Character Counts

Being a Good Digital Citizen

Being a good digital citizen is an important responsibility for anyone who uses technology.

Being a good digital citizen
Grade Level: 6-12


Character Skills
  • Good Citizenship
SEL Skills
  • Self-Awareness
  • Responsible Decision-Making
Academic Skills
  • Diligence


Good Citizenship
  • Do your share to make your home, school, and community better.
  • Cooperate.
  • Stay informed. Vote.
  • Be a good neighbor.
  • Make choices that protect the safety and rights of others.
  • Protect the environment.

Identify and understand emotions, values, attitudes, motivations, mindsets, and personal attributes.

Responsible Decision-Making

Make decisions based on rationality, ethics, and effectiveness. 


Have a growth mindset and is willing to learn from mistakes.

Share This Activity

Students will discuss what it means to be a good digital citizen, why digital footprints are important, and learn strategies to help determine what is appropriate to post on social media.

Large Group Discussion Prompts
  • What does it mean to be a good digital citizen?
    • Safely and responsibly use technology
    • Use technology to advance social and civic causes
    • Treat other users with respect
  • What is a digital footprint?
    • The permanent records of what we have shared online.
  • Why is it important to be a good digital citizen/have a positive digital footprint?
  • Share these examples of negative digital footprints:
    • Harvard rescinded 10 offers of enrollment for students who posted explicit and racist pictures on social media.
    • A woman tweeted a racist post about her trip to Africa when she boarded the plane. She was fired by her boss before the plane landed.
    • Students photoshopped an unflattering picture of a teacher and posted it on the Internet. The students involved were suspended, legal charges were filed, and the students faced five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. 
    • A woman posted a picture of herself dressed as a Boston Marathon Bombing victim to Instagram for Halloween. She was fired because of the insensitive nature of the post.
    • Students posted a meme making light of gun violence at school, and they were arrested. Students who liked the post were suspended.
Small Group Discussion Prompts
  • Discuss how the Rules of An Active Conscience can help you decide what to post on social media.
  • Read each social media post on the To Post or Not To Post Handout and determine which of the Rules of Active Conscience it breaks.
  • Google yourself.
  • What did you notice about your digital footprint?
  • What can you do better or differently to manage your digital footprint?

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