Before talking about this in class I was not that familiar with what a digital citizenship was or what this meant for our society. I have greatly appreciated learning about this and realised the importance of educating students on what a digital identity is and the implications that this can have on not only their lives but the people around them as well. Some words that came up when we were introduced to DC are represented using a Menti Meter poll that we did in class and I think that they are important to look at when considering what digital citizenship looks like.
Digital citizenship is actually mandated in the curriculum which alone signifies the importance of bringing light to this in the classroom. The idea of DC came from cyber safety. The internet is really moving away from a shared concept to a private one. When I was growing up with the internet, we had one computer that had dial-up and it was in a very open part of our house, so whatever I was doing and seeing was monitored and shared with whoever was walking by. This reinforced the idea that I would not be getting into anything inappropriate. However, there is a huge shift in the way that children can use the internet and the access they have. There are many devices being seen in households and more often than not, the children have access to a device in their bedroom where they have a very private viewing of the internet. A lot of the time the amount of use is not monitored and they can spend as little or as much time as they want engaging with the internet and even use sites that continually film them and anybody can go on and watch! That is scaaaary. With more of this private use happening in homes, it is critical that our student s know how to safely and properly use the internet and how to build up their digital identity. Personally, I would have loved to be educated on technology and think that it would have benefited me and my learning a great deal. There are nine components to DC that include: etiquette, literacy, access, security, health and wellness, commerce, communication, rights and responsibilities and law and fall under three categories of protect, respect and educate. This great article outlines each element and the implications it has on users and society! Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. Another great read and where I took this picture from is this Engaged Digital Citizenship article.
The Educational Leadership article puts forward the question of: Should we teach students to have ‘one life’ or two? I definitely think that students need to realise that their digital world is also their REAL world. What they put onto the internet is impacting the way that people view them and can even affect their jobs later on in life. These are big deal things and often times people do not think about what they are putting onto the internet or how it will affect them because of the easy assess the internet provides, especially with apps like Snapchat and Instagram. “The “two lives” perspective says that our students should live a traditional, digitally unplugged life at school and a second, digitally infused life outside school” (Jason Ohler). I personally do not want my students coming into the classroom thinking that technology can no longer be used because they are in their ‘second world’. Sure, there is always a time and place for technology and students will not be able to just browse whatever site they would like during class but this goes back to learning about digital citizenship and the respect that goes along with it.
I want my students to embrace technology and feel comfortable to explore with it because there is an ENDLESS amount of opportunities that technology provides and I do not want their experiences with it to be limited like mine were. I am still uncomfortable at times with technology because I do not always have that background information and easily become frustrated when things are not working. I always embrace my mistakes in the classroom and when I am unsure about something I let my students know and we figure it out together. These ideas go back to my teaching philosophy and creating an open learning environment for my students. When students know how to safely use technology and aware that what they put out there affects other people, they will be ready to start exploring new applications and incorporate this freely into their assignments and learning. I think that a great way to start going about teaching digital citizenship is modelling this yourself as the teacher and incorporating it into not just one unit or subject but facilitate this in a cross-curricular way. Making the learning relevant to them and their lives will be very beneficial, this can be done by incorporating videos and articles around news reports and keeping everything current and up to date.
I love the idea of having my students facilitate some of their own learning and having that supported with technology whether it be creating YouTube videos, planning polls, creating online games etc. This lets students be creative with their learning and make it meaningful to their lives which created lifelong learners and what educator doesn’t dream of instilling lifelong education into their students?