Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship Week


Digital Citizenship Week happens the third week in October every year, but you do not have to wait until then to teach digital citizenship. With the increased prevalence of social media pervading the lives of our students, anytime is a good opportunity to educate students of all ages in digital citizenship.

The research on the impact of social media and the internet on young people is extensive and convincing. Impacts include but are not limited to: cyber bullying (1), vaping use (2), depression (3), physical activity (4), body image disorders (5), and social-emotional wellness (6).

Fortunately there are extensive free resources available to educators to effectively teach digital citizenship to students at all grade levels.

Common Sense Education pioneered Digital Citizenship Week ten years ago and has excellent resources for educators and parents including award winning lesson plans, a video about digital citizenship, and a family engagement toolkit.

Technology giant Google has created Be Internet Awesome, a comprehensive program for all grades with ISTE aligned lesson plans, interactive challenges for younger students with four games of important lessons called Interland, and a family pledge of commitments to support students at home.

The Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe) mission is “to provide a safe digital landscape for children, schools, and families by supporting the protection of student privacy, while advancing learning in a digital culture.” iKeepSafe offers comprehensive resources for educators including cybersecurity curriculum, FERPA and COPPA training.

Connect Safely provides in-depth guides for educators and parents on Education Technology, Social Media, and Creativity and Copyright. Topics include AR, VR, Metaverse, Gaming, Misinformation, Safety, and Cyber Bullying.

Nearpod offers extensive interactive digital citizenship lessons that engage students using their excellent platform.


(1) Parris, L., Lannin, D. G., Hynes, K., & Yazedjian, A. (2022). Exploring social media rumination: associations with bullying, cyberbullying, and distress. Journal of interpersonal violence, 37(5-6), NP3041-NP3061.

(2) Lee, J. (2021). Association between social media use and vaping among Florida adolescents, 2019. Preventing Chronic Disease, 18.

(3) Primack, B. A., Shensa, A., Sidani, J. E., Escobar-Viera, C. G., & Fine, M. J. (2021). Temporal associations between social media use and depression. American journal of preventive medicine, 60(2), 179-188.

(4) Hudimova, A., Popových, I., Savchuk, O., Liashko, V., Pyslar, A., & Hrys, A. (2021). Research on the relationship between excessive use of social media and young athletes physical activity. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 21(6), 3364-3373.

(5) Jiotsa, B., Naccache, B., Duval, M., Rocher, B., & Grall-Bronnec, M. (2021). Social media use and body image disorders: Association between frequency of comparing one’s own physical appearance to that of people being followed on social media and body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(6), 2880.

(6) Twenge, J. M. (2019). More time on technology, less happiness? Associations between digital-media use and psychological well-being. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 28(4), 372-379.