Digital Citizenship

When I was in high school, so last year, we had tons of different technology available in my school. Every classroom had a smart board, our school had a cart of approximately 30 chrome books, and we had a computer lab as well. Although we had all this technology I do not think it was used to the best of its ability, probably mostly because of the lack of training, understanding, and experience the teachers had with the different items. Often the smart boards would be used as glorified projector screens, and the chrome books and computers would be used to research, or type out the essay we already had written.

I think that digital citizenship was avoided. Instead of teaching students’ safety online, or the dangers of it they would try and prevent us from using it while at school, cell phones would be taken away, and certain websites such as Facebook, or even YouTube would be blocked.

In today’s world with technology constantly improving and increasing in our everyday lives as teachers it is definitely part of our jobs to educate students. We need to ensure that students know how to take proper precautions and understand that what they put out on the web will remain there forever so they have to be careful and mindful of what they share.

It is not about scaring them away from it, because we all know that it will not happen, but instead showing them different ways to use technology to benefit them in a more valuable way and what better place to do this than in the classroom. I am currently still struggling with thinking about how this could look in the classroom. Mostly because I have not had many opportunities and experience in a classroom so far in my degree.

When reading through Character Education for the Digital Age, one thing stuck out to me most.

“If we want to pursue a future that celebrates success not only in terms of abundance but also in terms of humanity, we must help our digital kids balance the individual empowerment of digital technology use with a sense of personal, community, and global responsibility. School is an excellent place to help kids become capable digital citizens who use technology not only effectively and creatively, but also responsibly and wisely. But we can only do that if we help them live one life, not two.”

This is the direction we need to be going. Students are living there lives around technology, so we can be the start to guiding and directing students in ways in which will be filling their brains with knowledge, and valuable information, rather than the Snapchat, mems, and video they are constantly viewing.

I was also able to make a connection to the IRL Fetish. Since being enrolled in EXMP 355, I have really been realizing how much technology consumes our lives. You walk into a restaurant, mall, or even just see people walking down the street and there is so many people on there phones, I too am guilty of this. But after realizing this I have been trying to reduce the amount of time I spend on Instagram, or Snap Chat especially when I am with friends or family. I am realizing that who you are with should be the ones you are talking to or hanging out with because it is that communication and interaction that is most valuable.

Lastly the Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship, written by Mike Ribble, is a great place to start when looking at incorporating digital citizenship into the classroom. Lots of teachers have not had exposure to this while they have been educated or even in their early years of teaching, so that is part of what makes it so difficult. But if we as upcoming teachers, or current teachers can all work together, eventually it will become something that is way less daunting to explore.


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