Pinterest_DC ESSB Oct roll-out

Well, we started to roll out the Digital Citizenship (DC) Initiative this month.  What better way to begin than to get into the schools and share the message with teachers and administrators.  

We did a Gaspe Coast tour earlier this month, which started with a presentation to ESSB Leadership at the ESMC (Eastern Shores Management Committee) in New Carlisle.  From here, we visited New Carlisle High School, Escuminac Intermediate, and New Richmond before heading to the easternmost tip of the peninsula.  Here, we visited Gaspe Polyvalent, Gaspe Elementary, Belle Anse, and Wakeham Adult Education Centre.  Heading back west, we dropped into Evergreen in Chandler and ended our tour  with Shigawake-Port Daniel School.

After more than 1000 km on the road, we still have not made it to all ESSB Schools yet but we’ll keep at it.  As promised, we put together a little description to explain the nature of this Digital Citizenship Initiative unfolding at ESSB and beyond.  Therefore, the following scribblings will attempt to summarize the message we shared with teachers over the past few weeks.  It is a good place to start and we look forward to talking with you more about DC soon.

Let’s get the term out of the way to dispel any fears you may have about it.

We are already familiar with the term citizenship and perhaps our civic responsibilities related to being a good citizen.

“Education is sometimes viewed as a prerequisite to good citizenship, in that it helps citizens make good decisions and deal with demagogues (manipulators) who would delude them.”

– source:

“Civic virtue is the cultivation of habits of personal living that are claimed to be important for the success of the community.”

– source:

So, to paraphrase;

As Citizens, we need to learn important personal living habits…

  • for our community to be successful.

  • to not be fooled, misled and taken advantage of.

Who would disagree with holding the door for another person, and that person saying, “Thank you”.?

Who does not acknowledge the importance of offering our seat to another (elderly, pregnant woman, youth using crutches) more deserving on the bus?

Now let’s put the word Digital in front of the Citizen.

Nothing changes!

As Digital Citizens, we need to learn important personal living habits…

  • for our community to be successful.

  • to not be fooled, misled and taken advantage of.

But, who taught us to be good citizens in the first place?  Was it our Teachers? School Administrators? Parents? Grand-Parents? Friends and Families?  

The answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE!  

The same holds true for Digital Citizenship.  Everyone has a responsibility in teaching what it means to be a good Digital Citizen.  Perhaps a twist in this concept is that students and young learners especially, have a role in learning and teaching about proper Digital Citizenship!

Digital Citizenship is not a subject or a course.  It is a concept!  

We should not have a DC Teacher, just like we don’t have a Politeness class or a course for Respect. Unfortunately, if DC is everybody’s responsibility, it could easily become nobody’s. We do need to start somewhere. Our initial approach to Digital Citizenship will require certain teachers to take the lead to get things started.  Lili Sun and Craig Bullett will support Cycle 3 Elementary Teachers this year to help the DC Initiative get started (More about this will follow).

SO, I’ll leave this for your reflection until we address Digital Citizenship in following posts and future school visits.

What is your role in learning and teaching good Digital Citizenship? (whether you are a Teacher, Principal, Parent, Student, etc…).  

3 good starting points to begin exploring Digital Citizenship.




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