2. What is Digital Citizenship?
What does it mean to be a digital citizen?
Activity 2a: Review and Reflect on Different Points of View
Now that you've developed a "why" let's think a little more about what kids need to know and be able to do as citizens of the digital world. What skills do they need? What mindsets should they embrace? What values do they need to tap into?
If you've had previous exposure to digital citizenship, there's a good chance you have heard it posed as a set of rules by which students are to abide when they are using digital tools. You know, things like:
- Don't bully
- Don't plagiarize
- Don't send or post damaging photos of yourself
- Don't talk to strangers online
- Don't, don't, don't...
Digital citizenship is often thought of and implemented as a top down (teacher, administrator, or parent-driven approach) to "keeping kids away from the bad stuff" and "protecting them from harm." This perspective, which I refer to as "Dig Cit 1.0", in part, stems from the wider introduction of computers into the classroom (10-15 years ago) and the common challenges that ensued in classrooms while students were using computers.
In this course, you'll be asked to consider a different take on digital citizenship... one that views digital participation as an opportunity, one that empowers citizens to connect, create, learn, express ideas, and advocate for things they care about. One that acknowledges "risk aversion" as a necessary and desired goal, but that puts greater emphasis on personal health & well-being, learner agency, and social good. These ideas represent "Dig Cit 2.0" and "3.0").
Read this blog post to better understand The Evolution of Digital Citizenship from the "old school" (aka Dig Cit 1.0) approach to digital citizenship that was based in fear and whose primary goal risk-aversion, to the more positive, opportunity-based perspective (aka Dig Cit 2.0) that many educators and ed tech experts currently adopt. The blog post also describes an even more nuanced take on what it means to be a healthy, happy, productive, and engaged citizen of the digital world (Dig Cit 3.0).
Then take a few minutes to reflect on your perception of digital citizenship up to this point and whether it reflect more of a 1.0 view, 2.0, or 3.0. The following table can help also you to reflect on your past or current practices:
0 - I don't think about dig cit at all. In any way.
1.0 - I view digital citizenship as a way to keep kids away from the bad stuff. I have constructed a list of "don'ts" that serve as rules for students to follow. I tell students what they can and cannot do and am consistent with those expectations.
2.0 - I view digital citizenship as empowering students to be successful and healthy in the digital world. I have shown and discussed positive examples of digital behavior for students to consider. I involve students in the discussion about their online experiences and value their experiences as digital citizens.
3.0 - I view digital citizenship as a mechanism of freedom to fulfill one's own purpose, individually and collectively as a citizen of the digital world and the global community. I engage students in reflection about their own values and goals, then coach them to effectively leverage digital tools to accomplish them.
Picture of Continuum goes here
Where are you along the continuum? What makes you say that?
Where do you want to be? Why?
In what ways has your thinking begun to shift?
This should go in the workbook
Activity 2b: Review the ISTE Standards
Are you familiar with ISTE? ISTE stands for International Society for Technology in Education and it is the authoritative organization for teaching and learning with technology. As noted on ISTE's website, "The ISTE Standards are a framework for students, educators, administrators, coaches and computer science educators to rethink education and create innovative learning environments."
Watch this short video to become a little more familiar with the ISTE Standards and their emphasis on Digital Citizenship.
Note to self: Video walking through the student, teacher, and leader standards to show that they each include digital citizenship. Then go through the student indicators more thoroughly.
ISTE Standards (from this page, you can navigate to the standards for students, educators, leaders, coaches, and computer science educators.)
Activity 2c: Review and Reflect on Specific Digital Citizenship Indicators
The ISTE Standards are an excellent guide to help us being to understand what students should be able to do with respect to digital participation. In some cases, however, even more specificity may be needed to understand the scope of digital citizenship -- and the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and mindsets associated with it.
Should I make a short video to walk through the framework? Probably yes.
Let's take a look at a set of indicators, compatible with the ISTE Standards for Students but with a smaller "grain size" of detail (i.e., more specific).
1. Print out a copy the digital citizenship indicators (need a separate PDF with just these or maybe this goes as a page in the workbook) which are derived from the Edvolve Framework.
2. Conduct two read-throughs of the digital citizenship indicators, per the instructions below:
- 1st read through: Read quickly (2 mins)
- Think about the following: What is your overall impression? How do you feel about the indicators?
- 2nd read through: Read more thoroughly (5-7 mins)
- Highlight (using one color) indicators that you feel you understand relatively well
- Highlight (using a different color) indicators that you don't understand as well as terms that are unfamiliar
Activity 2d: Look at other definitions
There are some other individuals and groups talking about Dig Cit. It's good to be familiar with all the different ways people are describing dig cit. See what they have to say:
- Common Sense Media
- Family Online Safety Institute
- 9 Elements of Dig Cit
- Dig Cit Institute
Activity 2e: Set learning targets
If you're looking at your highlighted framework and thinking to yourself... "boy, do I have a lot to learn," take a deep breath. Rest assured, you don't have to know it all, especially as you are taking your first steps. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that you can't know it all because digital citizenship is ever-evolving (as technology is ever evolving) and you shouldn't strive to know it all because you'll run the risk of leaving students out of the conversation and reverting back to the dig cit 1.0 mentality. So, if digital citizenship seems like a foreign concept and the indicators feel like they're written in a language non-native to you, don't feel bad... you are not alone.
That being said, you'll want to become more familiar with each of the topics that are represented in the digital citizenship indicators. You'll want to understand the premise of each and have a sense of its meaning and significance. You should have enough understanding to be able to make connections between each concept and things you experience, read about, or see demonstrated as you navigate the digital world. I call this "demystifying digital citizenship."
Now it's time to set some learning goals. Using your marked up digital citizenship document (and taking into account all the other stuff you have reviewed thus far), identify the concepts you want/need to know a little more about. Create some learning targets using the following sentence frames:
- I want to learn more about...
- I need to better understand...
- A term I'd like to become more familiar with is...
- I'm confused by ... and I'd like to get more clarity
Share one of your learning goals on (something)
This should go in the workbook too
- Which indicators resonate with you? Mark a star by items that you feel particularly positive feelings about being included on the list.
Let's practice these skills. Go to section 3.