Over the course of the semester, I have discussed many things pertaining to the digital world. I discussed what it means to be digitally literate, how it can be used in the classroom, creating a PLN, etc. What I did not realize is I was also modifying my digital citizenship. Digital citizenship can be described as the norms of appropriate and responsible behaviors with the use of technology. I was asked to spend at least two hours researching digital citizenship and I put my focus on four articles and videos.
In this TED talk, Juan Enriques discusses the idea of digital tattoos, the Greeks, and immortality. We all have digital tattoos. When we take a picture of someone, even by accident, and post it online, we are often given the option to “tag” that person in the photo. Because of our online activity we form digital tattoos, which is how we can be identified through a photo posted by someone else. Another person can look into our accounts, and find out who we are without our knowledge of this person. Enriques also talks about the Greeks. He discusses specific stories about the Greeks that pertain to our use of the Internet and the lessons we can learn from them. He then discusses immortality. We have created digital identities that will never be erased. We have left a digital footprint that will remain even after we are long gone. Enriques describes this as being threatened with immortality. Whatever we leave behind, good or bad, is how everyone will see us.
The next article I read, by Paula Green, dealt with cyber bullying and 7 Ways to Prevent Cyberbullying. This seems like a widely discussed subject already, but some facts on this website shocked me. About 45% of children have experienced cyber bullying. Children who are a victim of cyber bullying are 3 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide, and only 2 in 10 children will inform their parents or teachers. These statistics made me feel terrified, sad, and angry all at the same time. We have all been given a spiel about what to do if we ever encounter a bully in cyberspace. This article provides 7 ways in which to prevent cyber bullying. This is new to me because I thought it was just something that just happened and no one could really prevent it. I found this article and these tips to be very helpful as an aspiring teacher, to look out for signs and be involved with my students and community to detect potential bullies.
The next article was titled “Who are you online?” by Kelly Schryver. This interested me because it made me wonder just who I am online and what I look like to other people. We have all been warned about predators and stalkers on the Internet, who make fake profiles with the characteristics of their targeted prey. Did you ever consider that you are not completely honest in your profiles either? An example of a fourteen-year-old boy came up. He is 14, but to the digital world, he is seen as way older and wiser. He said, “I don’t [purposefully] create a different persona, but I also don’t go out of my way to say I am 14.” We see this more often than we think. Be honest. How many of you actually waited until you were 13 to make a Facebook profile? That’s what I thought. We don’t do this to hurt anybody, it is seen as cool, or mature. In this example the 14-year-old boy was respected for his input and ideas, but thought that he would just be considered childish if he were to reveal his real age. Digging more into the article, I found it to be more informative on how to be safe while on the net. It asks questions like, how are we perceived online, how public and private is our information, and who has access to our profiles.
The final article was actually the first I had looked at, 5-Minute Film Festival by Amy Erin Borovoy, but I am discussing it last because I found it to have a plethora of information in videos about digital citizenship. I first learned about how there are different programs that have outlined 9 elements to inform others on how to be well-equipped digital citizens.
The first video in the article explains what digital citizenship actually is. The video discussed, that to be a good digital citizen depends on your ethics. Mainly focusing on identity, privacy, ownership, trustworthiness or credibility, and participation. All of these play a part in how you present yourself in the digital world. Preparing students to be good digital citizens starts in the classroom. The video gives an example of teachers having their students create a fake, offline Facebook profile, discussing what is safe, and appropriate to put online. The article contains many more videos on the dangers that can happen digitally. I had chosen one that follows a girl who is asked for inappropriate photos. The video lets you chose the correct option but it takes you through what could happen if you chose poorly. The lesson in the video is that once you send personal information it is out of your hands.
Another video in the article talks about your digital dossier, or your digital identity. Your digital dossier starts before you are even born. You ever see friends post about being expecting parents? They share sonograms and pictures of the baby growing, right? This is where your identity begins. Even if it is not on social media it is still in digitalized hospital records. After your birth, your parents and relatives like to take pictures of you on digital cameras, or post photos of your first steps. As you get older you begin accessing the digital world on your own and we all know these forms of interaction. One thing I did not realize is your identity expands when you get married. Suddenly, you and your spouse become merged in the digital world. One cannot look into information on your spouse without finding information on you as well. Even after death, our identities remain.
Continuing on, the article contains many more videos on cyber bullying, which I have discussed, and netiquette. Internet Etiquette, or netiquette. This video discusses appropriate behavior on the web, and the do’s and don’ts. Plenty more can be discovered on this site and I encourage you to brush up on your netiquette!