On Monday evening I had the privilege of listening to Dr. Alex Couros, an Information and Communication Technologies ICT Coordinator and Professor at the University of Regina. He presented about the importance of digital citizenship and literacy in the classroom. He himself has four children at the peak of this technology age, so his knowledge comes from a professors standpoint as well as a father. The topics he touched on were most interesting, and I will high light the gist of his presentation and how it applies to myself in the following paragraphs.
Technology is something that wasn’t around before you were born. Dr. Couros explained the concept of technology to us iGen individuals. At one point the wheel would be considered a technology, or paved roads, even blackboards in a classroom. It’s funny how we tend to only think of technology when it comes to computers and electronics. If we go by the above definition, I shouldn’t be considering computers a technology because I was born after the invention of the computer and grew up with one in my home.
New-age technology touches everyone. Whether the users be babies or the elderly, it should come as no surprise that this internet fad has spread across multiple generations. In fact, 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.
It’s true that we should never expect a future student of ours to have technology at their fingertips. But as Dr. Couros mentioned, despite the wealth gap, technology such as cellphones and computers are no longer a commodity – they are a necessity.
That means that digital citizenship is becoming more and more important in our changing society. Where this knowledge needs to start is in the classrooms. Dr. Couros taught us the negative implications of technology, but he also reiterated the positive outcomes that can arise from using devices at hand.
One question I still have after the presentation is why schools are not allocated more money to provide more technology to students in the classroom? Should each student be provided with a laptop or iPad?
Branching off from the above question is the schools’ job only to educate about the internet and digital citizenship, or should they be providing students with that resource just as easily as they are provided library books?
Regardless of the issues that arise when incorporating technology in the classroom, digital citizenship is a much-needed part of in school curriculum. I plan to incorporate digital citizenship into my future classroom as best I can.