Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
School of Teaching and Learning
Jay C Percell
Digital citizenship has become an increasingly important topic and is not consistently defined amongst administrators, students, and teachers. There is also a lack of knowledge about the essential skills and knowledge to become a responsible digital citizen, making it difficult to identify how to help students become responsible digital citizens. The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives and lived experiences of K–5 administrators, students, and teachers considering the essential knowledge and skills to become a responsible digital citizen.This study filled a gap in the literature, as there was a lack of perceptions and experiences about the essential knowledge and skills needed to become a responsible digital citizen from the perspectives of administrators, students, and teachers (Guven, 2018). This study used a transcendental phenomenological research process (Moustakas, 1994) and collected data from research participants’ semistructured interviews, digital journals, and creative synthesis products (e.g., digital story, digital logo, social media post, digital poster). The data were analyzed following the phenomenological processes as posited by Moustakas (1994). The emerging themes for administrators included functionality of technology, having an awareness of cyberbullying, showing accountability to care for devices, understanding the concept of a digital footprint, and healthy connections and relationships. The emerging themes for students included finding reliable sources, showing kindness, and online safety. The emerging themes for teachers included meaningful lessons and discussions, and understanding the concept of a digital footprint. The findings of this study showed responsibility at the heart of digital citizenship and gave a unique perspective on the perceptions of K–5 administrators, students, and teachers about the essential skills and knowledge to become a responsible digital citizen and shed light on common misconceptions and inconsistent beliefs about digital citizenship which will aid school districts in their implementation of digital citizenship. The results of this study will also help further discussions about the roles of school librarians and provide evidence for increased collaboration between school librarians and K–5 teachers. In addition, the essential digital citizenship skills identified within the results of this study can be shared with the American Library Association (ALA) particularly the essential skills for digital citizenship that overlap with ALA’s definition of digital literacy: “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills” (ALA Digital Literacy Task Force, 2011, para. 1).
Riccio, Karen, "Becoming a Responsible Digital Citizen: Essential Skills and Knowledge from the Perspectives and Lived Experiences of K–5 Administrators, Students, and Teachers" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 1535.