Is teaching your students how to become good digital citizens bound to become a standard part of the lesson plan for civics class?
It probably should be, according to the Education Development Center. They present the definition of digital citizenship—responsible and appropriate use of online media—and cite the power technology gives to those who would use it to bully others as the primary driver to define appropriate use.
The good news is digital citizenship is a value and skill set you can teach. But why?
At the basic level, kids need to learn good digital citizenship because of the incredible reach of the digital realm. After all, cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, anyplace where a child has online access, and it’s especially harmful because it can occur anonymously and spread quickly to scores of bystanders. And while it might seem nearly impossible to protect children from cyberbullying, there is a lot adults can do to prevent it, including teaching their children to use technology in a safe and responsible manner.
To help you do that, the site is packed with important information and tips for keeping children safe online. This includes six interactive scenarios that take the visitor through different situations involving cyberbullying and digital citizenship, allowing you to hear real-life conversations between parents and youth, centered on choosing positive life paths and optimal outcomes.
The site also includes sections on understanding, preventing, and intervening in cyberbullying. They’re loaded with practical advice on how to tell if a child is being cyberbullied, who is likely to be involved, realistic consequences, and many other facets of digital harassment.
Want to learn more about digital citizenship? The site offers a handy pdf, “What is Digital Citizenship?,” that presents a concise definition and summary of why the values involved are so important to the understanding and prevention of cyberbullying.

If you haven't yet, head on over to 31 for 31 to check out our School Bullying Prevention Difference Makers.