What is Digital Citizenship?
Digital Citizenship as an umbrella definition is the responsible someone who uses computer, digital devices, or the internet has. There are nine themes: digital access, digital commerce, digital communication. digital literacy, digital etiquette, digital law, digital rights and responsibilities, digital health and wellness, and digital security (self-protection). It should be taught in education in a way that does not scare students from the internet, but hands them tools and builds self-confidence.
Me as a Digital Citizen
When I am online, I rarely post. On most of my personal accounts I have all family members (grandparents to young nieces and nephews), some students (those who just graduated) and their parents (Corona Virus communication), coworkers, and my school. I feel like the easiest way to stay professional is to not post. I post if I did something worth taking note of or to update my family. I have seen what happens when other people make one mistake and I often make mistakes and learn from them. I tend to be so “innocent” that I don’t always think everything through and have been lucky enough that my friends understand my nature and how to help me grow. Strangers do not. I could not imagine making a mistake on my personal account with all of those people watching. I also do not want to push my opinions onto my younger family members, friends, and mentees. I do not want to take advantage of my position as a teacher to do that. I have to monitor what posts and photos I am tagged in as well. Not to mention I turned twenty-one less than four months ago. I need my job and can’t jeopardize it. I am sure many people see all of this as ignorance or excuses. I see it as a lack of education. All my digital citizenship education was do not post anything you would not want your grandma, boss, or grandchildren to see. I was scared out of posting anything after a week of awful innocent things (i.e. a typo or mispronunciation) getting blown up and ruining others’ digital footprints. With better education I would feel more confident posting online.
Digital Citizenship Education
It is important that students are taught about media balance, privacy/security, their digital footprint and identity, Relationships and communication, news and media literacy, cyber bullying, digital drama, and hate speech. Common Sense Education does just that and has lesson plans to follow for grades 1-12.