Digital responsibility, also known as digital citizenship, should be taught to all public, private and home school students learning to use the internet, smart phones or other digital devices.

Listed below, by grade level, are things that should be taught in order that all young people learn digital responsibility.

Kindergarten - 3rd Grade

4th - 6th Grade

Middle School - (7th - 8th Grade)

High School - (9th - 12th Grade)


  • Technology is a tool, not a toy.

  • Technology in transport. (how to care for my device when moving around the room or when taking it somewhere)

  • Responsible photo capture (learning to ask permission before taking a picture and learning what is an appropriate subject for a photo)

4th - 6TH GRADE

  • Technology as a tool for creative self-expression and accessing interests

  • Teaching about cyberbullying

  • Learning to use social media as a means for communication

( 7TH - 8TH GRADE)

  • Teaching about cyberbullying

  • Teaching students how to do research on-line and what constitutes an authoritative source.

  • Teaching about plagiarism.

  • Using social media as a means of communication.

( 9th - 12th GRADE)

High School (9th – 12th):

  • Teaching about holistic health by avoiding alcohol, drugs and the misuse of technology.

  • Teaching about the responsibility each other has by regulating their time on the device and how they use the device.

  • How to use social media for professional networking and not how to use it to “hook-up”.

This article is a reprint (with my modifications and comments) by Paul Emerich France from the January/February 2016 issue of Literacy Today; vol. 33, issue 4; page 29

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