eNews - January 4, 2016

digital citizenship

Technology is shaping the future through today’s students. The most significant change in recent years is how technology has evolved and changed the world. The innovation of technology has dramatically affected society and the way we live our lives. As children, many of us remember Walkie Talkies, Atari, and Mattel Electronics. In like manner, when reflecting on our primary education, we think of the old school model of textbooks, blackboards, overhead projectors, number 2 pencils and scantrons.

With technology as a prominent feature of our world today, it’s no surprise that younger generations are far more tech savvy than ever! Technology is influencing learning by providing quick, increased access to information. Correspondingly, in today’s classrooms we see a significant rise in portable devices, tablet technology, and the use of smartphones as mini computers to access information and online resources. With this in mind, it is important that students are taught about the rules, risks, and trust involved in the safe, respectful use of social media and online resources. Teaching online safety and “netiquette” is often referred to as digital citizenship. Digital citizenship is a concept where teachers, students, parents, and community members who utilize technology learn about appropriate and responsible use of technology.

Most teenagers create digital content and share it via social media. The engagement that teenagers have with social media cannot be ignored, as it consumes a big part of their lives. For this reason, it is important to teach our students how to be digital citizens and practice responsible and safe behavior online.

EduTopia shared an article written by Vicki Davis, a Computer Fundamentals, and Computer Science and IT Integrator teacher from Camilla, Georgia that described “the 9 key P’s” of digital citizenship.

  • Passwords – Do students know how to create a secure password?

  • Privacy – Do students know how to protect their private information like address, email, and phone number?

  • Personal Information – Have students thought carefully about whom to share their personal information with?

  • Photographs – Are students aware that some private things may show up in photographs (license plates or street signs), and that they may not want to post those pictures?

  • Property – Do students understand copyright and how to generate a license for their own work? Do they respect the rights of others?

  • Permission – Do students how to get permission for work they use, and do they know how to cite it?

  • Protection – Do students understand what viruses, malware, phishing, ransomware, and identity theft are, and how these things work?

  • Professionalism – Do students understand the professionalism of academics versus decisions about how they will interact in their social lives? Do they know about netiquette and online grammar? Are they globally competent? Can they understand cultural taboos and recognize cultural disconnects when they happen, and do they have skills for working out problems?

  • Personal Brand – Have students decided about their voice and how they want to be perceived online? Are they intentional about what they share?

Digital citizenship will prepare students to use technology in an appropriate, responsible manner. A digital citizen will know what is right and wrong and will make good choices when using technology. We want to foster intelligent technology behavior by teaching ethical academic behavior so that the students’ are held accountable when accessing and using social media and online resources.