Our Digital Era & Digital Citizenship

Whether or not people accept the fact, today we are living in a digital world. We use technology for a number of things including communicating, gaining resources, and completing tasks. Increasingly there are less tasks that we have to complete on paper and mail. Even people who may dislike technology are having to access it. Thinking about this makes me realize just how big our digital world has become. So what are the implications of this digital world? What does it mean for people living in it and engaging with it? What does it mean for teachers? How does digital citizenship play a role in all of this? These are some of the questions I will be answering in this post.

What’s next?

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Photo Credit: wabisabi2015 Flickr via Compfight cc

I’m thinking it is safe to say that we don’t have to worry about cats on the internet but you never know!

Anyway…

I first want to address what is talked about in Character Education for the Digital Age. The article shares that one of the challenges of digital citizenship is to teach our students how to navigate through our ever changing digital world. I believe this is definitely one of the major challenges we face. It goes on to say that whether we teach our students that they have two lives or one deeply affects how students will navigate through our world.  “Two lives” means that students should live unplugged from technology at school and only plugged in out of school. “One life” means that it is our job as educators to help students live one life by encouraging them to use technology at school and within the greater community and society.

There is debate whether children should live one life or two lives. The dangers of living two lives is that students are left to learn outside of school about technology themselves. They are not taught about issues like cyber bullying or sexting. Also, this creates a world where adults are less involved with what students are doing online. The article states that school is a great place to teach kids to become good digital citizens who use technology effectively and wisely. I agree with what the article is saying. Instead of pretending that technology is not there we need to talk about it and ensure our students know all that the internet consists of and how to engage with it in a positive way.  There are many different tools out there for students to use. We need to show students how to use these tools to best suite them and the online community. It is not only about showing them how to use the tools, but also awareness that tools could possibly be misused. We do not want to scare students, but want them to have knowledge to make the best choices.

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Photo Credit: rainerstropek@yahoo.com Flickr via Compfight cc

I now want to touch on what Jessica Lewis shared in her post about digital citizenship. Jessica raises a very strong point on how to teach students about digital citizenship and the importance of modelling netiquette. Of course modelling is important for any task for students to learn but I think she made a great connection to digital education as well. Modelling netiquette for students is so important so they take on the same roles when engaging online. We can teach students a variety of things about netiquette including proper citation, sharing opinions, connecting with others, having empathy, and simply being kind. When we teach students about proper netiquette we enable them to be good citizens in this fast pace world.

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Photo Credit: The DEMO Conference Flickr via Compfight cc

I want to finish off this post by asking you:

What are your thoughts about digital citizenship?

How are you going to teach about digital citizenship in the classroom?

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