Day 5 of 20 Days to BlogTastic - Digital Citizens

It's the second week of 20 Days to BlogTastic.  You've reached Day 5 if you'd like to get involved with this training please click here

Today we're thinking a little more than doing, we'll be looking at digital citizenship or what should really just be called citizenship now as we're integrating technology into so much of our lives.  

As a blog is your live learning journey or diary it's a great place to teach your class about citizenship and how to deal with situations that are both good and bad in a digital environment.

Approach citizenship as a positive activity - always talking about what it looks like, feels like and sounds like to be a good citizen.  It's easy for you and and students to say what you shouldn't do. Challenge yourself and your students to go deeper and think about what should be happening, there's lots of room for debate in these discussions.

Here is NetSafe's definition of a digital citizen released in 2010 

A digital citizen:- 
  • is a confident and capable user of digital technology 
  • can identify digital challenges and effectively manage them 
  • uses digital technologies to participate in economic, educational and cultural activities 
  • uses critical thinking skills when online 
  • is literate in the language, symbols, and texts of digital technologies 
  • uses digital technology to relate to others in positive, meaningful ways 
  • demonstrates honesty and integrity and ethical behaviour when using digital technology 
  • respects the concepts of privacy and freedom of speech in a digital world; and models the values of digital citizenship

How does a blog help build citizenship
  • Creates a voice for your students online
  • Whole class blogs should be negotiated with your students what do they think should be there why? why not?
  • Promotes discussion 
  • It's real, they get real comments from real people and can talk about how that makes them feel.  

Here are a list of great resources for teachers and students about citizenship:

You might like to try some of these videos as starters... or do a search for Digital Citizenship on youtube there are plenty of great videos out there... 

For Students
For Teachers, Parents, Board of Trustees and Management Staff
You might also consider a digital citizenship agreement if your school doesn't already have one.  Netsafe has a few sample agreements that are a good place to start - they definitely need to be carefully read through and tailored to your school and your situation.

We also have a permission to publish document that parents sign when their child is enrolled at the school.  This is something that you need to consider if you don't already have one at your school.  It's important that parents are aware that you are publishing their children's work, video and audio of their child and in some cases their child's first name.

Things to think about before making a blog post
  • Is a blog the best place for this message?
  • Do I have permission to publish this content?
    • Permission from parents
    • Copyright 
  • Is this content ...
    • Enjoyable to read?
    • Informative and useful?
    • Positive?
    • About teaching and learning?
    • Correct and true?
Not all of these questions are going to be true all the time, you need to use your professional judgement.  Ask other teachers what they think, speak with your team leaders / managers / senior management if you're unsure.

Your challenge today is to develop a clear understanding of what your schools policies and procedures are around publishing online. Post something on your blog that gives students a few guidelines to think about when using the blog - keep it simple! 

As part of the blog posts you'll be doing over the next few weeks you'll also need to get students to start taking photos of learning today.  Choose 2-4 students you're going to train up as photographers and get them to take photos of your learning throughout today and the rest of this week.  We'll use these photos in later challenges

Make a commitment to re-visit citizenship in your class, with your blog, on a regular basis now that it's up and running.  Five to Ten minutes is fine for building understanding and giving students reminders about being a good citizen.

Have you completed the challenge?
Remember to update your challenge spreadsheet!  
If you'd like to join the challenge please click here for more information
See you tomorrow!


  1. Hi Angela, Our guidelines have been posted.

  2. Have completed this challenge, posted our DigiSMART SOLO on our class blog, this is also in our room, and gone over our policy, thanks

    1. Great, thanks for sharing, will take a peek at your DigiSMART Solo later interested to see what other schools have created and shared with their students.

  3. I haven't posted anything on the blog about the, however we have been through it in class and every family receives a copy of the school guidelines when they start

    1. That's great Katherine, the idea behind having a policy or link to something simple on your blog is to give students and your community a reminder about them.


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