What is digital citizenship and how to buy technology for it

What is digital citizenship in primary and secondary education today?

Digital Citizenship aims to educate students about internet safety, but it is much more than that. A decade ago, the only digital citizenship education students could have received was to watch out for online predators. Now it encompasses more than just security.

Almost half of students in grades 4 to 8 (40%) have connected or chatted with a stranger onlineaccording to a study by Center for Cybersecurity and Education. Of these, 53% gave their overseas phone number and 15% tried to meet in person.

These statistics have school districts wondering how they can better educate students to understand internet safety as a key part of digital citizenship.

Educators and school leaders must also fight against untrustworthy sources of information, which students will naturally not be able to identify without guidance and instructions. It’s a concept even adults grapple with: Nearly 2 in 3 say fabricated news greatly upsets them about current events and issues, a Research bench report shows. Twenty-three percent of Americans surveyed admitted to sharing fake news.

the Dig Cit Doctors, Kristen Mattson and Lee Ann Lindsey, founded their company Edvolve as a digital citizenship resource for schools. The duo even created a free educational resource for schools PK-12.

Mattson says digital citizenship includes “scaffolding skills like digital health and wellbeing, media and information literacy, and social responsibility throughout a child’s kindergarten experience. in 12th grade.

LEARN MORE: Connected STEM classrooms break down silos for K-12 students.

What are the nine elements of digital citizenship?

Mike Ribbleauthor of The Digital Citizenship Handbook for School Leaders and Digital citizenship in schoolsexplains that safety is the foundation we can all agree on as the “common denominator”, but the need for additional training expands from there to include intelligence and sociability.

It uses these three Ss – safe, savvy and social – to guide school leaders towards a comprehensive digital citizenship curriculum framework.

Districts hoping to improve their digital citizenship education can use Ribble’s framework of nine themes to empower students:

  • Digital access ensures the equitable distribution of technology and digital resources.
  • Digital commerce focuses on the use of money on digital platforms, including buying, selling and electronic banking.
  • Digital communication and collaboration is the electronic exchange of information.
  • digital label refers to standards of online conduct, which involves being considerate of others.
  • Digital fluency empowers people to make good decisions online. One of the ways schools can focus on building digitally savvy citizens is to help them decipher real versus fake news.
  • Digital health and wellbeing focuses on the physical and psychological well-being of online users.
  • Digital law refers to understanding online actions and creating rules and policies around digital behavior.
  • Digital rights and responsibility means the freedom to use the Internet and digital tools while retaining the responsibility to inform adults of potential problems.
  • Digital security and privacy emphasizes awareness of cyber threats, including attacks and privacy breaches, and works to prevent them.

Schools can incorporate these topics into comprehensive instruction to ensure they focus on more than basic online safety. Educators should teach each theme while students use online spaces for class work, research, and other projects.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ONLINE LEARNING: Game-based education prepares students for a digital future.

How to consider digital citizenship when planning tech purchases

District leaders have many decisions to make when purchasing new technology for staff and students. Digital citizenship must be a priority during the planning and purchasing process to fully implement it in education. Leaders can follow these expert tips when buying and implementing new technologies.

Choose tools that provide authentic interactions.

Ribble cautions against buying and integrating “tech for tech’s sake.”

“Buying tools and platforms that allow young people to interact with content, with each other and with their teacher in the most authentic way possible” is helpful, says Mattson.

Integrate digital citizenship into the curriculum.

As student lives and responsibilities shift to online platforms, digital citizenship must be fully integrated across the curriculum.

“To truly create a culture of digital citizenship, we need to connect the curriculum with policies, practices, and purchases that advance the goals we have for our students,” says Mattson. Educators can incorporate it into a research project in a science class or an English lesson that helps students identify the credibility of sources.

“Every teacher needs to understand this intentionality,” Ribble says, adding that teacher preparation programs are beginning to focus on teaching future educators this need.

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