Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Education Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Jayson W. Richardson

Second Advisor

Dr. John B. Nash


This study explored how school leaders make sense of and address digital citizenship as defined by Ribble (2011), and investigated what successes and challenges school leaders experienced while implementing digital citizenship programs in large Southeastern technology-rich schools. This bounded cross-case study, undergirded by Weick’s (1995) Theory of Sensemaking, is also designed to explore how school leaders implement digital citizenship programs at technology-rich schools in a large. 1:1, Southeastern public-school district, and how they view their role as producers of digital citizens.

Findings indicated that an influx of computer technology caused school leaders to make sense of digital citizenship and address it in their school. Additionally, behavior described by leaders while making sense of digital citizenship was consistent with Weick’s Theory of Sensemaking. Strategies implemented by elementary school leaders were more preventative in nature and varied from those more reactive strategies implemented by secondary leaders. Leaders shared common strategies to include curated lessons, teachable moments, infused curriculum, leveraging specialists, Internet filtering, policy, expectations, and leveraging community. Additionally, leaders experienced challenges related to addressing digital citizenship to include lack of knowledge, time, and sensemaking. Further, leaders experienced success when digital citizenship was a priority, relevant, and addressed school-wide.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)