What is Digital Citizenship?
According to Terry Heick (2013) stated that Digital Citizenship is “The quality of habits, actions, and consumption patterns that impact the ecology of digital content and communities.”
Another definition given by David Jones (2013) about digital Citizenship “is a broad term that embodies a range of concepts, including safe and appropriate use of ICTs.”
Within this two week, I have gone through more in-depth topics about Digital Citizenship and also cyber safe. My knowledge on this topic is very limited, but I believe that cyber safety is extremely important for all students and teachers to be aware of how the internet works and what precautions we can take to make sure all parties operating ICT are safe. It is interesting to read through the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship written by Mike Ribble (2013) which defined as the norms of appropriate and responsible behavior with regard to technology use. The work had proposed very clear definition and explanations for each element. The elements included:
1) Digital access: This element related on full participation through electronic access in the society. The starting point of Digital citizenship is to work toward equal digital rights and supporting electronic access. It is important to be committed to make sure that no one is denied digital access.
2) Digital Commerce: It related to electronic business such as buying and selling of goods. As an effective consumers in a new digital economy, users need to be aware on the issues such as conflict with the laws or morals of some countries are surfacing even though everyone have an equal rights to access through internet purchases of items.
3) Digital Communication: It refers to exchange of information through electronic. A variety of choices in digital resources have broadened our communication options, such as email, SMS or cellular phones. It makes a person’s ability of communication with other peoples in any place become easy and convenient without any limitation with time constrain and distance issues. It offers opportunities to the people to communicate and enhance collaboration with anyone from anywhere and anytime. It is important to teach users to make right decisions when faced with various digital communication options.
4) Digital Literacy: This element focus of the process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology. It is vital to teach users especially students learning about how technology is being used differently in a digital society of 21st century. It involved individual with high degree of information literacy skills in the process of educating people about digital citizenship as well.
5) Digital Etiquette: This element related to electronic standards of conduct or procedure. It is not enough to create rules and regulations or policy to stop inappropriate behaviour when using technology, but we must teach everyone to become responsible digital citizens in this new society.
6) Digital Law: It talks about electronic responsibility for actions and deeds. There are digital laws as guidelines to deal with the ethnics of technology within a society. Users need to understand that misuse, stealing or causing damage to other people’s work, identity, or property online is a crime. For example, plagiarism, downloading illegal music or movie, sending span or hacking into others information are consider inappropriate behaviours or unethical.
7) Digital Rights & Responsibilities: There is a basic set of rights and freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world, such as privacy right, free speech or etc. It is essential to address, discuss and understand all the basic digital rights in the digital world. In order to produce a productive digital society, everyone needs to work collaborate and behave appropriately with great responsibilities with users’ rights.
8) Digital Health & Wellness: Emphasize on physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world. Users need to be taught about the inherent dangers of technology related to physical and psychological issues such as eye safety, repetitive stress syndrome and sound ergonomic practices. It is good to provide education and training for all users in order to create awareness on how to protect them when surfing internet.
9) Digital security (Self- protection): It is a precaution to guarantee safety. As responsible digital citizens and effective surfers, we need to have virus protections, backups of data and surge control of our equipment in order to protect our information from outside forces that might cause disruption or harm.
In my opinion, it is critical to teach and expose these important elements for our young generation as well as beginning at kindergarten level to create awareness and understanding about basic ideas about digital citizenships. It is vital to encompasses three values: Respect, Educate and Protect (REP) when educating the students to cover all the elements in learning new way in digital society.
David, J. (2013). Forum: Topic of interests- Digital citizenship and cyber safety. Retrieved April 29, 2013, from http://usqstudydesk.usq.edu.au/m2/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=115568
Heick, T. (2013). The Definition of Digital Citizenship. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/the-definition-of-digital-citzenship/
Ribble, M. (2013). Digital citizenship using technology appropriately: nine themes of digital citizenship. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html