Digital Citizenship in Schools

Digital Citizenship in Schools

Digital Citizenship in Schools

Digital Citizenship in Schools

Synopsis

An essential introduction to digital citizenship and its role in the schools.

Excerpt

When talking people who understand technology, does it sometimes seem that they are speaking a different language? Do they talk about podcasting, blogs, and wikis? Do their discussions of viruses, worms, and phishing confound and confuse? In 2001, an influential article by Mark Prensky identified two distinctive groups of technology users, [digital natives] and [digital immigrants.] Digital natives are young people who have grown up around digital technologies and seem to instinctively understand the technology. Digital immigrants (the rest of us), on the other hand, may be fascinated by and may have adopted many aspects of the new technologies, but because they have not grown up with these digital tools, they don't use them as instinctively as the natives.

Because students have grown up in a society surrounded by digital technology, many teachers see their students as digital natives who already know everything there is to know about technology. Worse, some teachers do not feel competent as digital immigrants. But the truth is, not all students are as technologically savvy as teachers might assume, and not all teachers are as incompetent as they fear.

Even when students are comfortable using technology, they may not be using it appropriately. Likewise, educators of all skill levels may not understand how to use digital technology effectively. Both students and teachers need to find a common ground. They need to become members of a digital citizenry.

Over the years, users of technology have come together to interact with one another, creating, in effect, a digital society.

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