Diana Fingal
Infographic: Citizenship in the digital age

There has never been a better time to be a young creator!

Free and low-cost digital tools allow students to write blogs, share their photos and art work on social media, create videos and develop a YouTube following, and collaborate on projects with peers around the world.

These are just a few of the ways today’s young citizens – digital citizens – are taking advantage of the opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world. But along with those opportunities come responsibilities. Students must learn to act and model behavior that is safe, legal and ethical.

The elements of digital citizenship, it turns out, are not so different from the basic tenets of traditional citizenship: Be kind, respectful and responsible, and participate in activities that make the world a better place.

Just as all kids throughout the centuries have needed help from their parents, teachers and mentors along the path to becoming good citizens, our digital natives need guidance as they learn how to apply the elements of citizenship to the realities they encounter in a connected world.  

“As many educators know, most students want to do the right thing — and will, if they know what that is,” said Mike Ribble, author of Digital Citizenship in Schools and co-founder of the new Digital Citizenship Network. “Let’s help them do great things with technology while avoiding the pitfalls.”

Check out the infographic below to see how the characteristics of a good citizen parallel — and differ from — those of a good digital citizen.

DigCit poster