The Importance Of Teaching Digital Citizenship in Schools

teaching digital citizenship in schools

What is digital citizenship?

Digital citizenship can be defined as creating an upright standing in the digital world by following the various norms, rules and behaving responsibly to ensure that there is no misuse of the unlimited powers of the internet.

Digital citizenship can also be defined as the correct online etiquette, an understanding of how technologies work, knowledge about digital ethics, laws, and adequate information about online safety including security from hackers and online predators.

What is the digital responsibility?

Digital responsibility is the ethical burden we have to ensure that we must use all types of technology in an acceptable and ethical manner. It ensures that you practice your right to privacy and freedom of expression in an appropriate manner.

Why is it important to teach digital citizenship in schools?

Today, technology is a part of every young person’s childhood and students have access to technology from their infancy. It is therefore critical that just as schools and parents focus on teaching their kids, how to be good citizens in a community, there should be an added effort to teach students the rules of digital citizenship – also called as digital wellness or digital ethics.

The internet is filled with instances of cyberbullying, online crimes against kids, predators grooming kids and lots more. In this situation, it is important for schools to include digital citizenship into their syllabus.

Digital Citizenship is important to prepare students to live in a world full of technology. In a world where students use devices and tablets in schools, it is, therefore, become increasingly important to teach digital citizenship in schools.

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How can digital citizenship be taught in schools?

1. Embedded in daily lessons

One of the easiest ways to teach children online responsibility and digital citizenship is by including it as a part of the daily syllabus and studies. Teachers can use presentations and essay assignments to teach students about copyrights, plagiarism and the importance of citing one’s research.

Older students can be taught about intellectual rights, trademarks – thus teaching students about responsible online behaviour in terms of content and copyright.

2. Special workshops

Schools can also organise workshops with cybersecurity experts and parents to teach students how to stay safe from hackers, predators and other types of online scammers. Students can also be taught the importance of their digital footprint and how it can have an impact on their entire personal and professional lives.

3. Group discussions

Students can also be encouraged to participate in group discussions on social media etiquette as well as cyberbullying, pornography and other age and class relevant topics

Over the past decade, there has been a greater dependence on technology and this makes responsible digital citizenship the need of the hour. As schools focus on increasing online competencies, digital citizenship often gets neglected into the background. However, in a classroom infused with smart devices and technology, the smart way into the future is to teach students how to use the internet is a responsible an ethical manner.

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