Digital Citizenship

The TALCO Digital Citizenship Project provides an idea bank for teachers to help students establish themselves as knowledgeable and skillful digital citizens, and to use technology for learning in a thoughtful and ethical way.

Glbz_transpWhat is digital citizenship?

“The quality of habits, actions, and consumption patterns that impact the ecology of digital content and communities.” This definition of digital citizenship from makes the connection between good citizenship and life online. In the report, A Shifting Landscape: Pedagogy, Technology, and the New Terrain of Innovation in a Digital World (2012), Ontario researchers link digital citizenship capacity “for collaboration, skilled communication, and critical thinking; problem solving and innovation and awareness of healthy use of technology and issues of safety” (p. 6) to the Ontario Ministry of Education’s exploration of successful practices for digital learning.

MediaSmarts QuoteThe TALCO Digital Citizenship Project seeks to empower teachers and students to build this digital citizenship capacity through a critical thinking and inquiry approach to learning. It also serves as a curated entry point into the best supporting resources available on the web. The project helps teachers realize the support of the school library program and a Learning Commons approach in making strong connections between learning, citizenship, and our digital world.

An Approach Designed for Thinkers

The rapid emergence of online social technologies has precipitated radical changes in communications, social interactions, and our relationship with information. This project seeks help teachers leverage this new reality for learning. Students who are given the opportunity to interact in online environments for learning, and with the guidance of adults, become empowered as positive and productive digital citizens.

Facets of Digital Citizenship

DigitalFootprintButtonYour digital footprint is your online reputation – how you represent yourself through the intentional and unintentional traces you leave as you interact in online environments.

InfoEthicsButtonWhen information and media are increasingly easy to share, how do we do so ethically, balancing the rights of information creators and information users.


Using technology – hardware, software, networks, RespUseButtonand learning communities – comes with responsibilities, especially at school.



Protecting our own privacy and respecting the privacy of others means having a good understanding of the boundaries between private and public information online.

SafetyOnlineButtonBeing safe online means making informed decisions about who we associate with, being aware of risks and supports, and conducting ourselves appropriately.

This is the work of the Learning Commons.

The Learning Commons is a whole school approach that leverages an inquiry approach to Learning Commons Expectationslearning. The school’s teacher-librarian plays a critical role in making digital citizenship connections in partnership with teaching colleagues, and in the library’s information and technology rich physical and virtual learning environments.

Teaching and learning strategies in this project are based on the learning commons approach expressed in the Ontario guideline document, t4l-bannerTogether for Learning: School Libraries and the Emergence of the Learning Commons (OSLA, 2010). The Together for Learning website extends the T4L vision, with practical ideas and examples for implementation. Please visit the T4L website to explore these connections.

This is the work of the library.

Libraries are built on foundational ethics of providing equity of access to information and resources, promoting intellectual freedom and the freedom to read, and protecting the individual privacy that protects those freedoms. School library instructional approaches – inquiry, information ethics, leveraging multiple literacies, and fostering individual and cultural growth – extend those foundational ethics into the learning context of the school.

DevelopingIndividualCanadian Federation of Library Associations: Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries
International Federation of Library Associations Code of Ethics for Librarians and other Information Workers

Extracurricular Empowerment: Scott McLeod Advocates for Digital Involvement at School. Moving from Fear and Control to Empowerment