Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model digital citizenship in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.

2.1.a Digital Footprint

Students cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation, and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.

2.1.b Online Behavior

Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including in social interactions online or when using networked devices.

2.1.c Intellectual Property

Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including in social interactions online or when using networked devices.

2.1.d Digital Privacy

Students manage their personal data to maintain digital privacy and security, and are aware of data-collection technology used to track their navigation online.

In the era of digital learning environments, where technology is readily available and accessible, students are acquiring skills to adhere to an additional set of rules and expectations. As digital novices, students must not only stay informed but also exhibit diligence and conscientiousness in overseeing their digital footprint (1.2.a).

At the elementary school, we teach students about the different aspects of digital citizenship. Before students are allowed to use their devices, a technology user agreement is shared with families for parents to read, sign and return to school. After that step is completed, teachers unpack the user agreement with students.

Figure 1: Technology User Agreement (student version)

Common Sense Media ( serves as an excellent resource for both educators and parents. I find their digital citizenship curriculum thorough, age-appropriate and effective in helping students understand how to responsibly leverage technology to enrich their learning and the learning of those around them. Beginning in kindergarten all the way to high school, lessons from Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship curriculum ( encompass the top concerns for schools and families by addressing these core areas: 

  • Media Balance & Well-Being
  • Privacy & Security
  • Digital Footprint & Identity
  • Relationships & Communication
  • Cyberbullying, Digital Drama & Hate Speech
  • News & Media Literacy

Figure 2: Image from Common Sense Media

In my school, when addressing online behavior and how students can engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology (1.2.b), we approach it from the standpoint of safety and responsibility. We have a school mantra: We care for OURSELVES, OTHERS and SPACES by being respectful and safe.

This applies to our actions not only in the classroom, or at the playground, but in every learning space that we find ourselves in, both physical spaces as well as digital learning spaces. 

In our literacy and inquiry units in fourth grade, students embark on research as they write about various subjects. For example, when students choose high-interest topics, such as the different breeds of dogs, top K-Pop bands and famous cricket stadiums to write their list articles, they research information using online databases and resources.  For example, they gather information from World Book Encyclopedia and Pebble Go, in addition to books from the library and digital books on EPIC ( I unpack the concept of intellectual property and stress the importance of understanding our obligations when we use someone else’s intellectual property (1.2.c). We learn to show respect by citing where we get our information and giving credit to organizations, websites and individuals.

Our digital resources include using Google Classroom and Zearn, where learners log in using information that is unique to them. They learn about the purpose of keeping their login details secure as a way of safeguarding their personal information, monitoring their own progress and sharing their work with others in a responsible manner (1.2.d). 

Each school year, students delve into digital citizenship and demonstrate their competence as responsible digital citizens. They continually enhance their understanding to adeptly navigate the technology-infused learning environments, enabling them to actively engage with their surroundings.