What does digital citizenship mean? We have all heard about cyber safety and cyber bullying but I can’t recall hearing anything about digital citizenship. This week our learning path had us doing research into two topics of interest. I will blog about the second one I chose later, but for now I am going to talk about what I have learnt about digital citizenship.
What is digital citizenship?
Mike Ribble (2013) in his article called Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship stated that digital citizenship can be defined as “the norms of appropriate, responsible behaviour with regard to technology use.” For so long digital citizenship has been focused on the rights of the user. For example our rights to privacy and freedom of speech (Watters, 2010). Just as technology changes, so to do the terms that define its use. Digital Citizenship is not only encompassing our rights but should also focus on the responsibilities the user should maintain to protect and enhance the community in which they live in (Watters, 2010). So the focus of digital citizenship isn’t just about cyber safety and cyber bullying. It is also about etiquette, or netiquette. We need to teach our students the value of being appropriate while online. They should be shown how to use a computer and “be a fully functioning, competent, and well, good member of society” (Watters, 2010). I think it is valid to point out that society in the cyber world is no longer the people you live near…..it is global.
What are the Nine these of Digital Citizenship?
1. Digital Access – full electronic participation in society.
2. Digital Commerce – electronic buying and selling of goods.
3. Digital Communication – electronic exchange of information.
4. Digital Literacy – process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology.
5. Digital Etiquette – electronic standards of conduct or procedure.
6. Digital Law – electronic responsibility for actions and deeds.
7. Digital Rights and Responsibilities – those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world.
8. Digital Health and Wellness – physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world.
9. Digital Security (self-protection) – electronic precautions to guarantee safety.
Please click on this link to read the full article by Mike Ribble.
How can I implement digital citizenship into my classroom learning environment?
There are several places that the Australian and Queensland Government have to assist teachers to promote a health understanding of Digital Citizenship into the classroom.
The Queensland Government lists several policies, pdf articles and units of work dealing with cyber security, bullying, net safety and other resources. By clicking here you will gain access to the links. While The Code of School Behaviour is geared towards a holistic facet of a student’s education it encases the principles of Digital Citizenship that should be taught in classrooms.
Cyber (smart:) is an initiative developed by the Australian Government and the Australian communications and Media Authority. This site can be accessed by young kids, kids, teens, parents, schools and libraries and gives age groups links for students to access. These links are facts, online help and counseling, a quiz to see how cybersafe you are, videos, articles and other great resources to help students understand the importance of digital citizenship. There are also numerous resources for parents and schools to use to help the child/students. After having a look at some of these resources I am actually going to look at this with my children. My husband and I have talked to them about being safe on the internet and not give out personal information in any way, but I have never thought about teaching them the full context of what it means to be a responsible digital citizen.
I have enjoyed this investigation and have only just skimmed the top of what resources are out there. Our lecturer provided many of these useful links, so credit goes to him. I have so much still to learn and I don’t think I can learn it all in just one week. I guess this is what it means to be a lifelong learner.
Commonwealth of Australia. (2013). Retrieved from Cyber(smart:): http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/
Ribble, M. (2013). Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship. Retrieved May 1, 2013, from Digital Citizenship – Using Technology Appropriately.: http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html
Watters, A. (2010, October 10). The Importance of Teaching Digital Citizenship. Retrieved May 1, 2013, from ReadWrite: http://readwrite.com/2010/10/10/the_importance_of_teaching_digital_citizenship
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