Skip to Main Content

GMMS Library: Digital Citizenship

Things to think about

Consider the following questions before you post:

Will I feel good or different about it later?

Social media comes with one golden rule, don't post when you are angry. A split second of rage can have permanent consequences.

Why am I posting?

Is this something you really want to post, does it really reflect your personality and values? Don't follow the crowd or post just to gain attention, as you might not like the response you get back.

Would I say this in person?

No? Then don't say it online. Social accounts are managed by real people with real feelings. If you talk about someone online, think about whether you would feel embarrassed or ashamed if you saw them in person. If so, you may want to ask again, why am I posting?

Can this be taken differently?

Sarcasm and irony do not often transfer well into writing, especially in a short social media post. Think about how others may read it; could it be seen as offensive?

Am I being kind?

Treat others with the respect that you would like to receive yourself. If you read it about yourself, would it make you feel good?

Is it really private?

People often excuse inappropriate posts based on the idea that the conversation is private, as it is on a private account. Consider how many connections you have, are all these people very close friends? Can you trust that each one of them won't share or talk about your post with others? Facebook statistics suggest that the average young user has up to 300 online friends. This private profile suddenly doesn't seem so private at all.

Do I have permission?

You might find that badly angled photograph of your friend amusing, but the likelihood is that they will not. Be respectful of other people's privacy; don't share photos or information that will embarrass or humiliate someone. 

Would I like me?

If you were a stranger looking in at your profile, what would you think? If most of your posts are in some way critical, unkind, offensive or negative, how do you think you are being perceived?   

Is it legal?

In the eyes of the law, posting online is not the same as having an informal chat with your friends. Posting is publishing, just the same as if it was written in the newspaper. Even if your profile is private, you do not own what you publish - meaning anyone can use it as evidence.

Make sure you do not post anything that might get you into trouble with the law. Harassment, hate speech, threats of violence, ruining someone's reputation and pictures or comments suggesting illegal activity can all be used against you.


What is Digital Citizenship?

Important Terms

Digital citizenship : refers to the responsible use of technology by anyone who uses computers, the Internet, and digital devices to engage with society on any level.

Digital Citizen : A digital citizen is a person using information technology in order to engage in society, politics, and government. As defined by Karen Mossberger, one of the authors of Digital Citizenship: The Internet, Society, and Participation, digital citizens are "those who use the internet regularly and effectively."

Online Safety : online safety refers to the act of staying safe online. It is also commonly known as internet safety, e-safety and cyber safety. It includes all devices which have access to the internet from PCs and laptops to smartphones and tablets.

Privacy : protection from being observed or tracked by others, including the government, the public, or selected individuals or groups

Privacy Policy: a legal document that an app or website must provide which describes what user information they collect and how they use it

Privacy Settings : choices a website or app provides users about what information is collected and visible to others

Why is this important?

  1.  Access refers to the amount of access students have to technology. Not every child will have a personal device or internet at home, so schools should be aware of this as they require students to use more technology.
  2. Commerce refers to the buying and selling of items online. These could be actual items or expertise through courses. This is an important aspect to share with parents and students because it can affect their future job choices.
  3. Community and Collaboration includes digital relationships. Teaching students how to appropriately interact on the internet is a huge part of digital citizenship.
  4. Etiquette covers the rules of conduct when interacting with the digital world. Knowing the rules before jumping online helps students be more aware of their digital footprint.
  5. Fluency or literacy refers to the process of using technology and its benefits. Students make better decisions when they are online if they are digitally fluent. This also refers to fact-checking and being able to determine fact from fiction when reading an online source.
  6. Health and Welfare looks at the physical and psychological side of technology. Is there such a thing as too much screen time? This aspect also covers cyber bullying and helping students be aware of what they say and post online.
  7. Law consists of the responsibility of using technology. Laws are there to protect the people who use devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets. These laws also govern topics like cyberbullying and sexting topics.
  8. Rights and Responsibilities refers to the freedoms that people have in the digital world as well as the real world. Everyone is entitled to their own ideas and opinions, but helping students use technology responsibly is a huge part of digital citizenship so that they can have continued access to it.
  9. Security and Privacy consists of not only protecting technology from viruses and other “bugs” that threaten the use of a piece of technology, but also protecting personal information. Teaching students to discern fraudulent websites and users is a huge key to keeping them safe.

Created By:

Miss Lockhart- Student Teacher to Ms. Murray 2021, Studying Library Science