Social Networking and Digital Citizenship



As a result of this assignment, I was not aware there were Nine elements that defined digital citizenship. Many educators and students forget that there is an expectation of behaviors surrounding technology use. Of the nine elements (digital access, digital commerce, digital communication, digital literacy, digital etiquette, digital law, digital rights and responsibilities, digital health and wellness, and digital security) I focused on digital health and wellness as well as security. When thinking of health and technology use, ergonomics come to mind, but within the digital citizenship elements it goes beyond posture and screen angle. Digital health and wellness focuses on the physical and physiological effects of technology use whether it be cyberbullying, Internet addiction, or too much screen time. We need to remind our students that while technology is wonderful, we need use it in moderation just like everything else and be mindful of the content we post and view. Stalking, cyberbulling, and hacking are behaviors that can have adverse effects on one’s overall well being. It is crucial that we are mindful of this new society that technology presents, but understand the character traits of the past still have a place.

Just like we lock our house, car, and protect our valuables, we need to do the same with technology content. It is no longer enough to have a strong password, but rather back-up, keep personal information private, and be critical of the information we view. The element of security in digital citizenship reminds of these important tasks/behaviors because there is so much at risk when we are surfing the web. Identity theft, hacking, viruses all can wipe out years of work, money, and data, making it crucial to take a few minutes to do the above suggestions.

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Comment by Elizabeth Gentry on July 30, 2012 at 3:55pm

Caitlin,

This is well said and it is clear that you have a handle on what digital citizenship is.  It is obvious that you have an understanding of the importance of security on the web.  I hope that this knowledge will be passed on to your students; they need to be told the possible negative effects of technology use in excess as well as the benefits.  I think that we often overlook the negative effects.  I am reminded of a study my colleague shared with me about the effect of blue light on the eyes and brain activity.  When we stare at computer and television screens late into the evening, it takes a long time for our brain to slow down causing sleeping problems and a lack of healthy sleep.  Just something to think about...

Elizabeth

Comment by Sara Finney on July 30, 2012 at 5:17pm

Safety and security is a huge thing to teach our students.  Especially when it comes to passwords and sharing personal information.  While the Internet offers a lot of wonderful things, often times kids don't get how dangerous the Internet can be if you are not careful.  Great reminder!

Comment by Elana Kline on August 2, 2012 at 12:26am

Caitlin,

  I really like your statement that Just like we lock our house, car, and protect our valuables, we need to do the same with technology content.  This is a great way to explain the idea of safekeeping personal information to students.  You do a good job of stressing this importance, and I think your class will really get it. 

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