Digital Citizenship: Foundational Understandings

Digital Citizenship Foundational UnderstandingsThis section provides references from different important sources about Digital Citizenship. They range from explanations through multiple media to practical applications through lessons. Later sections will dive deeper into each component based on the MITECS indicators for Digital Citizenship and the bigger picture. Use this section to become familiar with the key understandings for deeper applications later on.

Digital Citizenship Overview and entry points into the toolkit. (Video version)


Resources for New Learning

Questions for Reflection

Potential Tasks for Skill Development


  1. MITECS (pdf)
    Breaks out five key areas of competency for all students for 21st Century Skills and  instructional technology
  2. 9 Elements for Digital Citizenship
    This important guide lays out an important context for students to become strong Digital Citizenship.
  3. ISTE Standards for: 
    These standards inform instructional decisions through  Digital Citizenship elements for concrete practice.
  4. Common Sense Media (CSM):
    This site provides access to curriculum that focuses on developing digital citizens, K through 12.
  5. REMC Association of Michigan:
    The REMC Association of Michigan, in collaboration with organizations across the state, has created valuable resources to support you in implementing Digital Citizenship.


  1. The MITECS by Age Band provides a view of Digital Citizenship and other skills. How do the other skills complement the development of the whole child for Citizenship?
  2. Of the 9 Elements for Digital Citizenship, which three, including #5 Digital Etiquette, are most important for Educators & students to master? Why?
  3. Review ISTE Standard Two indicators for Digital Citizen regarding Educators and/or Students. Share one indicator from each group that you will focus on for yourself and the students. Explain the reasoning.
  4. Reviewing page two of the CSM: Snapshot, which two elements are most impactful to your students and their learning? Explain why.
  5. Describe how which of the following would be of most use to you and your colleagues:
    21Things4Students - A free online curriculum to help middle school students improve their technology proficiency as they prepare for success in the real world.
    21Things4Teachers - Free personalized learning tutorials, hands-on activities, how-to videos, and resources to build technology skills for 21st Century educators.


  1. Review the MITECS by Age Band. Based on the age group(s) that you work with, analyze how the age-appropriate indicators for Digital Citizenship could be incorporated into a learning experience.
  2. With students, design a poster that unpacks 3-5 9 Elements into a guide for professional Digital Etiquette. Consider doing the same for the other two 9 Elements for Digital Citizenship that you previously identified.
  3. Create a reflection checklist for educators or students based on 2-3 of the standard 2 indicators. What do they look like when observed? Use the checklist as a reflection on practice and growth in the identified indicator.
  4. Review the CSM overview for the full curriculum. Explore 2-3 elements and find at least two lessons that you could use or adapt for your students within the school academic curriculum. 
  5. Explore one of the two resources:

    Collect 1-2 ideas that you will use and/or share with your colleagues.



  • ISTE: The New Digital Citizenship
    This poster provides a helpful graphic organizer for the newly organized components for Digital Citizenship by ISTE (pdf).
  • Teacher Channel: 30 videos about Digital Citizenship
    Use these videos for reflection on practice in learning teams with colleagues. There are many examples of practice and interviews for gaining insights by others.
  • 21 Things 4 the 21st Century Administrator
    Grow in use of digital tools that support the work as leaders. Explore how to deepen competencies using tools for important 21st Century skills that educators need to model so students can learn them. 
  • Tools to Support Digital Learning
    Explore a variety of tools that colleges and businesses use for building connections and shrinking the distance for cross-global collaboration.
  • MITechKids
    It contains many resources for understanding and teaching Digital Citizenship.
  • ISTE Digital Citizenship resources
    Find articles on a range of topics regarding Digital Citizenship. The topics can be found under all the elements of this toolkit.
  • DigCit Resource Roundup
    Explore a variety of articles written by educators for educators that address the different elements of Digital Citizenship.
  • Cyberwise
    Explore a variety of articles that address the different elements of Digital Citizenship.

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Sue Schwartz
Executive Director