We live in a digital age. While we are citizens of local communities, our state, country, and world, we are increasingly becoming digital citizens. The Internet is a regular, and growing, part of our lives. Our devices have become smaller, connected, and truly mobile. The technology, and what we can do with it, changes with lightning speed. For all these reasons, it is essential to understand what it means to be a digital citizen and teach our children how to be responsible and safe digital citizens. As with any type of citizenship, digital citizenship affords us certain rights and responsibilities.
The 4th grade students at Upham have been examining age appropriate aspects of digital citizenship. Through interacting with a Digital Citizenship Toolkit, discussions, and a web-based activity students have been developing an understanding of what it means to be a digital citizen:
- use netiquette
- protect private information
- evaluate what is seen on the web
- understand your digital footprint/tattoo
- use online tools responsibly
Our toolkit (created with Thinglink – hover over image to access links):
As adults, we are navigating this new digital world ourselves and we may not have all the answers or know of all the tools and technology that exist. However, we can encourage our students to think critically about what they encounter online, make responsible choices about technology tools, and think about how they can make good choices about their behavior while interacting with others online.
As adults in a digital age, we want to encourage children to employ strategies and practices that are age appropriate and can help make their online experiences positive, allowing them the opportunity to take advantage of all the wonderful tools and resources the Internet offers.