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How’s your digital footprint looking?

So… what is a digital citizenship anyways?

A digital citizen commonly refers to a person utilizing information technology (IT) in order to engage in society, politics, and government participation.

 

A digital citizenship means the ability to use technology safely, responsibly, critically, and pro-actively to contribute to society.

Do you have a digital citzenship?

Do you have Facebook? Have you ever uploaded an image of yourself onto the internet? Have you ever uploaded a video onto YouTube? Do you have an email account? Do you have Instagram? Do you have Tumblr, or another blogging site where you follow people?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Congratulations! You’re now a digital citizen as you use technology to engage in and contribute to society in some way. Don’t believe me? Goggle yourself, see what you find! I did and look what I found.

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A number of images from my university presentations that had to be uploaded to YouTube, pictures of myself from Facebook, an image uploaded from the Chronicle (local newspaper) when I was promoting Touch football. Uploading anything or engaging with anything online provides you a digital citizenship.

The next question is; do we want our students to have an understanding of how to participate on the internet? Most parents struggle with the idea of a “digital footprint.” Students need to know and learn that everything they post and upload will always be there, even if you try to delete it. For example; if you upload and post a provocative “selfie” in your bra or bikini’s and then decide 10 minutes later you don’t want it there anymore, you can delete it, but the internet permanently has that image. If someone really wants to relocate that image they’ll find a way, not to mention anyone who saved that image whilst it was up. Not to mention when it pops up again on your child’s future bosses screen in 20 years time as he does a background check during your interview in your future career. This scares parents and even kids!

 I think it’s vitally important that we provide classroom experiences and lessons focusing on; the dangers of the internet, how to sue the internet appropriately and use and explore the internet in a safe and guided environment.

  

The video above discusses Jeremiah’s digital citizenship as well as highlighting how he uses the internet safely and appropriately. For example, he uses online chat rooms to talk to people, but he’s been educated and knows that he must only talk to people he knows.

We use the internet to make our lives easier. With the internet we can; contact people, locate destinations, grocery shop, find people we haven’t seen for a decade, research previously done assessment tasks, research history, research anything for that matter, I could go on with this list forever, but you get my point.  Students are going to use the internet regardless of whether we teach them how to use it safely and appropriately or not. Wouldn’t you prefer your child to learn how to use the internet, understand the risks and dangers of the internet and explore the internet in a safe and guided environment where they can ask questions, rather than go behind your back and learnt he hard way as they download viruses, upload things they shouldn’t and talk to stranger online? Therefore allowing schools to provide these experiences and education of ITs is vitally important. Protect your children and allow teacher’s to educate their students on the available IT’s they will use in society.

 

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