What is a School’s Role in Teaching Digital Identity?

This week was my topic for the Content Catalyst Presentations. I chose this particular topic because I feel very strongly that schools and parents should be partners in teaching Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy to youth, and therefore I wanted to express that opinion in my work.

I realized quickly that of course in order to engage in educated discourse on the topic I needed to better inform myself with a wider range of information on the topic – including the opinions of other educators. To do this I created a Flipgrid and invited my classmates, colleagues and friends in the Educational Field to contribute their thoughts as a starting place for my video and the research to accompany it.

You can find that Flipgrid here.

From there I took the suggestions of many of my classmates and began to compile information, specifically that of educators in the EdTech world, and the opinions that they held regarding the Teaching of Digital Citizenship Education in Schools. Too keep all of this organized I tried out a new tool I noticed that Alec had recommended to Sarah on her blog – Wakelet. I found this particularly helpful in creating the video since I had many pages of notes and quotes to include and wanted to make sure to include references in the video itself. which made it easier to copy and paste the correct information into the project and credit the authors of each work.

You can gain access to my (still growing) Wakelet on the topic of Digital Citizenship Education here.

The general consensus I gathered from this was that among those in the field of Educational Technology, Not only should Schools teach Digital Citizenship Education in schools, they should develop proactive and comprehensive policies for it’s implementation.

For example in Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools (Pgs. 6-12): Authors Couros and  Hildebrandt (2015), make the case for not if Digital Citizenship Education should be addressed by schools but rather why Digital Citizenship Education is necessary in today’s “increasingly digital society” (p.6). Based upon research that indicates the prevalence of internet usage in young people today, the document’s authors assert that just as schools play a role in preparing students to be responsible citizens in a traditional sense, educators must now intentionally work to prepare students to be responsible participants in digital society. The document takes care to point out (similar to our previous class discussion) that we are doing students a disservice to assume that due to their status as “digital natives” they are tech-savvy. Stating that this is infact a false perception of a student’s digital skills, again impressing the importance of acquiring digital citizenship skills in the classroom. By guiding students in developing transferable skills and competencies online rather than restricting internet usage, educational professionals can respond to student needs and fulfill their responsibility to address skills students will need to be successful in future life and work. 

I tried to take these viewpoints into consideration into my final work that I think summarizes my thoughts on Digital Citizenship education in Schools better than I could summarize in a blog post. These are my ideas for how I envision Digital Citizenship Education in the future.

Please take a look and comment your own thoughts below!