In the article What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship Vicki Davis covers “9 Keys Ps” of Digital Citizenship: passwords, private information, personal information, photographs, property, permission, protection, professionalism and personal brand. Davis also makes mention of the fact that many are starting to drop the digital from digital citizenship, as we are simply educating students to be citizens. I see this as the more modern approach to teaching digital citizenship. We can’t effectively teach it, if we are distinguishing the digital versus the real-life selves of students. I do not believe that students see a difference between their digital-self, and their real-life self.
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Douglas Rushkoff coined the term “screen-agers” as youth that do not distinguish between media, it’s all interconnected for them in their everyday life:
- Screen-agers see media not as discrete products that can “impact” them or their culture, but as elements of a multi-media mosaic that is their culture.
- Screen-agers “read” and “write” seamlessly using images, sounds and words.
- Screen-agers experience the world not in physical boundaries but as an instant global network of wireless connections and interconnections.
By classifying teenagers, or younger digital literate individuals in this manner we can no longer separate the digital from the citizenship piece in education, because of this we need to educate students to think critically in all areas of media and their daily lives.
In the article Media Literacy: A National Priority for a Changing World the authors highlight five key questions for interpreting and critically analyzing information:
1 – Who created this message?
2 – What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?
3 – How might different people understand this message differently from me?
4 – What lifestyles, values and points of view are represented in – or omitted from – this message?
5 – Why is this message being sent?
As adults I think we sometimes take for granted that students can decipher valuable media and sources, from those with a specific agenda or viewpoint. But just because students have viewed lots of media and sources doesn’t mean they fully comprehend what they are viewing. The post Digital Literacy: Whats Does it Mean to you? presents two opposites of students skill and understanding of technology. On one end of the spectrum is comfort and ease of use, and on the other, information literacy – “the ability to judge the quality of information one receives through electronic means”. So although, students may argue that they know how to use technology it does not mean that they fully are able to interpret it.
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Regardless, if you think the digital should be separated from the citizenship students are fully immersed in the online world. If we are looking to engage with students and teach them to be productive members of society and prepare them for the future we need to connect the classroom learning with their online living.
- What do you think about no longer distinguishing between digital citizenship and citizenship?
- What are some great digital citizenship lessons/ videos/ information you teach or have seen?
- How can we convince students that they need to be taught how to be good digital citizens?
Thanks for reading!