Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship

These nine elements should be taught in kindergarten through 12th grade to ensure that students learn how to interact with technology and others. This change will, in turn, prevent some of the abuse, bullying, and harassment students have to endure.

1. Digital Access

As technology becomes more prevalent through the years, all educators must be aware that all students do not have the same access to technology. It may be because of finances or personal beliefs, but we have to make sure that students have access at school. It is essential that individuals are not denied digital access.

2. Digital Commerce

There is a great deal of digital commerce. All users need to be responsible consumers in this new digital economy.

3. Digital Communication

There has been a significant change in communication in our society. Before, communication was limited, but now there are no limits. People can communicate with anyone, anywhere, at any time through various digital means. Some users have not been taught the appropriate use of digital communication options. A constant battle at the high school level is students using communication options during instruction time and other inappropriate times.

4. Digital Literacy

Students must be taught how to learn in a digital society. As new technologies arise, learners need to be able to learn and use new technologies effectively. Educational systems must try to stay up to date with teaching new technologies so that students can enter society and the workforce. I have noticed that sometimes educational systems try to stop technology used instead of increasing and teaching new technology skills.

5. Digital Etiquette

Often, users do not understand appropriate conduct and misuse technology. Often rules and regulations are set up, or technology is banned due to inappropriate use. Even though there are rules and policies, users need to be taught appropriate etiquette. There are many examples of the damage that inappropriate use can cause especially involving youth. Some inappropriate use has even led to young people committing suicide.

6. Digital Law

Digital law, involves the unethical use of technology that is against the laws of society. People need to know what happens when you do not abide by the digital laws and that their actions can be considered criminal. I have known a person in prison for five years due to the illegal use of technology.

7. Digital Rights and Responsibilities

Every digital citizen has a basic set of rights. These rights should be taught to users and the responsibilities that come with those rights. I have witnessed people using the right of freedom of speech through technology in inappropriate ways without the use of digital etiquette.

8. Digital Health and Wellness

All users need to be aware that physical and psychological issues can arise. Through education and training, users need to be taught how to protect themselves from dangers. In the public school system, more time is being spent teaching the dangers of the technology world and how users can use technology safely.

9. Digital Security

Some individuals cannot be trusted in dealing with a real community or a digital community. I have seen untrustworthy individuals trying to scam others through technology, especially the elderly, and proper digital citizenship education can protect the students we serve now. Students must be taught how to protect themselves in the digital community, like in a real community.

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