I am a respectful (and respected) digital citizen when I:

  • get permission from friends and peers before sharing things involving them online

  • respect the opinions of others I interact with, even when I disagree with them.  I can disagree respectfully without being a troll.

  • use technology to communicate with and gain a better understanding of people from different cultures


Online behavior can have real-life consequences, for you and for others.  When people do not respect others in an online space, they troll, post incendiary comments and remarks, and hurt others.  Sometimes, people can cause harm to others without even knowing it.  Examples of this might be posting inappropriate pictures of someone else without their wishes.  Even when done without intending to harm, consequences for that person can ensue, as employers, college recruiters, and others in positions of power may find these pictures, tarnishing their reputation.

At the same time, the Internet affords new opportunities for gaining respect for others, too.  There is no faster potential source of information, not the least of which includes other people, than the Internet in terms of building bridges between people of various backgrounds, as students can learn about, and learn from others.  Students should have an opportunity to seek out and understand different backgrounds and perspectives, in civil forums, in order to gain a better understanding in an interconnected world.


  • Maine Learning Results - Guiding Principles

    • D. Responsible and involved citizen

      • “Understands and respects diversity.”

  • American Association of School Librarians - Standards for the 21st Century Learner

    • 1. Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge

      • 1.3 Responsibilities

        • 1.3.2:  “Seek divergent perspectives during information gathering and assessment” (p. 4).

    • 3. Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society

      • 3.3 Responsibilities

        • 3.3.2:  “Respect the differing interests and experiences of others, and seek a variety of viewpoints” (p. 6).

    • 4. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth

      • 4.3 Responsibilities

        • 4.3.1: “Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person” (p. 7).

        • 4.3.4: “Practice safe and ethical behaviors in personal electronic communication and interaction” (p. 7).

  • American School Counselor Association - National Standards for Students

    • Standard C:  “Students will understand safety and survival skills”

      • PS:C1:  Acquire Personal Safety Skills

        • PS:C1.7:  “Apply effective problem-solving and decision-making skills to make safe and healthy choices”

  • ISTE Standards - Students

    • 2. Communication and Collaboration - “Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.”

      • c. “Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures”

    • 5. Digital citizenship - “Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.”

      • a. “Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology”

Students can demonstrate this trait when they:

  • Communicate, both directly and indirectly, with others on the Internet.

  • Offer critiques to the perspectives and work of others in a respectful manner, and respond likewise to critiques of their perspectives and work.

  • Ask others before posting pictures of them or their work or ideas.

Tools that students can use to demonstrate these traits:

  • Kidblog:  Moderated blogging platform for students and schools.  Teachers can make student blogs public, or only accessible by certain people or other KidBlog classes.  Teachers can also moderate blog posts and comments and determine what students post online.

  • ePals:  Online platform where teachers can connect directly with other teachers around the world to facilitate cultural exchanges and other learning activities.

  • Two Way Interactive Connections in Education (TWICE):  focused on connecting classrooms by videoconference, specifically for use with the Tandberg units.  Teachers can post potential projects for others to see and connect with.

  • Flat Stanley Project:  based on the popular children’s book series, classrooms connect and send each other a Flat Stanley in the mail.  Receiving classrooms then take Flat Stanley on an adventure through their school and community, collecting pictures and artifacts and logging every detail in a journal, to eventually be sent back to their original classrooms.  Flat Stanley Projects can also now be facilitated electronically through their iOS app.

Lessons from Common Sense Media