Exploring Digital Citizenship

Why teach digital citizenship in the first place and whose definition of digital citizenship should we teach?  There is so much for teachers to learn about even before starting to teach and then the work really starts.  In the infographic above, one can see two slightly conflicting views of the most important elements of teaching digital citizenship.  In her article, “What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship,” Vickie Davis describes what she believes are the 9 most important things to teach to our students.  Her subtitle sums it up “Ideas on how to guide students to the knowledge and experience they need to act responsibly online.”  I might have liked this list, had I not seen another one.

The website, www.digitalcitizenship.net, is dedicated to teaching how to use technology appropriately.  According to their home page, “Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use.”  They go on to describe the 9 elements of digital citizenship listed above.  I like this list.  On Davis’ list, several of the items seem redundant and many are left off.  For example, aren’t the first four items on her list all a part of digital security?  Self-protection?  Also, where does she suggest discussing digital commerce or access?  These points are new to me and very interesting for me to think about.

For one of the assignments in the last collection I researched digital redlining.  I never really thought about how poor and isolated Americans are not receiving some services that have become basic everyday needs for other Americans.  They are missing out on not only services, but also access to information so that they can exercise their basic rights as American citizens (like informed voting).  Digital access is number one on the list from digitalcitizenship.net.  Number two is equally eye-opening.  Let’s teach students how to shop!  Or, how NOT to shop!  I never thought about teenagers (or anybody) needing an education about shopping, but they/we do.  It makes perfect sense. Some of the other 9 elements are the same common-sense measures I have already been teaching: self-protection, etiquette, rights and responsibilites…

The Madison Metropolitan School District, in Madison, WI compiled a collection of lesson plans addressing each of the 9 elements listed above.  There are a wide variety of activities, including links to other resources.  This is the curriculum I would teach.  It seems to cover all of the things I have had to teach myself in the past few weeks. Again, I find myself far more informed simply due to the process of research.


PS.  I made the piktochart.  Didn’t like it… lol


Author: admin

This is the launch of my masters journey!!

4 thoughts on “Exploring Digital Citizenship”

  1. Kat – I really liked your post. Based on those ideas – of teaching the nine elements – I would say that we need to add a new core to ELA, SS, Science and Math – namely technology. I try and teach some in my ELA classes – Google Docs, Word, PowerPoint, G. Slides, email, and then some apps like Padlet…but the reality is that every second I spend teaching technology is one minute I am not teaching ELA. Yes they overlap, but teaching kids how to send an attachment or share a doc (over and over again) takes away from my core curriculum. I think we should add an hour a day – or make it a elective requirement that the students receive some amount every year all year long.

    1. Thank you. I have been thinking about this too, but I worry about teachers more like how I was a month ago. It is so hard to find the time and motivation to learn new things we need to teach our kids.

  2. I like the Pikotchart you made…makes it easier to apprehend more information in less space. And I agree that the “9 Elements” is richer and more comprehensive than Vicki Davis’s (though I admire Davis’s alliteration). A few others have come across the 9 Elements and remarked on how it is more comprehensive, even if some of the areas are…large! I mean, “digital communication!?”

    Your thoughts about teaching about commerce point out one of the common logical fallacies that has resulted in concepts *not* being addressed: the idea that since kids are doing certain things all the time, they must be doing them well or right. Turns out to very much not be the case (and logically, why should it be?) when it comes to things like *responsible* commerce, just as it turns out that “digital natives” might know how to search, but they don’t search *well*.

    The question of how, where and when to teach these things is the big one, and at ever level. Adding an hour a day or a class are not trivial. Until then it seems we are all stuck, to some degree, teaching these skills with the content. But I wonder, too, if that isn’t the best way pedagogically and if we should instead be looking at adding a little time for everyone—and supporting some coordination of the things everyone is integrating into their own classes—rather than trying to teach digi cit concepts separately.

    1. Thanks. I really did not like the infographic attempt. I started to use a different program, but couldn’t manipulate it. This particular graphic took me about 2 hours to edit. Not very time-wise…

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