Category Archives: digital citizenship

Educational Technology

What Is Technology? Before we can dive into educational technology, I feel that it is important to discuss what technology itself entails. According to Dictionary.com, technology actually has 5 different definitions: These definitions indicate that the traditional, often main definition of technology (see definition 1), is not the only one to exist. Technology does notContinue reading "Educational Technology"

Topic #7: Educators and schools have a responsibility to help their students develop a digital footprint. 

Educators in schools have a responsibility to help their students develop a digital footprint. Indeed we are in the 21st century where technology is booming, and mostly every student (in Saskatchewan) has access to technology in some form. I struggle with the wording of the debate topics (but hey that’s what makes it a debate), and in this particular topic I struggle with the word responsibility. Before I get too ahead of myself I want to acknowledge that I am all for helping students develop a digital footprint, and helping them understand what a digital footprint is. Where I get stuck is whose responsibility is it to help youth develop their digital footprint. Additionally, within the chat of the debate someone addressed the fact that some parents do not understand technology or digital footprints, conversely some teachers may not either. So I ask again, whose responsibility is helping develop a digital footprint for youth?

Youth are on social media more than ever and it is essential for educators to help guide students as to what is safe and not safe to share. The impacts of not helping guide students to help form their digital footprint, and furthermore their digital identity could negatively impact students. In the early years of students education we should be talking about terms such as digital identity, digital footprint and digital citizenship to provide awareness of the negative implications on various platforms like social media. Furthermore, I think it is essential for others to know how they could impact someone else’s digital footprint from posting a video of one of their friends on social media. Not everyone wants to air their “dirty laundry” on social media (besides the embarrassment factor).

Does developing students digital footprint solely rest on teachers? Some households do not have any technology within, therefore it would be difficult for parents to teach this essential skill with not all the tools or the know how. With the lack of knowledge parents would be ill equipped to educate their children about their digital footprint. Besides this, digital identity, digital citizenship and digital footprint are all relatively new terms that I am sure a large percentage would not know the meanings of. That being said, do teachers have the skill set to teach these newly coined words? Professional development needs to be pushed to understand how to merge these essential topics into the curriculum to help develop students’ digital footprint. Teachers also may need to be given more information to best inform their students. Teachers are not well-prepared to have these conversations with their students nor will they feel comfortable to do so unless there are some guidelines surrounding digital footprints and their effects. Teaching students to develop their own digital footprint is a collective responsibility between parents, teachers, the ministry and school divisions alike, certainly this responsibility should not just rest on the shoulders of teachers.

There are resources out there that helps embed digital citizenship into various curriculums as well as lesson plans on how to do so as Dawn McGuckin describes these steps in her article. With teachers already overloaded and with catching up from other years there is not a lot of time in the day to always learn these concepts, and furthermore take matters into your own hands. In the article, Post no photos, leave no trace: Children’s digital footprint management strategies students attested to their parents, in most cases, did not teach or talk to them about social media. Two of those students did say their parents ask them if there is something troubling them about social media and the other student said their account is linked with their parents so they can see their activity online. This proves that parents also need assistance in teaching about the harms of social media, and how their digital footprint can follow them around, with negative ramifications.

Final Thoughts

Teaching students how to develop their digital footprint does not solely rest on the shoulders of the teacher, besides teachers don’t have the resources they need to effectively teach these skills. Parents, teachers, school divisions, and the ministry are all responsible for providing resources and PD opportunities to help aid teachers in these undertakings – it takes a village. Digital citizenship, digital identity, and digital footprints are all important learnings in 21st century education, which students should receive the education they need to reduce negative implications in their future!

Debate #7 – Educators Have a Responsibility to Help Their Students Develop a Digital Footprint

The first debate of the night this week was very interesting! I find that (similar to other weeks) the topic is a bit vague and there are many ways that it might be interpreted. For example, the debaters focused on the digital footprint itself, but the open discussion time kept heading towards the general ideaContinue reading "Debate #7 – Educators Have a Responsibility to Help Their Students Develop a Digital Footprint"

Debate #6 – Should Cellphones Be Banned in the Classroom?

Although both teams put up some good arguments and many relevant viewpoints came up during this debate, I’ll have to admit that my original opinion of “agree” with this topic has not really waivered. I feel that where people stand on this topic may have a lot to do with the schools they work at,Continue reading "Debate #6 – Should Cellphones Be Banned in the Classroom?"

Debate #5- Is Social Media Ruining Childhood?

When we initially began this debate, I was leaning more towards the agree side. Looking back, I fondly remember (perhaps with rose tinted glasses) a childhood filled with playing outside, camping, and spending hours on our bikes until the street lights came on. I also remember certain technologies being introduced throughout my youth (Nintendo, GameContinue reading "Debate #5- Is Social Media Ruining Childhood?"

Debate #4 – Do Educators Have a Responsibility to Use Technology/Social Media to Promote Social Justice?

I think that debate #4 touched the nerves of a few people this week as things seemed to have gotten a little spicy- and rightfully so. I feel that this topic is one that is more so based on opinion and beliefs rather than research, facts, and statistics. There has always been much debate surroundingContinue reading "Debate #4 – Do Educators Have a Responsibility to Use Technology/Social Media to Promote Social Justice?"

Debate #2- Technology Has Lead to a More Equitable Society

During this debate, I felt like I was being pulled towards both sides constantly. Originally, I had said that I disagreed with this statement as this is definitely a topic that I have not put much thought into before, especially past the general ideas surrounding access to tech and internet. Both teams presented many greatContinue reading "Debate #2- Technology Has Lead to a More Equitable Society"

EC&I 832- Major Learning Project Summary

Wow! I can’t believe that it is already April and here we are at the end of EC&I832. This class has just flown by. I was hoping to have the time to make even more posts for my final project, but somehow we are done already! I will conclude with this post which summarizes myContinue reading "EC&I 832- Major Learning Project Summary"