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Digital Citizenship in School

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Digital Citizenship can be summed up in 9 key concepts: Digital access, commerce, communication, literacy, etiquette, law, rights & responsibilities, health & wellness, and security (to find out more about these concepts visit: Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship). Since the internet has become something of everyday relevance it is important that all 9 of these concepts are known and understood by young internet users who are beginning to use the internet in more advanced ways. If a teacher is going to integrate technology and Internet use in their classroom they need to be sure to address all 9 of these major ideas with their students. Some of the elements more than others need to be taught in school because students will be directly confronted with them as frequent internet users.

Students definitely need to be aware of the appropriate etiquette for their digital lives, but this is something already frequently addressed in schools. Other aspects about being digital citizens are often left out though, for example security- the fact that so many programs and sites are out there that attempt to scam users is something students need to be aware of. Another issue that is often left out of school curriculum is communication. Online communication is often banned in schools, no facebook or twitter allowed, but the fact is students are using those sites so it would be extremely useful to inform students about the right ways to communicate appropriately online.

Students are digital citizens whether or not they are in the classroom (though they should be in school as well as outside of it). So, learning about these 9 concepts will equip students to be better able to protect themselves, and prevent inappropriate behavior online.

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