Report: Digital Citizenship Should be a Key Component of Classroom Technology Initiatives
classroom technology initiatives should include instruction on digital
citizenship, according to a new white paper from NetRef, a provider of Internet management tools.
The paper, "Digital Natives: Citizens of a Changing World,"
addresses the critical importance of ensuring that students understand
the consequences of using technology, particularly social media, as
well as best practices for protecting themselves online. While
education initiatives place increasing emphasis on digital fluency,
students must also be taught to practice good digital citizenship.
to the white paper, teaching students to be good digital citizens
requires curricula, practices and policies that promote safe and
responsible use of the Internet and personal technology. Students need
to be taught about the permanence of their digital footprint and how it
could affect their future education and employment prospects. They also
need to be taught how to protect their privacy online and how to
protect themselves from cyberbullying.
"The indelibility of a
digital footprint has implications unprecedented in society,
particularly for youth," said George Dotterer, co-author of the white
paper, in a news release. "Giving children the tools and ethical code
to make good choices is vital. Teaching digital citizenship in school
and at home keeps them and their futures safer."
The white paper offers seven recommendations for schools implementing digital citizenship education:
- Design a robust digital citizenship curriculum;
- Counsel students that "what goes online stays online";
- Craft an empowering acceptable use policy for students;
- Teach students their digital rights;
- Advise parents of new social media and online trends;
- Provide an easy-to-understand guide for online behavior; and
- Equip teachers and parents with education technology programs and practices to manage children's Internet use.
is NetRef's fifth in a series of white papers about the effect and
challenges of technology in schools. The full paper, "Digital Natives:
Citizens of a Changing World," can be found on NetRef's site.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.