Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship & Education

As the use of technology increases in our daily lives, there is no surprise that the use of technology in schools is also increasing.  With the use of technology in education on the rise, there becomes a growing need to ensure students are equipped with skills to be able to use digital resources appropriately and responsibly.  Ensuring that students have the types of skills they need for proper and appropriate use of digital resources is called digital citizenship.  Digital citizenship is an important skill set that all students need to ensure they are being safe and responsible when using digital resources.

So, what exactly is digital citizenship? Although one formal definition has not been established, digital citizenship includes a variety of aspects which includes identifying what is right and wrong when using technology and making good choices for both oneself and others in any digital capacity.  My personal definition for digital citizenship states, digital citizenship is being respectful, responsible, and making ethical choices when using digital resources for oneself and others.  According to Mike Ribble (2005), there are nine components associated with being a good digital citizen, they include: etiquette, communications, literacy, access, commerce, law, rights and responsibilities, health and wellness, and security.  While the formal definition of digital citizenship is still being debated, many can agree that being a good digital citizen includes making good choices when working with technology.  Digital citizenship is a relatively new concept as the use of technology has begun to boom in the past 20-30 years, therefore, teaching students how to be good digital citizens in the classroom has become pertinent in more recent years.

Similar to how being a good citizen is important in daily society, being a good digital citizen is also extremely important when using technology and digital resources.  Digital citizenship is an especially important facet when incorporating any form of technology into a classroom.  According to Jason Ohler, ‘Digital citizenship means character education for the digital age’ and just as teachers should not assume all students come to them knowing how to be an adequate citizen in society, they should also not assume that students are equipped with skills to be good digital citizens.  Teachers should be prepared to model good digital citizenship as well as prepare lessons that directly teach the responsibilities of good digital citizenship.  Teachers are often equipped with an array of technological resources and should always model appropriate digital citizenship.  In addition to modeling good digital citizenship, teachers should prepare lessons that directly teach digital citizenship.  Digital citizenship is more than know what is right and wrong when using digital resources and should be carefully planned into lessons to ensure students are being equipped with appropriate skills for the digital age.  Digital citizenship has become increasingly important as more technology is being incorporated into our daily lives including education.

Digital citizenship is an extremely important tool both in and out of the classroom.  Students need to learn that what they do online, though they may be ‘hidden’ behind a computer screen, can have life-long repercussions for themselves and others.  Teaching students how to be good digital citizens can help to eliminate online problems such as cyber-bullying and illegal use of resources.  Teachers should lead by example to indicate good digital citizenship and plan lessons to teach proper digital citizenship.  Digital citizenship has become increasingly important both in and out of the classroom as the use of technology increases in society.  Digital citizenship is an important skill set that all students need to ensure they are being safe and responsible when using digital resources.

The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship

Citizenship in the Digital Age: Infographic

Citizenship in the Digital Age

Resources

Brichacek, A. (2014, October 22). Infographic: Citizenship in the digital age. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=192

Collier, A. (2009, September 15). A definition of digital literacy & citizenship. Retrieved September 01, 2017, from http://www.connectsafely.org/a-definition-of-digital-literacy-a-citizenship-571/

Curran, M. (2012, June). iCitizen: Are you a socially responsible digital citizen. Paper presented at the International Society for Technology Education Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX. Retrieved from http://www.gonevirtual.org/uploads/6/0/8/6/6086473/icitizen_iste12_paper.pdf (PDF: icitizen_paper_M_Curran.pdf )

Ohler, J. (2012). Digital citizenship means character education for the digital age. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 77(8), 14-17. (PDF: Ohler_Digital_citizenship_means_character_education_2012.pdf)

Ribble, M. (2015). Digital citizenship in schools: Nine elements all students should know (3rd ed.). Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education

Ribble, M. (n.d.). Nine themes of digital citizenship. Retrieved September 01, 2017, from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html

Bbrandino68 B. (2010, December 15). The nine elements of digital citizenship. Retrieved September 01, 2017, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87JiUrWaQVk