Digital Citizenship at MICDS:

A Student-Parent-Teacher Partnership

More than ever our nation needs responsible men and women who can meet the challenges of this world with confidence and embrace all its people with compassion. The next generation must include those who think critically and resolve to stand for what is good and right.

Our School cherishes academic rigor, encourages and praises meaningful individual achievement, and fosters virtue. Our independent education prepares young people for higher learning and for lives of purpose and service.

--The MICDS Mission Statement

In the 21st century, being able to "meet the challenges of this world" also includes the online world where we learn and socialize. In their book **Digital Citizenship in Schools**, Gerald Bailey and Mike Ribble address the issue of living in a digital society:

  • Today, billions of people all over the planet interact using various technologies. This interaction has created a digital society that affords its members opportunities for education, employment, entertainment, and social interaction. As in any society, it is expected that digital citizens act in a certain way—according to accepted norms, rules, and laws. Most of today’s students are entirely comfortable with technology, but are they using it appropriately? Do they understand their roles and responsibilities in digital society? How can teachers help students become responsible digital citizens?

Digital citizenship can be described as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use. Ribble and Bailey have identified nine elements of digital citizenship that can be grouped into three broad categories:

Student Learning and Academic Performance
1. Digital Access: full electronic participation in society
2. Digital Literacy: the process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology
3. Digital Communication: electronic exchange of information

School Environment and Student Behavior
4. Digital Security and Safety: electronic precautions to guarantee safety/physical well-being in a digital technology world
5. Digital Etiquette: electronic standards of conduct or procedure
6. Digital Rights and Responsibilities: those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world

Student Life Outside the School Environment
7. Digital Commerce: electronic buying and selling of goods
8. Digital Health and Wellness: physical and psychological well-being
9. Digital Law: rights and restrictions

We will use these nine elements to learn about digital citizenship. Each month, we will explore one of the elements, in advisory and at home, so that all of us--students, parents, and teachers--can learn how to meet the challenges of the digital world.