In a world filled with blogs, tweets, texts, social media posts, and memes, it’s more important than ever that students understand the norms of appropriate and responsible technology use. No matter which subject or grade you teach, you can help your students live, grow, and work in a technology-driven global community.
Not sure how to begin teaching the many components of 21st century, technology-based learning? The nine elements of digital citizenship are a great place to start.
Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship
Not everyone has the same access to technology. Some students don’t have a computer at home while others have personal tablets, cell phones, and laptops. It’s important that you provide all of your students with opportunities to use technology in the classroom and/or during free periods or after school. Review these resources from Edutopia for ideas for closing the digital divide in your classroom.
Online shopping is a lifesaver, but it also comes with dangers. You can mitigate these dangers by introducing your students to the conflicts of buying and selling goods and services online. Share your personal negative experiences with online shopping, build activities that illustrate conflicts between online exchanges, and ask students to complete activities in which they evaluate online retailers’ credibility.
Thanks to technology, students are able to regularly communicate with their peers on a daily basis, no matter where they are located. Therefore, it’s important that students make responsible choices when communicating digitally. Check out this resource for tips to teach your students how to properly communicate online.
Although students have many digital and media tools at their disposal, they often don’t know how to effectively navigate or evaluate them. Read this article for how to teach students to evaluate a website’s credibility. It’s also important to help students learn to synthesize online content from a variety of sources.
While students may recognize inappropriate behavior online when they encounter it, they may not know how to avoid these situations or how to remove themselves from negative communications online. Use these best practices to teach students how to prevent and avoid bad behavior online.
It’s important for students to understand that there are rules when they are interacting online. Unethical use of technology includes theft and/or crime. Help students understand that stealing or causing harm to others’ work, identities, or property online is a crime. Watch these videos for examples on how to teach students this important lesson.
Digital Rights and Responsibilities
All digital citizens have basic rights online, including privacy and freedom of speech. Use these lessons to teach students about the online “Bill of Rights.”
Digital Health and Wellness
According to CNN.com, teens spend 9 hours a day using some form of media. This extreme use of technology has repercussions. Eye safety, repetitive stress syndrome, and Internet addiction are all prevalent issues in the digital age. Use these resources to teach students how to protect themselves from the negative effects of being online.
In any society, even digital communities, there are people who disrupt. It’s important to teach students to engage in regular digital security practices (e.g., virus protection, backups of data, and not sharing sensitive information online) to protect their information from outside forces. This is a great resource for teaching cyber security.