In the last few years of teaching I have noticed that even though these are students that have grown up in the digital age they are still woefully unaware of how to act and maintain their safety on the net. This comes in the many forms, from unintentionally installing malware or spyware to divulging passwords to friends and even to online strangers. This unit has made me more aware of the needs of a clearly worded and straightforward digital citizenship document that all students need to be made aware of. Students should take part in a class session on digital citizenship, along with regular refresher courses, that instill in them the need for safety online. Just like any other subject that we review and test on, the use of technology, should become an important part of the curriculum.
The attributes that we take for granted in our day to day use of the internet are things that students are not aware of. I never really thought about it much, but the way students and younger generations view the internet is not the same as those that grew up without it. They see it as something that has always been there and so in many ways it seems they take it for granted, treating it more as toy than as something which can cause harm. It’s like the way our generation views cars, more as a right than as something which should be treated and used with respect.
I’d like to actually look further into how various generations view the use of, and safety on, the internet, and to see the level of caution with which they use it. Are younger generations more apt to accept the information they receive via the net than older generations? Do students find the information there more valid than elsewhere? How do students view other sources of information? All of these will give us a view into the mind of students and how they view the net, and in turn better help us to educate them on how to effectively use it.