As technology grows to be the leading topic in society today, I believe it is important to teach students how to use it not only for social reasons but as a tool that impacts the environment they are in and society as a whole.
When I think about teaching digital citizenship, I immediately think of safety online. Teach students how to avoid predators, keep their identity safe, etc. However, there is so much more to it than that. Digital citizenship is:
The piece I want to draw your attention to in this definition is, “prepare students for a society full of technology.” Reflecting on this definition and considering the reading from Jason Ohler, technology is part of our identity. Everyone is impacted by it in different ways and everyone can create an impact with it in different ways. Therefore, learning about online safety is not enough.
Jason Ohler mentions that the “One Life” model of tech in the classroom invites students to use technology in the classroom but also discuss it’s greater use as a society. I have not seen digital citizenship taught in the classroom much, and if I have it is limited to online safety.
I believe this is happening because:
1) Teachers have limited knowledge of technology
2) Teachers are afraid to teach about technology
3) Teachers are against technology in the classroom (The two lives model from Ohler).
So, what do we do about that? Well, we could start with having classes and subject areas dedicated to digital citizenship. While I see a place for digital citizenship in all areas of the curriculum, I believe it is so engrained in our society and so fragile if not handled properly, that we need to teach it exclusively by educators who are specialized in that area. In a dream world you’re thinking… am I right? Most likely you are thinking that especially if you come from small town Sask. and felt the effects of the budget this year.
So….what do we do about THAT? Funding is complicated and being a teacher can be tough on a small budget. However, a little creativity can go a long way… AND if there is anything I have learned from this class, it is that technology is a teacher. We have access to the internet where we can LEARN to do anything.
Make student book holders out of tomato boxes, use cans as pencil holders, etc. the list goes on! Digital citizenship is still a new topic that is also difficult to understand, navigate, and teach in an effective way without the proper training. Fortunately, there are great articles like the Nine Elements, that can give us a little help along the way.
With consideration of these Nine Elements, I think I could sit down and begin planning something great for teaching digital citizenship with success. The rest is up to plenty of trial and error and many more internet articles to work from!