Literacy in the Digital Age is a course that is very different from any other course I have taken thus far. I never quite know what I will be learning in the week to come, and I always learn things about myself and topics I didn’t even know existed. This week’s topic is digital citizenship. When I saw how many resources there were to choose from, I was a bit overwhelmed. Once I read our assignment, though, it was much better. I could choose whatever resources I would like to learn from! I first picked this site that explains that digital citizenship is “the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use.” To be a digital citizen, it is your responsibility to be safe, kind, and appropriate online. This site also describes nine elements to being a digital citizen. Some of these are access to a whole online society, commerce of electronic buying and selling of goods, online communication and etiquette, and digital literacy.

Another resource that I really enjoyed learning from is a TED Talks Video featuring Juan Enriquez on the subject of your online life, as permanent as a tattoo. He explains how whatever you do online, it is permanently out there. You cannot erase anything from the internet and it be gone forever. Enriquez explains that tattoos shout without using words and they tell stories. That is the same with how people act online. Electronic tattoos are like your digital footprint. They can be found by everyone and can tell millions of details about individuals. He explains that our digital footprint or our electronic tattoos are immortal. They will exist much longer than our lifetime. So Enriquez advises to be careful what you post, not to look too far into the past of those you love, do not fall in love with your own reflection, and that we are threatened with immortality far worse than the threat of death. So, Enriquez is reminding us to thing about the legacy we want to leave behind when we go, specifically the digital footprint we will leave.

Finally, I read the article The Digital Citizenship Survival Kit. This article shows some props that could be used to explain digital citizenship to students. The kit contains: a padlock to remind students to keep secure passwords and locks on their devises, a toothbrush to remind students that you don’t want to share your passwords just like you don’t want to share your toothbrush, a permanent marker to remind them that everything you put online is permanently available for people to find, and toothpaste to show that once you put something out there, it is near impossible to take it back.

Digital Citizenship is everyone’s responsibility and as a future teacher, I hope to instill the importance of being a good digital citizen in my students.

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Photo CC-By Marcie Casas
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