Sunday, February 21, 2010

Have you heard about Digital Citizenship?

We were asked to watch a video from the K12 Online Conference website. The video is called Digiteens: Digital Citizenship by Digital Teenagers. I did some research to see if I could actually get a definition for digital citizenship and realized that was not as easy as going to I learned that the general consensus is that we need to have and use digital citizenship when using technology; but no one is sure where it should be being taught. I did find one definition, from a website, that seemed to make the most sense. The Society for Technology in Education has defined Digital Citizenship as "students understands human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior".

This video showed different student project that dealt with various Internet etiquette. The one that compared DUI and DWT (driving while texting) statistics in regards to accidents and the loss of human life caught my attention the most. I was shocked to learn that DWT caused more death related accidents than DUI. Almost twice as many than DUI related accidents. I learned a lot from the video.

I did not realize that most of our teenagers and children, that have social networking accounts, have lied about their ages on them. I wanted to check this out for myself, so I had my niece show me her profile on the social network page she uses. We assumed that because it was Christian based that it would be safe. To my surprise, my niece had her age down correct in one spot but in another spot she had that she graduated high school in 1996. Making her much older than 13. I told her we needed to correct it and she told me that we could not. Once you put in the information and save it you can't change it. It was a nice try but thanks to this class I knew how to correct it and we did.

One of the projects talked about the safety of adults and children using the Internet. It was very informative. Most of our children are not aware of any dangers or how to protect themselves from predators and identity theft when it comes to using today's technology. I did not realize that children as young as 9 years old are shopping online. My question is how are they paying for their items and who turns their kids loose on the Internet with their credit cards? This type of situation has resulted in identity left because the kids were not using safe shopping practices.

During my school years, we were taught citizenship in regards to human behavior and interaction. The most advanced pieces of technology were the boom box, VCR, microwave, and color TV. Society set the standard for what was played on the radio, TV, and movies. There was not the need for safety concerns that we face today. The biggest concerns were not to drink, and if you did drink then not to drive, or ride with someone who had been drinking. The other big issue was not to talk to strangers. I grew up in a much safer world than we live in today.

As I have been learning and taking this technology for teachers class, I keep wondering how safe are my students going to be as I incorporate technology into my class some day. I would feel terrible if something we did in class led to my students being preyed upon or even worse hurt. This makes me feel that we all have a responsibility to teach Internet etiquette. This should start in home usage and carry through to the classroom. Before we let our students use technology we should make sure they have the knowledge to do so in a manner that is safe for them and others. I will include digital citizenship lessons in my classroom.

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