The scenario that is being witnessed today is that educators are by all means driven towards tech-oriented devices to facilitate learning by giving a contemporary look. The authorities are at the cusp of digitally-driven learning by using devices to attain advanced curricular goals and to habituate students towards a progressive academic culture incorporated with the necessary skills and equipment.
What entails when learning happens through technology is that students should be made mindful of how to use technology following various rules or norms to ensure about there is no misuse of the infinite power of the internet. This, in simple terms, is called Digital Citizenship which should be propagated in schools that are using digitally equipped devices as a means of learning. Children should have an explicit idea about the working of technologies, online etiquette, and digital ethics including cybersecurity.
The consumption of digital medium only becomes valid when we abide by the guidelines and maximize the usage by staying within the prescribed territory. It further proceeds to my next point which is about digital responsibility. This means the use of all types of technology in an ethical manner and make sure the right to privacy and freedom of speech is practiced in an appropriate way.
Is it important to educate about digital citizenship in schools?
Nowadays, devices are a part of every child and they get access to it from their infancy. This makes it important for teachers and parents to focus on teaching kids about digital citizenship or digital wellness. With instances of cyberbullying and crimes against kids, it is pertinent to include these subjects in the curriculum. In this way, students can prepare themselves to live in a tech-oriented world.
Methods to teach digital citizenship in schools
Inclusion in the syllabus: The easiest way to make children responsible for digital use is by including it as a part of the studies. For instance, teachers can use visual presentations or any form of written assignment to teach about copyrights, plagiarism, etc.
Workshops: conduct workshops frequently with cybersecurity experts to teach students how to stay away from hackers. It also stresses the importance of digital footprints and how it can affect your professional and personal lives.
Social media discussions: students can get into group discussions on social media and discussions about relevant topics such as cyberbullying. The smart way to get into the future integrated with technology is to educate children to use broadband in a responsible manner.
What is the need for digital citizenship?
The schools have begun to initiate digital citizenship but many still question the purpose and benefit of teaching this within the classroom. These queries stem from the lack of understanding about what digital citizenship is all about, why it is important, and how it should be taught. For students, they must have mastered the technology but do not always know how to use it responsibly
One of the misconceptions that prevail among scholars is that digital citizenship only teaches students to keep passwords confidential and not talk to strangers online. On the contrary, these aspects are just a part of the subject but basically, it emphasizes what this kind of digital knowledge can allow students to do. It can make children to express their opinions, collaborate with others, and make wise choices through the internet that binds a group or a community without being physically present.
As the consumption of the internet is expanding at a fast pace, the perils involving is also increasing where the children seem to get engaged in activities that can get them in danger. Since we live at a time where tech-related activities appear to be more promising, students should be made digitally cognizant to make use of it in a responsible manner.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.