Children from a very young age are told and taught the way they behave with each other and be a good citizen over all. From the start of one’s education life, we are taught to be better people and the ultimate goal is to be a good citizen. The etiquettes we learn since the day we set foot in the school are to make us socially acceptable and be kind towards each other. It is equally important to learn the correct behavior and how to behave online. Even though the world online is virtual and we meet each other virtually, we communicate out there using mostly our language it is important to pay equal attention to being a good person and learn digital citizenship.
What is Digital Citizenship?
There is a proper code of conduct for every school, college and community. Every place, even our homes have a certain set of rules and there is a specific behavior we must stick to. There are certain things we should take care of in our daily communication with our bosses and colleagues, driving on the road, and in fact in everything else we have to follow rules, be careful with our language and do everything that leaves a good impression on others and to avoid getting in to trouble as well. Today, an average person spends half of his day online. That day is spent communicating with others on websites that are social media networking based, blogs and similar places where we initiate discussions, comment under the blog in response to something someone said or give a simple opinion.
How often do we try to be as careful in speaking with anyone online as we are when we are talking to someone in person? Just as there are rules to be careful of and follow in our communities, the same kind of rules applies to the communities online. In the near future our lives will be more inclined towards online networking and socializing and we must learn to be better people online. According to dissertation writing services, being good citizens ‘online’ is as important as being one in real life. When we are online we aren’t interacting with programs, people on the other side of the screen are humans too and we can invest just a little effort to be better people online, follow the rules, and be careful of the language we use and the marks we leave behind.
Why is Digital Citizenship Important, Why Teach Students about It?
Understanding how to become a good citizen is important and it will become more important in the very near future. Students already use online resources and depend upon them for their tasks, for this they also communicate with the people across the world and make better use of the online resources. If ‘digital citizenship’ is not taught early at this point when we are starting to depend on our friends and communities online and only a part of our day is spent online, there can be serious and even dangerous results. There is a lot more than just leaving a good mark behind when it is about learning to be a good digital citizen. Unfortunately students have the option to not reveal their identity and use their real names and information online which sometimes gives them a good chance to do things they would never do otherwise.
These people or students impose a risk to the society and this is just one thing that equals to a threat. Other situations where being a good digital citizen needs to be taught is when students may be tempted to share personal information like passwords and personal details that may harm them in some way. Then there is adult and inappropriate content not too difficult to access and not always can these students be monitored. Teaching them certain rules to be civilized and being as kind as they would be in their real lives will help in creating a good community online and outside of the virtual world. Here are tips for encouraging good digital citizenship in classrooms
- Encourage students to be attentive and around family when they have the opportunity. Eating out or sitting in TV room or dining table, they should not use their phones, tablets and PCs. Relationships offline are as important as the ones online.
- Tell students that it is impossible to erase anything once it is online and out there on the internet. So be careful with what you share and whom they share it with.
- Sharing things online and stealing it, calling it yours whereas it is picked online, these all are different. They must be taught that they can share stuff, but stealing is something unethical. Not only that it is bad to pick up something online and take credit for it, all the content online is copyright protected and it isn’t just out there for you to pick.
- There are all kinds of people online; students should be taught that not everyone needs to be answered. Tell them how to know when someone is just a ‘troll’ and wants to provoke others to fight and create a scene. Tell them to keep away from them.
- ‘Stranger danger’ concept can be taught to the students. Explain through role plays and stories how anyone can pretend to be someone they know and that they should be careful of such people.
How This Will Impact the Future:
The use and influence of tech is evident in jobs and career presently. People work with other people across borders online and the jobs are highly dominated with online communication. Time for assembling for a meeting is cut short with online conferences. If young students are taught the right things today and, they are taught to be a good digital citizen today, this will lay a good foundation for them. They will not only be keeping away from harm, they will be successfully practicing digital citizenship and will contribute to a healthy community online.