Cyber Safety and Citizenship

Student Safety in Our Digital World, Digital Citizenship

Presented by: Crandall Hrynkiw, Superintendent of Learning Services, Horizon School Division & Larry Mikucik, Curriculum Coach, Horizon School Division

BYOD: Bring Your Own Device?

Horizon School Division No. 205 is highly committed to citizenship education, which they define as: “acquiring the knowledge, character, and skills necessary to have a positive impact on the function of an entire society in an inclusive manner.”   In light of the fact that “citizenship is not something that you have; it’s something that you do,” educators are keen to ensure that students are educated and supported to respect others’ rights and uphold their own responsibilities in their digital actions and interactions.

Digital citizenship encompasses a continuum from protective to proactive:

Protective:         How does one keep oneself safe and respect others’ right to safety?

Proactive:           How does one use digital media to promote positive change?

Drawing on the ISTE Standards for Students and Concentus Citizenship Education Resources ( ), students are taught why and how to be “proactive, empathetic, and responsible” digital citizens. (  )

There are many ways that students endanger themselves and others online, often under the radar of their caregivers and teachers.  It’s so critical for students to appreciate how public their seemingly private acts online are.  How can educators design learning which develops students’ capacity to empathize — so that they can imagine the effects that their actions may on others? To what extent do students understand that they create and shape their “digital identity” each and every time they act online?  The goal for digital citizenship education learning is to ensure that students can and do take good care of themselves and others online.

So, rather than asking students to put their devices away, the division instead asks them to BYOD: bring your own device.  They believe that the classroom and school community are places where students can learn the critical thinking skills and empathy essential for “responsible, respectful, and participatory” citizenship, both online and off.

E-Journalist Question: If more teachers integrate technology into learning and challenge students to think critically about it, will more students find school engaging and relevant?

Resources Which Support Digital Citizenship Teaching and Learning

I Am Stronger


Privacy Settings

Media Smarts

Common Sense Media


Canadian Center for Child Protection

Kids in the Know


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