Digital Citizenship in Ontario Education: A Concept Analysis


  • Alexander Davis University of Ottawa



Digital citizenship indicates one’s place in digitized society; however academics have not established a cohesive understanding about how digital citizenship is characterized. The Ontario Ministry of Education also does not provide a central conceptualization of digital citizenship and instead encourages Ontario school boards to construct and communicate ideas of digital citizenship. Accordingly, Ontario policymakers, educators, and students use differing understandings of digital citizenship, which ultimately impedes educational initiatives and hinders the overall development of the concept. For this paper, therefore, I inquired as to how Ontario public school boards portray digital citizenship. Using concept analysis, I examined digital citizenship documents from the 10 largest English Ontario public school boards. The results suggest that digital citizenship is predominately characterized by responsible and ethical technology use. I conclude with a discussion about how this representation relates to democratic citizenship more broadly and the implications this may have on youth civic engagement.

Keywords: digital citizenship; technologies and education; democracy and education; democratic citizenship; concept analysis

Author Biography

Alexander Davis, University of Ottawa

Alexander Davis is a PhD candidate in Education at the University of Ottawa and a college instructor at Northern College. His research interests pertain to democratic citizenship, civic engagement, school commercialism, and the consumerization of society more broadly. Prior to his doctoral candidacy, Davis completed a Master of Arts critically analyzing how the Reagan administration discursively implemented a consumerizing educational framework.


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