Digital Citizenship: The Big Picture

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Photo CC- Thomas Galvez

The big picture is this: Get it together, people! Lives can either be lifted up or crushed through digital usage. It’s our personal responsibility to use technology carefully & respectfully.

Ted Talk by Juan Enriquez entitled, “Your online life, permanent as a tattoo” talks about how our digital footprint will be a tattoo & will outlive us. It’s scary to think that as a teenager I was uneducated about the internet & the usage & the footprint that I was leaving. I stupidly put things on there that are not the best. That permanent inscription has the possibility to create a terrible tattoo. Now I need to fight to fix that ugly scar. It’s quite frightening to think of it as a tattoo—every blemish that was posted it out there somewhere.

I felt down after watching the TED talk but then I watched George Couros “140 Characters of Kindness” video on YouTube & realized that when I create a positive “footprint” I will have a network of supporters that are there for me at all moments of the day. But I have to be willing to share life with my PLN (this is the kicker). If I open up & embrace the digital age in a responsible manner it can be extremely beneficial in more aspects of life than just the professional side. I am still hesitant of the online life because I like my life outside of the digital world & am not much of a “sharer.”

But as a professional & as I learned in “Living Our Lives Online” it is important to be a role model for someone. My positive impression in the digital world could be what someone needs. And as a future teacher, I want to be inspirational, motivating, and intellectually creative and to share that knowledge.

It’s my job to be ethical & to set an example—a positive example. And ultimately let others see how to live that way online.

I then went on to watch the YouTube video titled, “What is Digital Citizenship?” and found out that there are great sites for teaching this subject matter in the classroom. Teaching digital citizenship should be required in the public educational system. Students need to be prepared for the world outside of the classroom. It is my responsibility as a future educator in the 21st century to be up-to-date on digital citizenship so I can positively influence my students on how to create a digital footprint that won’t come back and bite them on the back side.

Lastly, I finished my research with this article that stuck with me. It’s called, “7 Ways to Prevent Cyberbullying” and I highly suggest it for all parents & teachers. We are called to be positive role models for our children/students. I know that I need to take an active role in the young lives that I influence in order to direct them to positive online interactions.

It’s honestly a tall order to fill but I feel personally responsible for teaching my daughter & my future classroom students how to become a digital citizen & how to use technology ethically & responsibly.

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4 thoughts on “Digital Citizenship: The Big Picture

  1. I agree with you that we as future teachers need to prepare our students for the world outside of our classroom. We need to make sure that we are up to date on digital citizenship. we need to be able to model for them as well if we show them things that we posted that are right then they too will post smart things as well. Now there will be times that they do post something that might come back and bite them is the ass later in life. I know I had that happen to me once when I was younger.

  2. Really good point about how we have to be willing to share and be more open with our PLN in order to reap the benefits and rewards of having that PLN in the first place. I love what you say about the connection between getting support and making sure your output is positive. We can have a powerful impact on our students when our own digital footprint is a model for what we hope they can achieve online.

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