teachers, administrators) in Osseo, MN. It is full of resources, questions to guide discussion, and outlines for action plans. An excellent starting place for those wishing to truly understand the concept of digital citizenship.

What's Next?

This packet has provided a brief introduction to the concept of Digital Citizenship. The next packet, "Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship", will explore how to develop and implement actionable plans that will allow you and your children to become responsible digital citizens and continue to demonstrate that when it comes to technology in education, there is nothing for a well informed parent or teacher to fear.