Education today is drastically evolving and so are our students. Today’s children are budding up in a digital world and Social media tools is integrated as a prominent part of our youth and it offers ocean of resources for students in learning and interactivity, there is no doubt that student benefit using them but in the same way it poses many concerns too and I think as educators it is our duty to tailor our students in becoming positive and efficient digital citizens. Digital citizenship is a word which had no importance or existence when we grew up but now things have changed. Now, the same topic is frequently educated in schools. Digital citizenship is an idea that helps educators, parents, students and technology user comprehend the proper use of technology. It is high time for us as educators to acknowledge the fact that we are no longer teaching our kids how to use technology (they are often proficient basic users of technology) but we are here to teach how responsibly use it.
In the globally well-connected world that we are living today where technology plays a vital role and becoming more and more efficient and essential, the question that pops up in my mind is “Are we preparing our children for the future and teaching our kids the importance of digital citizenship”? There are many speculations with respect to the preparation of the children for the future but how do we get there? I believe that the current educational model needs to be rationalized to understand and achieve the skills and characteristics which will be very important for our students in the future. Dr. Alec’s and Katia Hildebrandt guide to “Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools” document provides an excellent guideline for school divisions and school-based administrators who are developing digital citizenship policies, I totally agree when it states that “Our world is changing, and schools need to adapt to new realities of knowledge, society, and education. Technology has fundamentally changed our idea of community and the ways in which we interact with each other, so that building individual networks for learning and support is more important than ever before”
As an educator back in days in my home country, I always felt that we need to do more than what we were doing to educate our children about digital citizenship. The country is booming with technology innovations and offered a lot to the world yet it has not recognized the immediate need of educating children about online behavior and making the digitally literate. I always felt that there is a strong need to integrate digital citizenship and Internet Maturity courses in Schools curriculum. As my fellow classmate, Ms. Moser states in her blog post I also feel that we lack the tools to appropriately introduce digital citizenship in our classrooms in an authentic way that will benefit students. I believe that the fundamentals of digital citizenship are not so different from the basic beliefs of traditional citizenship, one must be kind, respectful and accountable, and contribute in events that make the world a better place and that is what we as educators must teach our students and make them ready to be for the digital world.
The article “What is media literacy, and why is it important”? beautifully describes the meaning of media literacy and how it goes beyond the ability to just read and write in the digital world. Our kids spend a great deal of time on the internet and they access an enormous amount of data from many sources and as educators, it is very important that we educate our kid’s media literacy skills which are very important and essential proficiency in the digital age. The article sheds light on what is media literacy and why is it so important for youngsters in this digital age. It is so true that media can be decoded and today’s kids are really good at it, they try to make meaning of most of the things they see and read over the internet and day to day life but most of the times not in an appropriate way and that is what makes media literacy more important and Andrea Quijada in her TedEd video Creating critical thinkers through media literacy does a wonderful job in explaining it , I completely agree when she states that once students know how to deconstruct media they have gained super power and I believe we can lead them in that direction.
To reflect on our own digital life and practices, I believe that we must be right example to our students and showcase appropriate online behavior and importance of digital footprint. Patrick Maze’s discussion this week in our class further justified how important it is for us as educators to be mindful of and carefully monitor our digital footprint. Finally, as educators, we have to educate our students that using technology is a privilege which comes with a great responsibility if we don’t educate them the appropriate use of technology they will eventually end up in trouble. The article 9 resources for teaching digital citizenship explains how can we teach kids to use technology responsibly when the technology is changing faster than we can keep up. The article focuses on teaching Citizenship in the digital age and the challenges of teaching digital citizenship.
To wrap this week’s post, I would love to know how do you think could be the ideal way to introduce the concept of digital citizenship to today’s digital natives who assume that they know it all? and what challenges lie ahead for us as educators in this digital era to introduce the concept of digital citizenship when we lack the appropriate tools in our infrastructure?