Digital Education Teaches Online Smarts…

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Photo CC By: Doug Belshaw

In this day and age, the possibility of being able to access information on anyone is fairly simple.  Type in a simple google search on any person and the plethora of information can–at times–be disturbing.  Therefore, the concept of digital citizenship is highly important to instill in today’s generation.

Digital  citizenship has been defined through the article by Mike Ribble called Digital Citizenship: Using Technology Appropriately,  as”a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology. Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use.

Through the amount of information that had been provided in the assignment this week, I took special interest in the readings about how an online persona is like a tattoo, and how what a person posts and says online has a definitive affect on those around them as well their own image.

So What Caught My Attention?

Reading through these resources, the first one that really held my attention was the Tedtalk by Juan Enriquez.

Enriquez had several awesome points on that fact that what a person does,says, and posts is like a digital tattoo.  It cannot be erased–once it’s out there, it can’t be taken back–just like a tattoo cannot be removed from the body–what is out there about you online can’t be removed either.  I felt this was a really great comparison just due to the fact that no matter how hard a person may try to remove an actual tattoo from their body–if it is no longer wanted–there is always going to be a trace of what was once there, scars and all.  The same concept applies to what is online–no matter if we try to erase something, the chances are is that someone has seen it already, and managed to copy it, screen shot it, or show it to someone else.  Therefore, this is always important to consider before putting something out on the online world.

So What Else?

Another resource that I want to make note of would be the issue of online bullying.  Anymore we so often hear of stories where a child is constantly harassed online–and eventually leads to very unfortunate circumstances.  In the article 7 Ways To Prevent Cyberbullying by Paula Green it gives a broad overview of cyber-bullying statistics and some information on how to prevent those actions from happening.  Cyber-bullying is such a hard issue to control, and many kids don’t know how to handle the issues that arise with this problem.  Within the article, it mentions that talking, using celebrity advocates, monitoring, engagement, positive online climates, volunteering, and building self-respect are several points to address and attack online bullying.  I think that it is important to consider all methods and actions–especially for future youth–in order to create better online users.

What Did I Gain From This Research?

By researching this topic it further instilled the idea that it is so highly important to create smart online users within our classrooms.  Not only just for the fact that it will help them be able to browse and detect inappropriate behavior, but also prevent them from engaging in that type of behavior.  I personally believe that these are ideas that we need to start instilling at very young ages–as many of the resources we use–even at the elementary school levels are online. I feel that as a future educator I need to ensure that I am properly teaching my students to be smart online users–for both safety and respect for others.

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5 thoughts on “Digital Education Teaches Online Smarts…”

  1. Great blog and information! With so much technology in our hands, it can definitely get out of control. It is great to have all these resources available to us. However, we must learn to use it wisely.

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    1. I completely agree, and I think that it is wise to make sure that we are educating our students of these potential dangers. Shielding them in this day and age is going to do them no good–start talking about it in elementary school and demonstrating good digital citizenship and maybe some of these problems will subside in the future.

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    1. Thank you!! I actually did a research paper on online cyber-bullying a year ago, and the stories were so disturbing in the fact how cruel kids could be to each other. It just scares me that many adults have no clue what their children are doing online–whether their child is the one bullying or the one being bullied. Regardless, I think it is highly important that the issue is addressed rigorously.

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