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Digitize Yourself Right

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The world is constantly changing. It’s sometimes hard to keep up with this technological world where digital media has gone viral and know how to navigate through this new world. However, once you know the steps to how to become the very best digital citizen you can be, it becomes a natural way of living in the 21st century.

There are nine elements of digital citizenship that are important in order to have proper digital standing in our ever-growing and fast-changing digital world.

Digital Access–This is basically an individuals access to digital media and resources and making digital society a fair playing field for everyone to be given an equal opportunity when it comes to access of these new technologies.

Digital Commerce–teaching students/users within digital society to be aware and conscious of the way they buy and sell good on the internet. Helping students to see what sites are reliable and what sites to stay away from are a good start to helping them navigate themselves safely throughout this digital economy.

Digital Communication–this one can be tricky because it can either be viewed as the way people communicate with one another across various medias (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs) or the appropriate ways to conduct ones self while using these communication  devices (i.e. email, cell phones, instant messaging, Skype/other versions of Live video conferences).

Digital Literacy-This is the process of teaching students ABOUT technology and  how to USE technology, a very important distinction in digital society. We want our students to learn how the technology works and the opportunities that technology affords them, how to use the basics of it, and then let them discover the rest on their own. Helps to build independence and competence as a learner.

Digital Etiquette-It is important to always have a certain amount of decorum while on the internet. We teachers need to stress to our students of all ages, that how they represent themselves in the digital community should reflect how they want to be perceived by others.

Digital Law– this deals “with the ethics of technology” and the ways in which users must abide by the laws that exist in digital society(Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship). Stealing identity, music, peoples’ work are crimes and users must be aware of that.

-Digital Rights & Responsibilities- this applies to the “Digital Bill of Rights” every digital citizen is given. “Digital citizens have the right to privacy, free speech, etc. Basic digital rights must be addressed, discussed, and understood in the digital world”(Nine Elements…). In order for users to be productive within our digital community, they need to be mindful of their rights and responsibilities as digital citizens.

-Digital Health & Wellness-It’s important to realize the health risks–both physically and mentally–that the internet can cause. Cases of internet addiction are a new epidemic that has been sweeping the nation now that the digital community has grown so vast so quickly.

-Digital Security(Self-protection)- the internet is a scary place sometimes so it’s extremely important we teach our students–as well as adults–the dangers and how to protect themselves from online predators who want to steal their information or use it in inappropriate ways. Always use software that protects your information and firewalls to help keep unwanted internet-predators out!


photo by Hank Grebe

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