Use Your Manners!

Digital etiquette is one of Ribble’s (2017) nine themes of digital citizenship and is a common concern for many educators at all levels. The Pew Research Center (2014) found that 73% of adults have witnessed some form of online harassment. But, digital etiquette extends well beyond avoiding harassment. It includes learning appropriate standards of behavior for interacting online.

I came across this great idea on the Colonial Williamsburg website! The site refers to the 110 rules for civility that George Washington wrote as a young man. He describes the behaviors people should enact when in the company of others. The Colonial Williamsburg site offers educators an idea for a lesson that adapts the etiquette ideas of George Washington into the modern digital age.

As an adult educator, I would ask my students to study the 110 rules for civility proposed by George Washington. In a small group discussion, students would identify two or three rules that could apply in our society today. Then I would ask students to find examples of the rule being broken in the online environment and offer a suggestion for how to rectify the infringement.


Duggan, M. (2014). Online harassment. Retrieved from:

Ribble, M. (2017). Nine elements: Nine Themes of digital citizenship. Retrieved from:  


One thought on “Use Your Manners!

  1. Kat,
    The 110 rules of civility that was proposed by George Washington that you stated would be extremely useful in the online classroom. I would use infuse different rules (applicable) into the curriculum, that is, students would be asked to participate in the discussion forum on a particular rule each week, and state how it relates to appropriate online behavior.



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