Technology is supposed to take the human population into a technologically advanced future. Our lives are supposed to be made easier and innovations are to allow us to grow and evolve. The question is, what happens when the children of today are left to educate themselves on the very technology that much of North America depends on? This is where the importance of digital citizenship being implemented into the classroom comes in.
It is unrealistic to expect our students to understand the digital world if they are left to their own means of learning. We tell them not to copy right, but they are not taught how to avoid this or the expectations that go along with it.
In my future classroom I teach about the positive uses of the internet and the dangers that lurk online. The internet can provide a community and interactions with
people all over the world. A single post can catch the attention of millions of people. The internet can be used to learn and expand education outside of the classroom. The internet can also strip you of anonymity. You can be scrutinized by millions of people simultaneously. The internet can lie educate based on untrue facts and fake news. This is why it is important to learn the extent of the internet. It is a very powerful tool in today’s day and age, but when wielded irresponsibly can unleash consequences that past generations never had to face.
As a future educator I imagine a plethora of challenges that come with teaching digital citizenship in the classroom. My biggest fear stems from the fact that I am not a tech expert. At times I may not be able to work the projector, and my inconsistencies with technology may warp the image that my students have of me. When it comes down to it, if I need help to plug in my laptop how are my students supposed to take my lessons on digital citizenship seriously?
Despite my troubles coming across as knowledgeable and trustworthy in the tech department I see digital citizenship fitting into many aspects within the classroom. Through projects citing sources and pictures on a power point and wording facts correctly to give credit to the website I retrieved it from. Teaching students about appearance of websites and determining if the information being provided is trustworthy will be important in my classroom before assigning research oriented assignments. Also, discussing current events and linking them to internet safety. Explaining why Donald Trump keeps mentioning ‘fake news’ and explaining what is it, and encouraging students to fact check the words out of their favourite celebrities’ mouths for example.
Upon learning that Canada is the second country that uses the most internet, which I thought was interesting, my eyes widened at how far the world has yet to come. There are still many people and communities that do not have access to the internet. The expectation that we all have a computer waiting to be used at home is not realistic. What is a reality is that in 2016, 32.12 million Canadians which is roughly 81% of Canadians were internet users. This number is rising fast according to statista. With well over half of the country participating online it is safe to assume that digital citizenship will benefit most, if not all students sometime in their lives. Digital citizenship is a much needed part of in school curriculum that I plan to incorporate into my future classroom as best I can.