ISTE 4: Digital Citizenship

ISTE 4 asks teachers to comprehend the social issues and responsibilities, on a local and global scale, that are involved with the ethical and legal behavior of digital culture.

Therefore, because instruction and differentiation are central to good teaching practices, and therefor part of the ethical praxis of a teacher, how can teachers address the societal issue of integrating technology within the classroom in a way that is both grounded in the broader framework of digital literacy for students and instills responsible learning habits for the students (including the understanding of basic copyright and creative commons practices, legal limitations for youth and the internet, individualized instruction and self-assessment, navigating the internet with global etiquette, and developing a cultural understanding of the world at large through the digital interface)?

In exploring this question I came across several resources, articles mostly, that can help a teacher align their priorities and educational objectives when integrating technology in the classroom.

This article ( written by Christopher McGilvery (2012) reviews many tech teaching concepts such as: caring for technology equipment; safe sites for learning; copyright law and creative commons; cyberbullying; digital self-image; netiquette; and other essential topics for the technology enabled classroom. McGilvery (2012) includes lesson plan boosters on Digital Literacy, thinking before hitting “send,” and the ‘Facebook’ score and Hiring Decisions.

Here, as part of a LinkedIn group, I found an article ( that emphasizes the importance of learning. Lorna Keane (2015) describes the problem with the SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) model that is often used with technology integration in schools. “Once technology integration alone becomes a goal, we’re doing something wrong (Keane, 2015).” The essence of this article emphasizes independent learning, personalization, student voice, and critical thinking as essential aspect of learning (and that these things can be assisted by technology).

So, how is a teacher to do this? One hurdle may be the digital literacy of the teacher. In this case, there are several resources online that can help a teacher to develop competency with teaching digital literacy and citizenship. ( has tutorials designed for adults in multiple technology streams. These lessons include: using a computer or mobile device, software and applications, using the internet, communicating on the web, and child online protection.

My colleague Shawn Cudney, is working with an online tool that would be an excellent place for any educator to start. This teen pledge ( empowers students to make the right choices online while engaging with educational technology and while they are engaging with technology for personal and social pursuits.

For teachers that have experience with technology Carey (2014) provides an excellent description on how to infuse digital literacy throughout the curriculum ( Carey (2014) posits that evaluating online content is a research skill, engaging online is a modern communication skill, and that student projects can become digital. Teaching digital literacy does not mean that technology will take over the classroom. However, integrating technology into the curriculum, is an essential 21st Century skill for every classroom.



Carey, J. (2014, March 26). How to Infuse Digital Literacy Throughout the Curriculum. Retrieved March 1, 2015, from

Keane, L. (2015, February 19). Technology for the Sake of Technology: The Problem with SAMR. Retrieved February 19, 2015, from

McGilvery, C. (2012, January 1). Help Kids Become Responsible Digital Citizens. Retrieved February 19, 2015, from

Author: David Orace Kelly

International Teacher - Arts and Education Leader

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