Social Networking and Digital Citizenship

          Through this week’s assignments, I have learned a lot about the complexity of digital citizenship.  Prior to this week, it was my understanding that digital citizenship involved using technology for the appropriate more so law-abiding purposes.  Issues of health and wellness or commerce never entered my mind.  Funnily enough, my school has recently made it one of you SIP initiatives or goals to create digital citizens out of our students.  One would think that these nine facets would be something that would have been shared with us. 

            As far as social networking is concerned, I was rather privy to the majority of social networking sites.  Many of my fellow classmates were able to highlight some new social networking website alternatives in the end, all roads more or less lead to the same end.  I was impressed at how many websites were available for the elementary level, but it shows how social networking is proliferating. 

            True definitions of both social networking and digital citizenship have been clarified for me.  It has led me to believe even more firmly in the need to more seamlessly incorporate technology into the classroom as well as into the school culture.  I have learned the need to model appropriate behavior using technology while also explaining to students the expectations or technology use.

             I wonder if it would be better to structure a type of freshmen seminar (in a high school setting) incorporating the elements of digital citizenship into instruction.  It almost seems like a job too complex for the general classroom teacher to undertake.  The amount of content that needs to be disseminated to best explain and exemplify digital citizenship is a course-load in and of itself.  I would like to pursue Internet resources to discover lesson plans already configured to help teach the content.  I would also be interested in a way to more seamlessly integrate the standards of digital citizenship into the Language Arts curriculum.  It seems to be a rather logical pairing.  I wonder how much additional time it would take to incorporate it into the English curriculum. 

            Unfortunately, I do not feel I am at a point where I would share with my colleagues the explicit content of digital citizenship or the potential implications of social networking.  With the onset of the English 2 Research Paper, we all have a lot on our plates.  I will however continue to share my lessons and my class wiki with them.  This is the medium through which I hope to incorporate many aspects of digital citizenship.  In this way, this year, I may be able to glean some data as to the viability of the digital citizenship instruction. 

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