Digital Citizenship

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What is the Digital Citizenship Project?

Vision: To create online Digital Citizenship courses available to all students.

Why: To address the fact that we might not the have time, expertise and/or opportunity to deliver this in schools and because it would be awesome to pull off a nationwide collaborative project for our students.

Platforms: Initial planning and crowd-sourcing of ideas is taking place on an open Google Doc. The Digital Citizenship space on WikiEducator will be the central resource. In 2013 we hope to launch a Moodle course open all students.

Time frame: Planning and sharing has taken place over Term Two, creating the actual courses Term Three with a view to launching at Ulearn12. The Moodle course will hopefully be available from Term 1 2013.

How to contribute: Contribute your ideas and resources to the planning on the [ Google Doc] or join the discussion by joining the Google Group. There is also a Digital Citizenship Group you can join on the Virtual Learning Network.

Guidelines for contributing to the Digital Citizenship Project

This is an Open Educational Resource and we encourage anyone interested to contribute their ideas! Please be careful to only include content that has a Free Cultural Works approved license which include the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) licenses. If in doubt hyperlink out. Each module has a common set of subheadings: Learn, Recall, Think, Act, Extend and Contributors. These have been designed to ensure each module is structure as a teachable lesson or unit rather than a repository of links or resources. Think about including a range of written, visual and oral resources, so as to cater to a range of learning styles. You are welcome to add a your name to the contributors list at the end of each module page. If you would simply like to share links to existing resources, we encourage you to use NetSafe's myLGP which is designed to categorise online resources according to topic and audience.

Related Resources

  • NetSafe website - Digital Citizenship information and resources targeted at the Education Sector
  • NetSafe myLGP - a collection of resources that help educators to teach effective digital citizenship.
  • Enabling e-Learning: Digital Citizenship group - a group on the Virtual Learning Network
  • A Digital Citizenship Resource for Teachers - advice and guidance aimed at teachers around the topic of Digital Citizenship (in development)
  • A Digital Citizenship Resource for Students - advice and guidance aimed at students around the topic of Digital Citizenship (in development)

Global Citizenship, Digital Citizenship and Cyber Citizenship

In this video, three aspects of citizenship are highlighted by CORE Education's Derek Wenmoth: Global Citizenship, Digital Citizenship and Cyber Citizenship.

What is Digital Citizenship?

NetSafe provides the following definition for Digital Citizenship: Drawing from the Key Competencies and Values in the NZ Curriculum and a growing body of research knowledge, NetSafe, in consultation with New Zealand teachers has produced this definition of a New Zealand Digital Citizen. A digital citizen:

  • is a confident and capable user of ICT
  • uses technologies to participate in educational, cultural, and economic activities
  • uses and develops critical thinking skills in cyberspace
  • is literate in the language, symbols, and texts of digital technologies
  • is aware of ICT challenges and can manage them effectively
  • uses ICT to relate to others in positive, meaningful ways
  • demonstrates honesty and integrity and ethical behaviour in their use of ICT
  • respects the concepts of privacy and freedom of speech in a digital world
  • contributes and actively promotes the values of digital citizenship

Digital literacy or the ability to understand and fully participate in the digital world is fundamental to digital citizenship. It is the combination of technical and social skills that enable a person to be successful and safe in the information age. Like literacy and numeracy initiatives which provide people with the skills to participate in the work force, digital literacy has become an essential skill to be a confident, connected, and actively involved life long learner.

Why Digital Citizenship is important for teachers (as well as students)

by Common Sense Educators

Just as it is important for our students to become safe and successful digital citizens, so too must teachers learn to use online environments effectively and appropriately. ICTs and online environments provide powerful teaching and learning opportunities that if used effectively can support both student engagement and achievement. However alongside these many positive opportunities are also increased risks in terms of managing time, expectations and online relationships with our learners. One of the keys to the development of successful digital citizens in our classrooms, is the positive role modelling that they receive from their peers, their teachers and their families. The NetSafe LGP framework recognises the key role that teachers (and parents) play in this development, and suggest that these “Guides” form an integral part of the digital citizenship journey for young people. It suggests that; Young people want opportunities to discuss online challenges with respected and authoritative adults. This does not require teachers to be technology experts, but it is important that their knowledge is broad, authentic and current. Developing teacher capability so they can act as effective cyber safety guides is vital You can read more about the LGP framework here or by reading the framework document.

Digital Citizenship in the School Library

School libraries are pedagogical centres where digital citizenship is promoted through explicit modelling, facilitated teaching and supported exploration of new ideas.
The school library is a safe environment where expertise and access to technology and information of many kinds connects learners to global communities and ideas. The librarian has connections to all learners, learning formally and informally, and works closely with teachers to collaborate on integrated, authentic programmes that promote the ethical and sophisticated finding, using and creating of new knowledge. In many schools, the librarian is ideally placed to provide the energy and consistency required for a whole school digital citizenship programme.

For more information about what effective digital citizenship programmes look like in the school library, this study from the Centre for International Scholarship in School Libraries discusses best practice and the impact good programmes have on student learning.