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Digital Citizenship Resources

It can be very difficult to navigate the digital age as a parent or guardian. This page is intended to provide information about how digital citizenship is taught at the Portland Public Schools and resources that can be used at home. The key approach is to view our kids through an empathetic lens in order to understand that learning how to engage in a kind and responsible way online requires support from adults and will be most successful when it is approached as a shared experience. Digital citizenship is not about “them”as children versus “us” as adults. The intention is not to “other” our children. Instead the work is a shared mission about a shared experience.

According to Common Sense Education, “To create a positive culture around media and technology there needs to be a whole-community approach by including a strong family education component.”

Teaching Digital Citizens in Today’s World: Research and Insights Behind the Common Sense Digital Citizenship Curriculum, 2021

Digital Citizenship is defined at Portland Public Schools as:



The student is a safe, respectful, responsible and critical user of technology. 




The student is a responsible and critical user of technology as they explore, create, learn and make positive and healthy connections. 

Digital citizenship is a topic of our time with widespread implications. We know that navigating devices with our children is a process and that there is not a playbook for it. Learning about, and practicing being a competent digital citizen,is a shared responsibility between schools and guardians. In addition to the importance of guiding our children to navigate their digital world, teaching digital citizenship is a requirement for securing e-rate funding, a resource utilized by PPS. At PPS, our librarians and teachers have been teaching digital citizenship in elementary, middle and high schools. Our PPS teacher librarians and digital literacy teachers are Common Sense Education certified.

Our kids, and the younger generation as a whole, stand to gain if we can help them better understand both their responsibilities AND their power when they use tech to make a difference. 

- Jonathan R. Werner
Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI)Ambassador

Technology Use



Special thanks to the MLTI Ambassadors that the Portland Public Schools has been working with to provide professional development in the area of digital citizenship.

Content created and curated by Courtney Graffius, Technology Integration Coordinator at Portland Public Schools.