Digital citizenship teaches students the knowledge and tools about how they should act when interacting with others online and using personal electronic devices. Technology has many benefits that can help us carry out certain tasks, but it is key that students do not abuse or misuse technology. Examples of technology misuse include online gambling, cyberbullying, sending inappropriate pictures, etc.
Using the Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School framework, schools, school boards, parents, and community partners can work together to develop healthy school environments that promote and support student well-being. Information below has been organized following this framework.
Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Media Smarts (Grades K – 8)
Media Smarts provides educators with information and tools to help students develop the critical thinking skills they need for interacting with media. These resources align with the Ontario curriculum.
Common Sense Media (Grades K – 12)
This non-profit US based organization provides lesson plans include videos, lesson slides and family resources that can help you address digital citizenship in the classroom and prepare students to take ownership of their digital lives.
School and Classroom Leadership
Ontario students have been restricted from using cellphones and other personal mobile devices in the classroom. The Ministry of Education has updated the Provincial Code of Conduct to reflect this new policy and all school boards are expected to include this in their Code of Conduct. Please refer to your board specific Code of Conduct. The Cellphones and Other Personal Devices in Schools document addresses common questions about the restriction on the use of cellphones and other personal mobile devices during instructional time. There is also a Parent’s Guide to the Ontario Code of Conduct available as an additional resource.
Social and Physical Environments
This guideline is available to adapt to your school to support students in taking time in the day to turn off their screens and engage in opportunities for physical activity and social interaction.
Home, School and Community Partnership
Media Smarts has created resources to help parents better understand the digital world. From choosing the right apps to talking to your kids about social media, these resources will help you navigate parenting in this digital age.
Common Sense Media rates apps, TV shows, books, movies and more so parents can feel good about the entertainment choices they make for their kids. This resource also provides parenting advice to help navigate the challenges and possibilities of raising kids in the digital age.
Screen-Free Week and Screen-Free Saturdays are both invitations to turn off our devices to play, explore and rediscover the joys of life beyond entertainment screens. Screen-Free Week is held annually the first week of May. Visit the website to take the pledge and explore additional resources.
- 101 Screen Free Activities – Activity ideas for families to swap screen time for learning, social and active activities.
Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines – providing guidance on the optimal amount of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep – and the best combination of these behaviours – for Canadians of all ages.
10-5-2-1-0 campaign – Kids need the right balance throughout their day to help them to learn, play, and grow. This includes getting enough sleep, having healthy food and drinks, being physically active, and limiting time in front of screens. 10-5-2-1-0 are daily recommendations for children and youth aged 5-17
*Please see the School Action Guide on Violence and Bullying for more information regarding online safety.