Before creating our Digital Citizenship Citizens 3.0 Project we researched the importance of an effective digital citizenship program and what it would encompass. View our research findings below.
- It's important for schools to re-examine their acceptable use policies and make sure they focus on preparing students to be digital citizens. Acceptable use policies should also be written in language that students and parents can understand. (Alberta Education 2012; Rader, 2002; Ribble 2011).
- Appropriate professional development needs to be provided to educators so they have the knowledge and skills to teach students about digital citizenship. (Anastasiades & Vitalaki, 2011; Keengwe, Schnellert, Jonas, 2014; Ribble, 2011; Ribble, 2012).
- Learning experiences in the classroom need to be designed to prepare students to participate in the world of the Internet. Students should be given opportunities to participate in online activities such as communication with peers, blogging, and use of social networks in the classroom to develop positive digital citizenship skills that can transferred outside of the classroom (Nebel, Jamison, Bennett, 2009; Ribble, 2011; Ribble, 2012; Richards, 2011; Wishart, 2004; Young, 2014).
- Teaching of digital citizenship is a shared responsibility between home and school (Hollandsworth, Dowdy, Donovan, 2011; Moreno, Egan, Bare, Young, Cox, 2013; Villano, 2008). Schools should provide parents with resources so they can build understanding of appropriate digital citizenship behaviours and continue the education at home (Ribble, 2012).
- A digital citizenship program needs to have a proactive approach that educates students on safe and responsible Internet use (Hollandsworth, Dowdy, Donovan, 2011; Rader, 2002; Villano, 2008).
- All stakeholders, teachers, parents, administration, technology professionals, and media specialists, need to work together to develop and support an effective digital citizenship program (Hollandsworth, Dowdy, Donovan, 2011; Oxley, 2011, Rader, 2002; Ribble, 2011; Ribble & Miller, 2013).
- An effective digital citizenship program needs to include lessons that build on each other in each school year (Hollandsworth, Dowdy, Donovan, 2011). Students need to be taught about copyright so they know what is appropriate when accessing and using information obtained online (Rader, 2002; Villano, 2008; Young, 2014).
- Students need to be taught about their digital footprint and educated about the implications of their online behaviours and the impact it will have on their future life (Hollandsworth, Dowdy, Donovan, 2011; Oxley, 2011; Young, 2014).
- Teachers should model ethical online behaviours and be role models for their students (Rader, 2002; Villano, 2008).