Digital Citizenship +

[Last updated: May 2020]

Digital citizenship (and related concepts such as digital literacy, media literacy, new media literacies, 21st century skills, or digital competence) has become a topic of growing importance among academics and policymakers alike, at the center of debate and theorization around the skills youth need to navigate and actively participate in our digital world. On a global level, a variety of stakeholders — including government, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and academia — have adopted the term to develop and shape formal and informal learning programs that aim to help youth address the challenges and embrace the opportunities the digital environment may present.

Since 2016, the YaM team has been studying the concept of digital citizenship, aiming to answer several key questions, including:

  • Why has the concept of digital citizenship become central in discussions about youth, education, and learning in the 21st century?
  • How is the concept of digital citizenship similar to or different from other concepts, such as digital literacy, media literacy, new media literacies, 21st century skills, or digital competence?
  • Based on a mapping of 35 frameworks, what does the current digital citizenship landscape address, and to what extent are youth’s voices included in the development, implementation, and evaluation of digital citizenship initiatives?
  • What are key considerations for learning spaces and meaningful youth engagement?
  • How can we address underexplored areas, such as artificial intelligence and data?

Read Youth and Digital Citizenship+ (Plus): Understanding Skills for a Digital World to explore this topic.

Flagship publication:

Ongoing collaborations:

Key learning resources:

  • Our Digital Citizenship+ (Plus) Resource Platform (DCPR) hosts an evolving collection of free learning experiences, visualizations, and other educational resources designed and maintained by us. Many of these learning resources are available in over 35 languages! To view the translations, for each resource, please scroll down to “All Languages.” Additional languages will be added over time. To learn about how to navigate our Digital Citizenship+ (Plus) Resource Platform — home to an evolving collection of 100+ educational tools (e.g., learning experiences, visualizations, podcasts) that can be used to learn and teach about youth’s digitally connected lives — please see the following slidedeck, presented at RightsCon Tunis 2019. The presentation also offers helpful tips in terms of adapting the tools to your context.

Other publications:

Selected presentations:

(For more information, please email Sandra Cortesi.)

  • [Urs Gasser] November 2019: Presentation,“The Evolving Children’s Digital Rights Discourse”, Digital Lives: Families in the Age of the Internet Conference, Swiss Institute of Comparative Law and University of Geneva, Lausanne
  • November 2019: Presentation, “The Next Generation and Digital Media”, Schmidheiny Foundation, Interlaken, Switzerland.
  • November 2019: Panel, “Youth, Education, and Digital Technology”, Festival of Technology, Polytechnic of Turin, Turin, Italy
  • September 2019: Presentation, “Youth and Digital Citizenship” in the context of Child Protection, Revision of the OECD Recommendation on the Protection of Children Online, OECD, Paris, France.
  • October 2018: Keynote, “How Children Grow Up in a Digital Environment”, Expert Consultation by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), workshop “Protection of Children in a Connected World” hosted by the University of Zurich Digital Society Initiative, with the support of the Swiss Government and co-sponsored by the Korean Government, Zurich, Switzerland
  • January 2018: Presentation, “Digital Citizenship”, University of Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica