Digital Citizenship & Internet Maturity Blog


Digital Discipline - A New Challenge for School Principals

Schools across the world are facing a "Digital Discipline" problem because of students indulging in overuse, misuse and risky use of the Internet. Among a big variety of digital issues, the following ones are especially a big headache for any school principal:

  • Cyberbullying among students.
  • Confession pages created by students.
  • Gaming & other digital addictions among students.
  • Hacking and other cyber crimes attempted by students.
  • Sharing of pornographic, violent and other age-inappropriate material among students.
  • Plagiarism by students for their assignments & project work.


Let's understand the above issues in detail.

Cyberbullying: This refers to the use of the Internet and digital technologies to harass, intimidate, or harm others. It can take many forms, such as sending threatening messages, spreading rumors or false information, or posting embarrassing photos or videos without consent. Cyberbullying can have serious consequences for the victims, including depression, anxiety, and even suicide. It is a big headache for school principals because it can happen at any time and be difficult to detect and stop, and because it can damage the school's reputation and create a toxic social environment.

Confession pages: These are online platforms, often anonymous, where students can post secrets, confessions, or other personal information about themselves or their peers. While some students may see these pages as a way to express themselves or seek support, they can also be used to spread gossip, hurtful comments, or sensitive information. This can lead to bullying, discrimination, or other harm to students, and can be a headache for school principals because they may be held responsible for addressing these issues even though they have little control over what is posted on these pages.

Gaming and other digital addictions: Some students may develop unhealthy habits or dependencies on digital technologies, such as spending excessive amounts of time playing video games or scrolling through social media. This can interfere with their academic and social development, and may lead to problems such as poor grades, social isolation, or sleep disorders. School principals may face the challenge of identifying and addressing these addictions, while also balancing the potential benefits of using technology in education.

Hacking and other cyber crimes: Some students may be tempted to engage in illegal or unethical activities online, such as hacking into school or personal accounts, stealing sensitive information, or committing fraud. These actions can have serious legal and personal consequences for the students involved, and can also damage the school's reputation and security. School principals may be responsible for investigating and reporting these crimes, and for educating students about responsible online behavior.

Sharing of pornographic, violent or other age-inappropriate material: Some students may be exposed to or share explicit or inappropriate content online, either intentionally or accidentally. This can be harmful to their mental and emotional well-being, and may also violate school policies or laws. School principals may be faced with the difficult task of addressing these incidents and protecting students from harmful content, while also respecting their privacy and freedom of expression.

Plagiarism: This refers to the act of copying or borrowing someone else's work or ideas without proper attribution, and presenting it as your own. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense that can result in failure or expulsion. It is a headache for school principals because it can be difficult to detect and prevent, and because it undermines the integrity and credibility of the school's educational program.


The easiest solution to all the above problems is to stop using any kind of technology in your school and also stop the students from accessing Internet. But is that an option? Unless you are running a jail and not a school, it's not an option! Plus, what about the numerous learning opportunities provided by the Internet? So what's a balanced solution?


A Digital Citizenship & Internet Maturity education program in the school can solve this digital discipline problem!

A DCIM education program can help to solve the digital discipline problem in schools by teaching students how to use the Internet and digital technologies constructively, safely and ethically. DCIM subject teaches 10 critical skills to students, as follows:

1. Understanding what is Web 2.0.
2. Creating & sharing digital content effectively.
3. Mature way of Social Networking.
4. Mature way of professional Networking.
5. Doing online Forum discussions effectively.
6. Writing Blogs effectively for Self-Expression.
7. Searching trustworthy knowledge online.
8. Utilizing open courseware & MOOCs for self-learning and self-training.
9. Being safe from online threats & acting ethically Online.
10. Building a positive Online Reputation for career success.

The main objective of teaching above skills is to modify the online behaviour of students, so that they are motivated & skilled to make a constructive, safe and ethical use of the Internet. This 'positive-use' orientation of students' mind solves the issue of Digital Discipline from its roots. A comprehensive DCIM education program, when implemented by a school, can effectively:

  • Reduce the incidences of cyberbullying in school by educating students about the consequences and harm caused by cyberbullying. It teaches them strategies for preventing and responding to it and prevents students from becoming unintentional bullies. DCIM helps the victim students to deal with it confidently.
  • Help to prevent the spread of confession pages by teaching students about the risks and potential harms and risks of legal action for defaming someone online. It also sensitizes students on how online reputation works.
  • Help to prevent digital addiction by teaching students about balanced and healthy technology use. The DCIM program trains them to look at all the social media apps as "tools" and not "toys". It encourages students to become masters of the digital technologies, not their slaves.
  • Prevent instances of cyber-crimes by students and promote cyber-ethics by educating students about the legal and ethical consequences of cyber crimes. DCIM program effectively teaches them about responsible online behavior.
  • Teach students about the potential harm and legal consequences of sharing inappropriate content online, and how to identify and avoid it.
  • Help reduce plagiarism in the school by teaching students about proper citation and attribution methods. DCIM education develops sensitivity towards intellectual property rights and teaches the importance of academic integrity.


We strongly recommend school leaders to educate themselves about the DCIM curriculum explore the option of starting a DCIM Club in their school.


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