Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship can be defined as the norms or appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use.

The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship

1. Digital Access: full electronic participation in society.

Digital exclusion makes it difficult to grow as a society. To become productive citizens, we need to be committed to make sure no one is denied digital access.

2. Digital Commerce: electronic buying and selling of goods.

The availability of Internet purchases has become commonplace to many users. Some online activities are in conflict with the laws and morals of some countries, such as illegal downloading or gambling. Users need to learn how to be effective consumers in a digital economy.

3. Digital Communication: electronic exchange of information

Today we have the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with anyone from anyhwere at anytime. Everyone needs to know the importance of making appropriate decisions when faced with so many different digital communication options.

4. Digital Literacy: process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology.

Learners must be taught how to learn in a digital society. Learners must be thaught to learn anything, anytime, anywhere. Business, military, and medicine are excellent examples of how technology is being used differently in the 21st century. As new technologies emerge, learners need to learn how to use that technology quickly and appropriately.

5. Digital Etiquette: electronic standards of conduct or procedure.

We recognize inappropriate behavior when we see it, but before people use technology they do not learn digital etiquette (ie. appropriate conduct). Often rules and regulations are created or the technology is simply banned to stop inappropriate use. It is not enough to create rules, we must teach everyone to become responsible digital citizens.

6. Digital Law: electronic responsibilities for actions and deeds.

There are certain rules of society that users need to be aware in an ethical society. These laws apply to anyone who works and plays online. Hacking into others information, downloading illegal music, plagiarizing, creating destructive worms, viruses, or creating Trojan Horses, sending spam, or stealing anyone's identity or property is unethical.

7. Digital Rights and Responsibilities: those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world.

Basic digital rights must be addressed, discussed, and understood in a digital world. With these rights also come responsibilities. 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.

8. Digital Health and Wellness: physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world.

Eye safety, repretitive stress syndrome, and sound ergonomic practices are issues that need to be addressed in a new technological world. Beyond the physical issues are those of the psychological issues that are becoming more prevalent such as Internet addication. Digital Citizenship includes a culture where technology users are taught how to protect themselves through education and training.

9. Digital Security (self-protection): electronic precautions to guarantee safety.

In any society, there are individuals who steal, deface, or disrupt other people. The same is true for the digital community. We need to have virus protection, packups of data, and surge control for our equipment. As responsibile citizens, we must protect our information from outside forces that might cause disruption or harm.