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Six guidelines for practicing digital citizenship

Tools to help youth and educators understand appropriate and exemplary behaviors in an online environment have never been more needed in our current heavily politicized social media age.

The Global Digital Citizen Foundation has put together a list of 18 recommended digital citizenship web resources for teachers, and included within the article six guidelines to teach students how to practice digital citizenship. These are:

  1. Respect for self: Having respect for yourself is about being aware of how you portray yourself with your online persona. In doing so, you will set a positive example for others to follow.
  2. Responsibility for self: We must be mindful to avoid behavior that puts us at risk, both online and offline. Acting responsibly encourages exemplary personal governance as a habit of mind and adds to our sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
  3. Respect for others: Respecting others teaches us the value of being constructive and friendly online. It’s about modeling behavior that focuses on civility and constructive thinking in the face of conflict.
  4. Responsibility for others: Don’t be afraid to report abusive and inappropriate behavior towards others. This is how we come to see the value in making others feel protected and valued themselves.
  5. Respect for property: Asking permission to share another’s intellectual properties is an important practice. Those who devote their time to creativity in the service of others deserve no less. Learn the rules of “fair use” and copyright laws, and how they apply to sourcing and using online information.
  6. Responsibility for property: Treating our property and others’ with care and respect, including intellectual properties, is vital to preserving our digital and global communities. Remember that any kind of digital piracy is still theft and is not a victimless crime. Make a choice to act with integrity and to value what we use or own.

Read more at the Global Digital Citizen Foundation.