Digital Etiquette: Things We Should Teach Our Kids During Online Classes

Sep 20, 2020 | Mom Life

I don’t know if you’ve seen it but there was a viral video showing a kid in Grade 2, crying during online class. Unfortunately, the kid’s classmate’s older sibling recorded the video and uploaded it with the caption, “Online classes are not for everyone.” Sadly, the video reached more than 20,000 views and there were even memes showing the kid crying.

Obviously, the parents of the child in that viral video got mad and threatened to file charges. Although the intention of the uploader was to show that online classes won’t work for all, the child became the subject of ridicule, thereby causing embarrassment to the family as well.

This is why digital etiquette is important nowadays. With the sudden shift in learning, conducting classes in Zoom or Google Classroom is part of the #newnormal. That being said, kids need to be educated on how they should act and behave during online classes.


Also known as netiquette, digital etiquette is a set of rules on how one should behave online. Similar to how we act in real life, netiquette is also about being mindful of our manners and being respectful to others when playing online games and communicating with others through email, message boards, and social media platforms.

Unfortunately, it’s easy for many of us to lose those manners. We tend to be careful with our words when talking face-to-face with someone but in the digital world, it is easier to throw those good attitude away and be rude. As a result, “flamewars” happen where insults were traded.

It’s not that people are meaner online. Most of the time and because of lack of personal interaction where it’s easy to be anonymous, there is a tendency to forget the manners we learned in school and at home.


General rules –

  • Be respectful to both teachers and classmates.
  • Always be on time. At this point, there is no excuse to be late since the classroom is only a few steps away.
  • Go to the virtual classroom prepared. Sharpen pencils, get books and notebooks for respective subjects on that day, and prepare all the materials you need. Don’t forget to open the websites you will need for the said classes.
  • Treat people the way you want to be treated. If you don’t want someone to be rude to you, then don’t be rude to anyone as well.
  • Do not take photos or videos during online class. If you “accidentally” do so, then do not post it in social media and delete the photo or video right away. This could be a violation of the Data Privacy Act as well.
  • Dress appropriately. Even if you are at home, you are still attending class and your classmates and teachers can see you. Wear appropriate and decent attire especially on days when the school does not require you to wear uniform.
  • Be wary of your surroundings. Your teacher and classmates could also see what is behind you, which could be distracting.

When sending email messages –

  • Keep messages short, simple, and clear.
  • The tone of the message must be polite and respectful as if you are talking to your teacher or classmate in person.
  • Avoid sending long messages that are hard to understand.
  • Do not send abbreviated words and messages with too much emoticons. This is okay with friends but in formal communication with teachers, kids must use appropriate language.
  • Using capital letters is a no-no. Doing so makes it seem like you are yelling to the recipient of the message.
  • Always re-read the message before sending. Make sure to check tone, grammar, and spelling to avoid sending the wrong message. Once the message is sent, you can’t take it back, so be careful.

While using the chat box

  • Limit conversations to something related to the class or lesson.
  • It’s okay to talk to friends in the chat IF the class hasn’t started yet or the teacher is not yet there.
  • Avoid chatting during class time. Spamming is also not allowed. This is also being disrespectful to your teacher.
  • Use the chat box only when the teacher is asking something or you need to answer the teacher’s question or you are asking for permission.

In online classroom –

  • Turn off the microphone. Teachers are the only ones allowed to use the microphone UNLESS you are called to answer a question.
  • Listen to your teachers attentively. You are still in school albeit online class.
  • Raise your hand if you want to ask a question. Installing Google Nods is also helpful so teachers can easily see if you are raising your hand.
  • Never kick out any of the students in the digital classroom. Even if you were the first one in the Google Meet (which means automatic admin and I don’t know why). kicking out fellow classmates and even the teacher is a big no-no and a sign of gross disrespect.
  • Do not interrupt the teacher or a fellow classmate who is reciting. Raise your hand and wait for your turn to be called.
  • Stay in one spot while in an online class. It could be distracting for your teachers or classmates see you moving from one place to another.

At the end of the day, students are STILL in school, The platform for learning is different but in essence, it’s still the same. Parents, make sure that we guide our kids and educate them on proper behavior during virtual classroom sessions. Our kids are also a reflection of who we are and how we discipline them at home, so make sure they are in their best behavior.



  1. Rose Ann Sales

    Great post, very timely, I will share this to my friends.

    • Ayi

      Thank you! šŸ™‚

  2. Ashley t

    These are some great rules. I will share this with my friends and family whose kids are doing virtual learning.

    • Ayi

      Thank you so much!

  3. Krysten Quiles

    Sharing this! These are some great tips and rules. Thank you for this friend!

    • Ayi

      No worries. Thanks also for sharing!

  4. tweenselmom

    These are really helpful rules for maintaining class order. Thanks for sharing this nice blog post with us!

  5. Joanna

    The world is changing fast and children have to adapt to it as well, not only us. I can imagine it is a learning curve working out the digital class, but they are smart, they will figure it out soon enough.

    • Ayi

      Yes they do. Kids can adapt easily that’s why they should also be reminded from time-to-time to make sure that they won’t forget good manners šŸ™‚

  6. Bella

    These are super great rules, I use to do a lot of classes online when I was in high school it was so nice to learn this way

  7. Janessa Pablo

    Never thought I’d need to read something like this but I guess we all need reminders here and there <3

  8. Kathy Kenny Ngo

    I need to get my son to read this. He’s going to be doing online classes soon.

  9. Lyosha

    it is a very important subject nowadays, even more important now I believe as we are more in digital sphere now comparing to year ago

  10. rachel

    These are perfect tips for kids of all ages!!

  11. Marjie Mare

    I can’t wait to share this post with my sister. We were just talking about what these schools should and should not do while attending virtual classes.

  12. Mindspeaks

    The present scenario demands proper awareness among children about digital etiquette during online classes. If only every student took these etiquette seriously, online classes would be very effective and easy at the same time.

    • Ayi

      I have to agree. This is why parents play an important role in educating kids about “netiquette.” It’s an adjustment for everyone but we need to adapt.


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