Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Teaching Digital Responsibility: Digital Natives Are Not Ipso Facto Digital Citizens

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Teaching Digital Responsibility: Digital Natives Are Not Ipso Facto Digital Citizens

Article excerpt

WHEN Stuyvesant High School made headlines for busting a mobile phone cheating ring, what struck me most was the fact that these kids--who are truly New York City's best and brightest young minds--were cheating on the state Regents test.

Passing the Regents is a high school graduation requirement in New York state, but at competitive schools like Stuyvesant, they're considered gut exams and the stakes attached to them are minimal. They're not like the SATs, the scores for which hang like the sword of Damocles over these ambitious students. Stuy seniors don't think twice about Regents.

So why in the heck were these students cheating on a test they could have passed sleepwalking? Because they could? Because they didn't think through the consequences? Because the test didn't "count," so cheating wasn't really wrong? I don't know why these kids cheated, but I do know that this event--and others like it--was preventable. We think because kids today are "digital natives" that they are digital citizens. They are not. Digital citizenship, which includes tough concepts like ethical online behavior, understanding risk, and critical thinking about media, is not written into students' DNA. …

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