Digital Citizenship

Dealing with having to Deal

Digital Citizenship has several meanings. One definition states it is about confident and positive engagement with digital technologies.

Digital citizenship requires members to behave maturely and civilly. Anyone who regularly interacts online is a digital citizen.

Digital citizenship refers to the responsible use of technology by anyone using computers, the internet, and any digital device to engage with society on ay level.

I define digital citizenship as having the skills to maintain one’s actions and behaviors when using any digital tool, platform, or connection to the internet—understanding the responsibility of using the internet and trusting those appropriate behaviors have been used.

The article that I feel gave me new insight into relating digital citizenship with students with a little understanding of how to turn on and off their digital connections was Digital Citizenship Means Character Education for the Digital Age, by Jason Ohler. Ohler makes it straightforward for me to educate students about balance and their empowerment with technology, how students see themselves in person, how they are in their community and their global responsibility. Sometimes we as educators get caught off guard with students’ behavior face to face, but I believe it is how they behave online and even in my Virtual classrooms that surprised me the most. I am always having a nono moment or an eye-popping experience. The idea that students are functioning in two lives makes sense. We have to help with moral clarification instead of right and wrong behaviors. We have to balance all opportunities to guard student’s safety is important. Teaching digital health should be a priority. We must teach students how to live digital lifestyles that are safe and healthy. Having a base for defining Digital Citizenship adds this component to curriculums and school districts; digital citizenship week is refreshing. Individual behavior has to be accounted for when using the internet. Creating balance with personal and community empowerment.  Education has to be for all. Everyone online has to participate in being a good citizen. Staying active in debating what is digital citizenship. All ways have inclusiveness when teaching about Ditial citizenship. The media will keep us informed, and we must keep the community informed about it.

Understanding Digital Citizenship and its definition are to create significant learning environments for students and teachers. No matter how you word the meaning, the implication has to be understood. Role-playing and sentence stems can help foster a meaningful way of defining what digital citizenship means. Allowing the learners to create norms and infographics can help them understand the meaning of digital citizenship. After watching the required videos, I understand now how the nine elements work, and each one of them makes a whole.

Ribble (2015) gives us the nine areas of a digital citizen. Ribble has a framework to understand the technical issues of how important this is for educators.

I have given them a short meaning that makes the point understood.

  1. Digital access means using the internet or any electronic wherever and whenever—full global participation.
  2. Digital commerce- is the ability to spend money and or make money legally by way of electronics.
  3. Digital communication- having the ability to use social media respectfully and purposefully, allowing information exchange.
  4. Digital literacy is the process of teaching and learning about technology and the right way to use it.
  5. Digital etiquette- “netiquette” showing persistent kindness using conduct and procedure
  6. Digital law- behaving responsibly and understanding the rules and consequences.
  7. Digital rights and responsibilities- knowing that everyone has freedoms in the digital world
  8. Digital health and wellness- keeping your ego and feelings in check. Never allow oneself to become a bully and not to be bullied.
  9. Digital security- protect your information. Stay cautious.

Ribble then categorizes the nine elements into three categories, which helps me understand the meaning and apply them to my curriculum. Since my career is to work with students in a Verizon Innovation Learning Lab and my campus Technology integration champion, the categories that Ribble has designed makes sense. How the elements relate directly affects the learners, school environment and behaviors, and life outside of school. He even goes as far as to create three principles that are meaningful to the educator. Ribble uses  Respect, Educate, and Protect to help teach the themes of digital citizenship. Again, this makes so much sense to the educators to understand and see themselves using meaningful lessons.

Respect Yourself and Others having digital etiquette; make sure not to make it so personal that you hurt others in your online experience. Access and law also have to do with everyone can use, and specific rules protect them.

Educate Yourself and Others will ensure that literacy, communication, and commerce are taught in meaningful lessons and can be better understood.

Protect Yourself and Others Rights, and responsibilities in technology can be fun and still teachable. Learning opportunities happen more often when reading emails are posts from students. What may be funny to one can be hurtful to another. Trust has to be built and privacy respected.


iCitizen Project

iCitizen project was, in my opinion, a significant learning environment style of lesson. I found so many similar thoughts for my innovation plan. The project had the basis for five essential elements. The meaningful definition came from the project. The students that fully involved themselves, I believe, are better because their feelings and opinions mattered. Once they immersed themselves in defining the meaning of digital citizenship in the 21st century, it was clear that not only the educators got it but also did too. Empathy has to must be modeled, and it can be cultivated. Several students wrote excellent definitions. I agreed with them and can see myself using them in my plan. I agree with the purpose because you must be aware, empathic, and socially responsible and believe in social justice and model both face to face and virtually.

In conclusion, we all have to keep up with the rapid pace of digital citizenship. Behaving online can cost you your jobs, marriage, and sometimes your life. I work hard to monitor my behavior to set good examples for myself and my son. My students can always use my empathetic ways to handle their situations better.

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