I am not a K-12 teacher. I repeat, I am not a K-12 teacher. Please keep this in mind when I tell this this next fact…
I was not previously familiar with Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship.
Photo credit: @wef
In my work in post secondary education, I feel I am guilty of making the assumption my students “already know this stuff” and “don’t need to go through this yet again.” However, Ribble’s nine elements remind me that some of the components especially digital literacy, digital etiquette, and digital health and wellness still have great effects today and in the future for university students. And some components may change as they enter their post secondary education path. Digital citizenship is not just for children. Literacy, and digital literacy, are not static goals that can be completed and checked off. You do not master literacy or digital literacy and are done learning in these areas. These are life long skills that change as you grow, as you set new goals, and as the world changes. Can a student use the technology in their back pocket to connect with leaders in their field of interest? Twitter has been invaluable to me in terms of connecting with other professionals across Canada and the USA who work in similar functional areas on their home campuses. I can only see the unlimited value of the student interested in getting into veterinary school for example, to start to connect with vet med students, professors, and those working in the field to get a better sense of what the career path may be like, or what is required of one to get into vet med school. I know there are other apps and websites that would be helpful as well such as LinkedIn.
What I find interesting is I am regularly asked about professional programs and admission requirements (ie Medical school) at different universities, and when I ask the student what research they have done themselves, the answer is often none. I am happy to google with the student to look up different medical schools across the country and their entrance requirements, but it seems to me like that thought to do this themselves did not occur. Technology is social and fun, but using technology as a learning tool seems to be forgotten. This to me shows that digital citizenship is not a K-12 education system issue, but all educational systems responsibility.
The University has policies outlining appropriate behavior of how students, staff, and faculty should act before in person and online. But is this information shared with students in a meaningful way? I am sure most of are skimming the Undergraduate Calendar to find this policy. Within Student Affairs, it is our responsibility to ensure we are creating an environment which students can be successful in, and explaining digital etiquette should be included with this. Cyberbullying is not unique to children and effects ones self esteem. These are real issues our campuses are facing. All in all, universities need to incorporate digital citizenship into their programming, as well as their curriculums .
How does this relate to my final project?
For my project I am looking at share-nting (use of social media and online mediums to share about your children), what is appropriate, and what the bigger factors may be that influence share-nting such as consent, privacy, and the piece I had not yet considered, modeling digital citizenship. I think my long term intent is to model good digital citizenship (or just citizenship in general!). Modeling this behaviour starts now. I found an interesting post for parents about digital citizenship here that is a good starting point for me and my project. In order for my to expect my child(ren) to be good citizens, I need to model this for them as my actions speak louder than my words. For myself, I need to remember not to be scared of the internet, but be aware of its capabilities and limitations. I need to learn more about (digital) citizenship so I can be a good (digital) citizen myself. Specifically, when looking at share-nting, I am interested in the element of digital etiquette, digital rights and responsibilities, digital health and wellness, and digital security.
Photo credit: @10millionmiler