Digital CitizenshipWhat is digital citizenship? According to Ribble (2012), Digital Citizenship "can be defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use." It is about being a responsible and reliable contributor on the Internet. Vicki Davis (2006) claims that this is vital skill for the 21st Century's workforce. The video, Welcome to Your Digital World, from Common Sense Media provides a brief overview of issues regarding digital citizenship and etiquette. Please watch and reflect on the digital issues students encounter.
Develop a List of ProceduresFor Edmodo users, the Edmodo blog shared a free poster on Digital Citizenship. On this website, there were seven decent tips for interacting within Edmodo's learning environment. This brings up an interesting point. Each website can present it's own "best practices" for participating online. The Digital Citizenship website describes nine elements of digital citizenship. This list is different than Edmodo's, but there are similarities between both. These aren't comprehensive lists, but it is a decent starting point. What could be taken from these lists and what could be removed? How can we develop a list essential digital citizenship skills for our students?
Parents: First Line of DefenseStart conversations on promoting safe Internet usage, fair sharing, and reliable blogging. Safe Internet usage, begins with involved adults. Teachers, parents, and/or guardians must be involved within a child's Internet usage. The phrase "it takes a village" comes to mind. With everyone working together, children will ultimately benefit. Lynette Owens (2012), from the Washington Post's Website, argues that schools must guide and involve parents with lessons on digital citizenship. Her article, 5 Ways to Teach Kids to Use Technology Safely, provides five suggestions for communicating best practices to parents. These include the following:
- Encourage parent leadership (i.e. PTO)
- Communicate regularly with community
- Be clear with the Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP)
- Be creative on informing/involving parents
- Recognize the positive use of technology (i.e. celebrate successes)
Protecting Your Identity
- Keep your password a secret
- Don't share personal information, like your:
- full name,
- phone number, or
- social security number
Network Etiquette or Netiquette
- Be polite with your messages and comments online
- Treat People Right!
- Private messages aren't guaranteed to be private
- Email copies can report illegal activities
- Use appropriate language!
Social Media Usage for Teachers
- Ask friends to take down inappropriate pictures
- Don't post inappropriate pictures
- Don't have private conversations with students
- Be aware of your professional image
Citing or Linking to Original SourcesFrom the Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE), McGrail and McGrail (2010) wrote an article entitled Copying Right and Copying Wrong with Web 2.0 Tools in the Teacher Education and Communications Classrooms, which provides additional information regarding copyrighting. Additionally, Creative Commons should assist with the discussion on sharing media and intellectual property. The Electronic Frontier Foundation put together information regarding law and student blogging. These are just a few sources dealing with sharing, intellectual property, and general copyright issues.
Digital Citizenship or Just Regular Citizenship
Technology has been so ingrained in society that this is not a recommended topic within schools. Instead, it is should be required. Students need to learn how to communicate (disagree & discuss), collaborate, create, edit, and share in authentic, effective, and ethical ways.
Digital citizenship and general citizenship should be one in the same, and we shouldn't need to engage in duel citizenship. Students should be encouraged "to do the right thing" and "treat people right" in all aspects of life. However, students need to be taught how to interact with digital tools for personal and professional use.