Monday, April 21, 2014

1.1.1 Digital Citizenship Character Traits

After reading the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship (, deciding which three are more essential hasn't been easy. I will start with netiquette. I think it is essential that students understand the parallel between a physical classroom environment and a virtual classroom environment. In fact, the core rules of netiquette from the book Netiquette by Virginia Shea can be interpreted as classroom expectations or classroom rules. There are certain behaviors that are expected and other behaviors that are not acceptable in an academic environment, physical or virtual. It is for this reason that netiquette should be enforced in online instruction through establishing clear expectations as well as consequences for infractions. This will help ensure safety in the virtual learning environment.
Digital literacy is also crucial. As facilitators of online learning, we must reinforce digital literacy through challenging and engaging learning activities that will help our students reach digital proficiency. Reaching this level of digital literacy will enable learners to have that full and meaningful electronic participation in society that is called digital access.
It is also important that students understand copyright laws. Common Sense Media offers a fantastic Digital Literacy and Citizenship Classroom Curriculum with many great ready-to-use lesson plans on several digital citizenship topics including copyright. I plan to use one of the lessons in which students learn to follow five simple tips to ensure that they respect copyright laws when they want to use someone else's creative work:
  • Check who owns it.
  • Get permission to use it, if necessary.
  • Give credit to the creator.
  • Buy it, if necessary.
  • Use it responsibly.
Finally, digital communication, as the electronic exchange of information, becomes key in the virtual learning environment. Preparing students for the 21st century means equipping them with the tools that will enable them to communicate effectively and take responsibility for their own learning. As globalization and complexity increase in this new era, it is essential that students develop strong technology and communication skills as well as critical and creative thinking skills. It is out responsibility as educators to provide a nurturing and technology-rich learning environment that promotes student motivation and fosters student engagement.
In summary, due to the fact that nowadays technology is a big part of our students' lives, I believe that digital citizenship needs to be taught explicitly. As Mike Ribble suggests in Passport to Digital Citizenship, students should have the opportunity to analyze and explore why they should use technologies in a certain way. Using the explicit direct instruction model, we can provide guidance to students about what constitutes safe and responsible Internet use, and how to recognize dangerous and inappropriate situations.
external image digitalcitizenship.jpg

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