The Importance of Digital Citizenship

The Importance of Digital Citizenship

Addressing the 21st century skill of digital citizenship is important; to help students to learn, communicate and collaborate safely and responsibly.

Being a best digital citizen in the community includes having email etiquette, reporting and preventing cyber bullying, learning how to protect private information, etc.

Here are few crucial reasons why school should make teaching digital citizenship to their students the first step in the tech integration process.

  1.   Today, with digitalization, employers judge prospective students or employees for their social media profile. So, it is important to teach students how to create online personas that project positive and constructive image.
  2. Cyber-bullying is another reason for teaching digital citizenship. We can only prevent cyber-bullying by educating students about digital citizenship. Lack of awareness about digital citizenship can lead to the cyber-bullying which has grave consequences at times.
  3. Stay informed and safe:
    1. Whatever students do keep their parents inform.
    2. Ensure that their parents understand what their kids are doing.
    3. Include parents as well in their kid online activities.
    4. Things only get posted after teacher’s approval of it.
  4. Be respectful
    1. Talk to your students about compassion, respect and being kind over the Internet. Help them to understand how to just focus on good things and not on bad things and how to make ensure that only their “good work” goes online.
  5. Be a good learner

In all your classes make your student understand that web is a place to learn and gain things. Today, the engagement of students with technology is more in this digital world, and most of them do not make right choice, in fact they don’t really know what they are doing and what is its affect. Therefore, digital citizenship lessons are mandatory to teach.

Focus on how to be a good digital citizen

  • Digital citizenship requires active participation and responsibility, because ultimately your actions are going make the online space a safer, better place. 
  • Good digital citizens don’t engage in cyberbullying. They don’t give out too much personal information, and they don’t post crazy videos on YouTube that will come back to haunt them in future job interviews.
  • Ways to use digital citizenship for good:
    • Use online forums or social media networks to facilitate student discussions so students have a safe space to practice good digital citizenship.
    • Ensure you know how to identify a “troll” — an online user whose goal is to provoke others or derail conversations — so they can avoid engaging with them.
    • Encourage students to step away from phone and computer screens during family dinners and when hanging out with friends; offline relationships are just as important as online ones!

This Internet age is actually super exciting. The things that we can do, the amazing stories we can share... don't let the fear of technology stop you from learning how to be a great digital citizen!

i/c: EdTech,

Great articles for Further Reading: Global Digital Citizen, University of Notre Dame

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