This week’s discussion on digital citizenship has helped me to balance what I considered I already knew about it and what I learned. As an end-user of technology, I knew that technology should be used responsibly and understanding the proper use of it has benefited my personal education as an online student. Currently, my use of technology on social media is limited to educational resources. As an educator teaching the proper use of technology to learners, I was limited on resources to assist me in doing that. Therefore, this week’s study has given me those much needed helpful tools to communicate what digital citizenship is. In the book, “Digital Citizenship in Schools,” the following nine elements are what encompass digital citizenship: digital access, digital commerce, digital communication, digital literacy, digital etiquette, digital law, digital rights and responsibilities, digital health and wellness, and digital security (Riddle, 2015). While teaching early childhood learners, I think that literacy and etiquette will be the two elements that will be emphasized the most. The students in my class access technology through their parents on an informal level, therefore they need instructional training on the rules and the proper use of technology.
Before using technology in the classroom, it is important for students to become familiar with how to use technology in the learning environment. Young children observe the use of technology casually on a regular basis on social media. It is important that teachers educate young learners in a learning environment, that this type of access is not applicable. Technology is a useful tool to enhance curriculum when used properly. I recognize that when teaching young learners that modeling proper use at the beginning is a key component in them receiving the full benefit of using technology as a tool in their educational journey.
The proper use of technology also includes the students becoming conscience of the rules and standards that govern technology’s use. In early childhood classroom management, it is essential within the curriculum that every aspect of the instructional environment is taken into consideration. Rules are given at the beginning and are repeated daily as well as reiterated throughout the curriculum. If my students are to become good digital citizens, they will need instruction on the rules governing their behavior with technology, like unto their behavior with their fellow classmates. Teaching students the proper etiquette can help them make good choices in their use of technology, not just in the classroom, but whenever they have access. Most users have learned to use technology from watching their peers, and never had any formal training on rules and some of the pit-falls of improper use. (Riddle, 2015).
In conclusion, even though all nine elements of digital citizenship are important, the two that I have chosen, digital literacy and digital etiquette, are areas that I think need the most attention because of the age of the students that I will be teaching. As an educator of young children, making sure that my students are equipped with essential skills in digital citizenship will be a top priority for the use of technology in my classroom. I want my students to establish good practice of social norms in technology to help them to responsibly use technology and think of others, as well as themselves, when online. I recognize that teaching this is not a one-time unit, but is interwoven daily within my curriculum to create a balanced perspective of technology for my students.
Ribble, M. (2015). Digital citizenship in schools: Nine elements all students should know. (3rd ed.). Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology.