The importance of digital citizenship

The main idea of using digital citizenship is not just about technology, it’s all about finding the right ways to use it. Technology is at its most powerful when users deeply understand it and use it in ways that enhance their individual learning, and creating digital citizenship is the way to achieve this.

Digital citizenship means learning how to use technology in ways that are appropriate, responsible and intelligent. The factor in topics such as effective communication, personal branding, technology etiquette, privacy & safety, and acting as a responsible contributor & consumer of media.

Instead of calling out students who are distracted by taking their device away, teach them how they can manage the entertainment part of technology with the academic or professional part of it.

If we don’t teach them how to manage this now, they won’t know how to manage this later on in life. It’s a territory that makes teachers uncomfortable because a lot of them didn’t grow up with technology, so they aren’t sure what it looks like in the classroom. We’re encouraging teachers to get to a point where their students can self-regulate when technology is appropriate and when it isn’t appropriate. It takes work to get there, but we’re determined to make that journey with our teachers and students.

We’ve all been in classes with introverted students who would never raise their hands, but they have brilliant ideas that tech allows them to express. They’re much more comfortable with text messages than raising their hand. Also, group projects used to be difficult for students to manage, and now they’re a much more pleasant experience. It’s clear who’s doing what when you collaborate online, and it’s easy to separate out each student’s role in the project and they don’t have to go over to each other’s houses all the time the way they used to.


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