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Digital citizenship is a very important issue that is beginning to be introduced in schools. Curriculum for Excellence has been introducing technology and the idea of digital citizenship into schools in order to achieve the goal of lifelong learning. The nine elements of digital citizenship are important in protecting and helping us to us technology and be active participants of the digital age.
Cyber bullying is a main concern as shown from information from Childline, which saw an 87% increase in contacts as a result of online bullying in 2012-2013. This is concerning as the increase of children using media means that they can be at risk of such bullying. Ribble (2014) explains that people aren’t being taught digital etiquette which is why they are unable to practice it online resulting in these issues of offence and bullying. To respect others when online is key to digital citizenship.
A growing concern is that technology is being used in the classroom and whether this will mean a loss of methods previously used to teach and learn (Martin, 2013). Digital literacy is crucial in society and is an area which CfE aims to tackle. Adults, young people and children all need to know how to use technology safely and appropriately but also in order to aid their learning. In 2009 alone 91% of people checked a fact online, 71% used the Internet to find out what a word meant and 90% researched a topic that they were interested in (Miller & Bartlett, 2012). As a student I would have to agree that the Internet is a brilliant source of information however I would have really benefitted from learning how best to use technology. I found that being online has widened my learning and introduced me to new ideas. This is crucial to digital literacy and something which should be introduced in education.
Digital health and wellness is something which I wasn’t aware even existed which is why I have chosen to discuss it. Research has shown that technology can have serious risks to physical and psychological health which is a major concern. Personally whenever I get a new device or simply have one to hand I spend a lot of time on it but would then find it difficult to sleep. Now that I have looked into digital health and wellness I am shocked to see the risks that technology can have on your health and is something which I think people should be made aware of. Physical issues such as repetitive stress syndrome and psychological issues like Internet addiction are some the risks which we as technology users expose ourselves to (Ribble 2014). I therefore think that people should be made aware of them in order to protect ourselves from such issues.
Teaching digital citizenship can help people of all ages. By teaching it enables them to learn what is expected and practice it throughout their lives. It can help them maintain a professional online presence while also meaning that they are aware of what is expecting of everyone online and how to use technology to aid them. We can all benefit for digital citizenship.
Curriculum for Excellence website: http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence/index.asp
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Image retrieved by http://search.creativecommons.org and searching 9 elements of digital citizenship.
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Miller, C., & Bartlett, J. (2012). ‘Digital fluency’: towards young people’s critical use of the internet. Journal of Information Literacy, 6(2), 35– 55.
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