Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program


Department or Program Chair

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD

First Reader

Suresh Appavoo, EdD

Second Reader



Recent Federal Government initiatives have affected equitable public school funding, which prevents many schools from becoming compliant with the California Common Core Standards. Presently, public schools in California must adopt Common Core State standards, which require the integration of technology within the classroom, however, there are no specific standards and or guidelines within the CCCS that address how students should safely conduct themselves online. This has left students and teachers unprepared to adequately support the growing needs of students online, especially without standards addressing digital literacy. Students who go online face cyberbullying, predatory contact, identity theft and other consequences that may affect their future including the permanence of their digital footprint. Using Howard Gardner and Common Sense Media’s end of unit assessment on digital citizenship and Dr. Mike Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship, this study inquired into what a sample group of fifth grade students know about digital citizenship. Researcher examined how their knowledge relates to the California Common Core Standards (CCCS) and 21st century skills. The study found that only 32% of the sample group of 88 participants had sufficient knowledge about digital citizenship. The results of this study indicate that the majority of students within this sample are active online without proper knowledge of what digital citizenship means, which may be putting them at risk. A digital citizenship program that addresses access, commerce, communications, etiquette, law, health, wellness, rights, and responsibilities, is recommended to support children online.

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