What is Digital Citizenship? - Definition & Themes

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  • 0:03 Digital Citizenship
  • 0:56 Digital Literacy
  • 1:55 Digital Safety
  • 2:50 Digital Etiquette
  • 3:38 Other Areas
  • 4:01 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Derek Hughes

Derek has a Masters of Science degree in Teaching, Learning & Curriculum.

Digital citizenship is an important concept to teach and instill in your students, as they are going to be living much of their lives on the Internet, interacting with other people around the world. This lesson will define digital citizenship and explain some of its major themes.

Digital Citizenship

Each and every one of us is most likely a digital citizen. You are reading this lesson on a computer, phone, or tablet somewhere. You may also be interacting with someone on social media while listening to a streaming music service. In all aspects of this, you are acting as a digital citizen. With that comes the concept of digital citizenship. Just like regular citizenship, digital citizenship is the norms and rules we follow to act appropriately when using technology.

Your students were most likely born as a digital citizen. They were probably given a tablet or smartphone at some point when they were very young to entertain themselves. Each student has grown up using this technology and, therefore, must be taught how to be a good digital citizen. Several key themes of digital citizenship will be detailed in this lesson.

Digital Literacy

When you hear the word 'literacy,' you probably think about learning to read and write. However, there is another type of literacy that has emerged with the increased use of technology. This is called digital literacy, which is the ability and knowledge needed to learn and teach using technology tools.

You might think that, just because they have used electronic devices all their lives, your students naturally know how to use anything you put in front of them effectively. However, that is not the case. For example, a student might be great at getting a high score on a game involving annoyed fowl. But once you hand them a laptop and ask them to put together a presentation, they might have no idea how to even begin.

This is why it's important that you teach your students how to effectively use the tools given to them. There is no denying that the myriad of devices we have access to are great educational tools. But that means little if kids don't know how to use those tools.

Digital Safety

Kids grow up learning to never talk to strangers. It is something parents ingrain at a very young age. But then we put children on a tablet where they suddenly read or hear the words of millions of strangers from around the world. So, they now have access to far more strangers than they would without these devices. Because these strangers are not physical people, but rather are words or images on a screen, children are more likely to not worry about the potential danger of interacting with them.

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