Digital citizenship…a teacher’s guide!

Throughout this course, the focus of my major project has been geared towards developing a curriculum-based resource that supports digital citizenship and media literacies within schools. As an educator, teaching my students about digital citizenship is crucial as technology plays a huge role in shaping the way our students communicate, learn, and create. Within today’s digital world, students are highly exposed to a wide assortment of different technologies and as technology continues to advance, they are left to adjust at a fast rate. The effects of technology on children are complicated, demonstrating both pros and cons. But, as to whether technology actually helps or hurts in the development of our children’s thinking, it depends on the specific way it is used, their activity in online spaces and the frequency it is used at.

As parents and teachers, it is important to recognize that technology is here to stay and that our children and students will continue to have exposure to it, as it is used often within our home and in schools. Rather than resisting it, we are left to educate ourselves about the distinct difference between being digitally/media literate and computer literate. In today’s digital society, children are being raised to operate a variety of technological devices at a young age. However, learning how to play games on a computer, tablet or smart phone is very different from comprehending how to act appropriately and responsibly in online spaces. Therefore, it is crucial for today’s modern youth to understand the ethics of technology associated to anyone who works or plays online.

We also need to educate our children and students about the importance of practicing digital safety and security when in online spaces. Disclosing personal and private information is often a mistake many children/students make as they do not understand the unfortunate consequences that may follow these actions. As responsible digital citizens, we are aware of the potential risks that exist within the digital society, however we would be naive to assume that our children and students possess the same awareness. The fact is, digital wisdom is simply not embedded into our brains, it needs to be taught. Furthermore, the expanding digital communication options have changed because people are able to keep in constant communication with their friends and family. Aside from email and text messaging, social media produces a wide assortment of apps that are usually free and offer instant messaging options. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that our children and students are spending so much of their time social networking. Although these digital tools offer quick and convenient communication options, they also open new doors to a range of potential risks. So, it is important that we educate our children and students to practice caution while making their presence known in the online world.

In conclusion, learning about digital citizenship and media literacies this semester has been extremely valuable! As a frequent technology user, this project and course has inspired me to monitor my digital footprint closely, contribute to the digital society in a positive manner, create equal opportunities for technology use, and to share the knowledge I have gained from this course to educate my students and co-workers about the importance of digital citizenship and media literacies. I would also like to express my extreme gratitude to Alec and Katia for creating the Saskatchewan’s Digital Citizenship Policy Planning Guide as it proved to be a very helpful resource in the development of my major project. Also, I’d like to thank the Common Sense Education website for offering a variety of effective resources for supporting digital citizenship as well as for creating interactive activities that are designed for both educators and students. Last but definitely not least, I would like to thank all of my EC&I 832 colleagues for sharing in my learning and demonstrating such support in the development of my curriculum-based resource. Your positive comments/feedback made all this happen! Now, I present to you the classroom code you will need in order to join my Google classroom to view the contents of my major project! The code is x0ak8x. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!

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