Digital citizenship. Or citizenship in the digital age. Whose responsible for teaching this to children and what responsibilities are expected?
In an ideal situation, the responsibility should be shared between the school/teacher and parent. If students are learning one ideal or notion in their formal education, but then seeing a different reality at home (informal learning), there could be confusion and cognitive dissonance. I also don’t think it is fair to put everything on the school/teachers shoulders. They are already teaching students math, science, reading, social studies, etc, things many parents truly are not the expect in teaching or modeling. I know, acknowledge, and appreciate my future child(ren) are way better off to have certified teachers to lead them through these types of lessons that I can offer them! Digital citizenship is certainly something many of today’s parents can can and should participate in. Terry Heick’s article in Teach Thought defines digital citizenship as “the quality of habits, actions, and consumption patterns that impact the ecology of digital content and communities.” I also found an interesting resource from the Federal Government to help parents teach digital citizenship to their children so I don’t think I am alone in thinking parents play an important role here and must take responsibility.
In my area of education, digital literacy and citizenship is just starting to creep into our programming more as one off sessions instead of across the curriculum. This is a start but we are certainly behind the ball in regards to providing educational opportunities to discuss and reflect on digital literacy and citizenship. See my post The education system’s own dinosaur for our somewhat slow moving processes in higher education. I can see other student services units starting to engage with students on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook more and more. Previously these platforms were used for pushing information or promoting events, but the more we can engage with students on these platforms the better for both the institution and the students.
Although I am not a certified teacher, Patrick’s Maze’s discussion on Tuesday really struck me as interesting and relevant outside of the K-12 system. Are professionals always professionals? Can we ever take that hat off? Are professionals held to higher standards that the average citizen? Is that OK?
I understand that teachers have a contract that outlines these sort of answers (however vaguely that may be!) but what about other professionals? Police officers, nurses, doctors, politicians, etc? I think society holds many professions to higher standards. I don’t know if it is right for me to think this way, but for police officers I do believe you are a police officer whether you are on duty or off. Yet for teachers I am a bit more lenient. Don’t ask me why, I haven’t figured it out yet. But some jobs don’t really turn on and off as easily as we would like them to. This means what we do in our personal life, digital life, at work, all mix into one. I often have to remind myself that my students don’t think of me as Krisanne. They seem me as an advisor or employee of the University. I am lucky that my students are all adults (or treated as such legally once they apply to the institution, even if only 17 years old), but must acknowledge how they know me and what they see me representing. Tonight some friends and I are headed to the USPORTS Final 8 Women’s Basketball game be held n the CKHS…nothing brings out school spirit like a U of R vs U of S battle for a spot in a national championship game. I am bound to see students I know quite well and I think that is OK. I can be engaged in the community, support the team, and be a proud alumni all at the same time. If my situation allowed, I would likely even have an alcoholic beverage because I think it is OK for me to model a healthy relationship with alcohol (I won’t of course but in theory I think I would!). I absolutely would not get drunk or even “a good buzz” at a school event but think my line is a bit more lenient than a teachers line may be. Or maybe I am hopelessly naive.
Are teachers held to an unreasonable standards? At times, absolutely. But I don’t think that means teachers or any professionals should be allowed complete separation between work and home. Of course, go out and have some fun! You’ve certainly earned it. Alcohol use in professionals does not get me all wound up (and I guess we will see about marijuana use in a few months but I am thinking I will feel the same). I’ve altely wondered if millenials see this differently than GenX or Baby Boomers, but I can’t seem to find any articles on this topic. I’m willing to guess I am not alone here…anyone with me??? Where I do think it matters is if there are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc statements or actions coming from a professional who works with a diverse community and represents a diverse community. I don’t think we can embrace diversity and respect for all at work, and go home and do the opposite. Somethings should not be tolerated in a professional role but maybe we should ease up on some other areas? Teaching friends I would love to hear from you!