There’s lots to think about when it comes to ensuring guidelines for safety and proper etiquette for our digital students in their tech-oriented lives. What’s the best way to guide students towards global digital citizenship practices? 

Let’s begin at the beginning. Digital Citizenship without the “global” can be seen as 9 elements under 3 headings:

Respect self/others

  • digital etiquette
  • digital access
  • digital law

Educate self/connect with others

  • digital communication
  • digital literacy
  • digital commerce

Protect self/others

  • digital rights and responsibilities
  • digital security or self-protection
  • digital health and wellness


Remember that it’s not always about technology, either. It’s also about the processes we use to think and go about generating solutions. That’s why we include the processes of the 21st Century Fluencies:

Global digital citizenship practices put focus on real-world problem solving. They’re about getting students communicating globally in a way that enriches their community and the world.

The Path to Global Digital Citizenship Practices

One must imagine what true global digital citizenship practices look like through the eyes of the global digital citizen themselves. This is someone who is engaged fully in society through digital means. They are using the 9 elements transparently and ubiquitously. They practice the 5 Fluencies, and contribute positive effects at personal, local, and global levels.

The globe concept eco

To define the components of an awesome “roadmap,” we want to incorporate the most effective elements of 21st Century teaching.

  1. Project-based learning
  2. Flipped lessons
  3. Ongoing, ungraded, relavent formative assessment
  4. Teacher as “guide on the side”
  5. Student-directed learning
  6. Collaboration
  7. Differentiation
  8. Critical thinking

Tools to Help You Begin

The true components will be up to you and your community’s needs and readiness. Here’s our suggested roadmap to global digital citizenship practices.

First, start with your curriculum. Amy Erin Borovoy gives us a great list of 12 videos which can serve as flipped content for digital citizenship. Assigning a video per week could serve as the material to discuss during regular class sessions, or short activities could stem from each video.


When the time is right, use a project-based learning unit to create an overarching project that solves a real world problem. Use our Solution Fluency Activity Planner for this. It’s laid out in a way that allows you to think clearly toward your learning goals, adapting as you go and collaborating with others.

Some Suggestions

What are some real-world problems that can be solved through great digital citizenship practices? What about having your class connect, communicate, and spread the word to students from other countries about cyber safety?

What can we do to ensure that every child in our community is protected from unsafe Internet traps? Here are some other tips from Andrew Miller on Edutopia.

Beginning with a Single Step

The first step in a better road map is to know your topic. You’ll need a clear definition of digital citizenship and the broader global digital citizenship. Envision what a true Global Digital Citizen looks like. The Global Digital Citizen QuickStart Guide below will help you.

You’d also need to know what teaching techniques/models will best serve lifelong learning, be it the ones mentioned above or ones that you come up with on your own. The only guiding principle is that global digital citizenship is learned by doing. Fortunately for you, “doing” is what your students and you do best!


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