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