Digital citizenship describes the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use. Digital citizenship helps set the stage for how we work with each other in a global, digital world.

The nine elements identified below (taken from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html) provide a good launching point for educators, students and parents; they serve as a beginning to developing a life long commitment to responsible and ethical use of technology in this digital age. Each element links to resources and activities for elementary and high school students and parents that help to develop an understanding of what it means to be a digital citizen. The resources and activities have been compiled by teams of educators from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who are participating in Powerful Learning Practice. Click on each element or use the lefthand navigation bar to reach the activities and resources for each strand.

The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship

1. Digital Access: full electronic participation in society.
Responsible digital citizens are committed to full access to resources. For educators, students, and parents, this element includes understanding of issues of monitoring, filtering, blocking, and ethical and equitable access to technology. In this section you will find resources and activities for students that will aid in understanding these issues.

2. Digital Commerce: electronic buying and selling of goods.
Educators, students and parents need to understand how to be effective and protected consumers in a new digital economy. Navigating online purchases safely and vetting online commercial sites are the topics of resources and activities in this area.

3. Digital Communication: electronic exchange of information.
With so many opportunities for collaboration and global communication, educators, students, and parents should develop understanding of appropriate communications using various types of technology. Awareness of varying means of communication and ability to select the one appropriate to a specific purpose is a characteristic of a good digital citizens and resources to support that development are found on this page.

4. Digital Literacy: process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology.
“The new literacies include the skills, strategies, and insights necessary to successfully exploit the rapidly changing information and communication technologies that continuously emerge in our world. A more precise definition of the new literacies may never be possible to achieve since their most important characteristic is that they regularly change; as new technologies for information and communication continually appear, new literacies emerge (Bruce, 1997) quoted here.
Learners in this digital age must be able to learn anything, anytime, anywhere. There is a need to critically evaluate sources for their validity, to read and interpret media, to be effective in truthfinding. Educators, students and parents can become more adept digital citizens when they use some of the strategies and resources found in this section.

5. Digital Etiquette: electronic standards of conduct or procedure.
As youngsters, we all learn proper etiquette. Now on the Internet, Netiquette is equally important. It is not enough to create rules and policy, we must teach everyone to become responsible digital citizens in this new society through developing understanding of norms in this environment. What kinds of language is expected, should all caps be used, how to enter a forum or discussion--Students, educators, and parents can benefit from the Netiquette resources in this strand.

6. Digital Law: electronic responsibility for actions and deeds
A good digital citizen is an ethical citizen--one who refrains from hacking into others' information, downloading illegal music, plagiarizing, creating destructive worms, viruses or creating Trojan Horses, sending spam, or stealing anyone’s identify or property. A good digital citizen has an understanding of copyright issues appreciates a creative commons license while creating digital content. In this strand are resources that can assist educators, students and parents in learning the complexity of these issues so they can apply these concepts ethically in their own work.

7. Digital Rights & Responsibilities: those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world.
"Just as in the American Constitution where there is a Bill of Rights, there is a basic set of rights extended to every digital citizen. Digital citizens have the right to privacy, free speech, etc.Basic digital rights must be addressed, discussed, and understood in the digital world. With these rights also come responsibilities as well.Users must help define how the technology is to be used in an appropriate manner. In a digital society these two areas must work together for everyone to be productive." source
In this strand, resources around privacy and free speech support educators, students, and parents as they become better digital citizens.

8. Digital Health & Wellness: physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world.
Digital Citizenship includes developing a culture where technology users are taught how to protect themselves from physical problems (eyesight, posture) and possible psychological issues (dependence). On the digital health and wellness page you will find resources that help students, educators, and parents with these issues.

9. Digital Security (self-protection): electronic precautions to guarantee safety.
Being safe, keeping our students safe, is a component of digital citizenship. In this last element are materials for educators, parents and students regarding safe use of the Internet.