Visual Essay- Teaching Digital Citizenship

Please click here to view my visual essay
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:
Digiteen. (2014). digiteen – Digital Etiquette, Retrieved 16th November 2014, from
Jarvis, J. (2011). One identity or more? BlogMachine.
Retrieved 25th October 2014, from
Image retrieved by and searching 9 elements of digital citizenship.
Martin, A. (2013). The 4 Negative Side Effects of Technology. Retrieved from
Miller, C., & Bartlett, J. (2012). ‘Digital fluency’: towards young people’s critical use of the internet. Journal of Information Literacy, 6(2), 35– 55.
NSPCC. (2013). Can I tell you something? Childline review of 2012/13. NSPCC. Retrieved from
Qualman, E. (Erik Qualman). (2014, April 16). #Socialnomics 2014 by Erik Qualman (Video file) Retrieved from
Rheingold, H. (2012). Introduction: Why You Need Digital Know-How—Why We All Need It. In Net smart: how to thrive online. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Ribble, M. (2014). Essential elements of digital citizenship. Retrieved 2nd January 2015, from

Ribble, M. (2014). Nine Elements. digitalcitizenship. Retrieved 11th November 2014, from


Digital Economy Summary.

For the past three months I have been involved in the class living, learning and working in the context of the digital economy. During this class I was able to learn about the digital society that we live in and various aspects of the culture that I knew very little about.

While studying the course I have written blogposts each week which I have researched different topics and examined points and then posted them to WordPress. I have also commented on others blogposts and discussed face to face the issues covered with a group in university. By commenting on others blogs and having comments on our own I feel that this has really helped to enhance my learning. The comments which were left were often comments that provoked other issues which I had not thought about and also showed other people’s points of view. I found this particularly beneficial as the comments made gave me feedback from different people and allowed me to change my thinking. I also left comments on blogs of my peers and found that reading their blogs highlighted areas which we thought similarly about and other areas which I had not considered. I would provide feedback on ideas I had had when reading their post and writing my own.

The class also had to set up Twitter accounts and tweet using #LLWDE14. The idea of using the hashtag was good but I feel it didn’t work to it’s fullest potential where people were tweeting ideas and opinions. I tried to tweet articles and share websites I had found but as I didn’t use Twitter before this class I could sometimes forget about it. However I did feel that the live Twitter sessions we had in class worked as people showed opinions then and commented on one another’s tweets. During these sessions I felt that I was able to see what others in the class were thinking and this helped me further to form my own ideas in the subject we were discussing. I also followed various people on Twitter to enable me to gain more knowledge for the class and found this very useful.

I found this class particularly useful as it helped me to gain a good understanding of the society that we are living in and enabled me to learn about topics and issues I didn’t even know existed. I have also been able to consider the concept of technology in the classroom and the importance of becoming digitally literate. This is something which I now feel very strongly about and believe should be considered more in society and in education as a key issue for learning. However I wouldn’t have these ideas had I not researched and learned from reading and learning from my peers about the good and the bad of the digital economy.

Teaching Digital Citizenship

Mobile phones, tablets, online shopping, social networking, gaming, the Internet. These are only some of the things which people of all ages in the 21st century are exposed to. It is all around us and whether we realise it or not, impacts each and everyone of our lives. Rheingold (2012) explains that the Web is an integral part of our society today and whether we like it or not “Future of the culture depends on how well we learn to use the media”.

As a primary education student I am very interested in how technology and the digital world is impacting on the children of the 21st century. We are living in a world where we have the choice of 250 million websites,150 million blogs and where over 25 billion tweets were sent in 2010 (Miller & Bartlett, 2012). I have therefore decided to focus on the teaching of digital citizenship to children. I have chosen this topic as it is something which I feel is becoming particularly relevant in society and is also very relevant to what I would like to do when I leave university.

In a world where children have access to the Internet it is important that they know how to use it correctly. There are growing concerns that children and young people are vulnerable with a lot of emphasis being placed upon worries over exposure to inappropriate content, inappropriate images, abuse from adults met online and cyber bullying. I believe that the most important reason for children to learn about safety is to allow them to protect themselves from what is online and also to understand the power that is the Internet. Classrooms are beginning to focus on using digital technologies in lessons in order to enable children to become digitally literate and enable them to good digital citizens. The Scottish curriculum, Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) focuses on learning using technology which relates to digital literacy and enables and encourages them to gain an understanding of the role and impact which technology has on society. It also aims to enable the children to make decisions and choices which are appropriate in relation to technology.

Safety is a very important issue that should be taught in schools. Children and young people have to be able to manage their own digital identity and safety however they can’t be expected to know how to do this and it also can’t be assumed that parents or carers will teach their children as they may not know it either. As digital safety is a current issue within the 21st century and does affect people of all ages children should be taught how to be safe online and should be provided with the opportunity to learn how to engage critically with technology and how to use it well. They should also learn the skill of how to question their own and others technology use and receive an education which allows them to make decisions to protect themselves on an ongoing basis.

As a student teacher I feel that these are all very important lessons that everyone should learn. I have never personally been affected by some of the issues which I have discussed such as cyber bullying but I have witnessed what this can do to people and I very strongly believe that people should learn about online safety in order to protect themselves. It is important to learn about the technology in the digital world and how to use it and I feel that teachers could learn a lot from teaching these lessons in their classes much the same way I have from taking this class on the digital economy.

Curriculum for Excellence website:

Miller, C., & Bartlett, J. (2012). ‘Digital fluency’: towards young people’s critical use of the internet. Journal of Information Literacy, 6(2), 35– 55.

Rheingold, H. (2012). Introduction: Why You Need Digital Know-How—Why We All Need It. In Net smart: how to thrive online. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Privacy and Surveillance

The concept of privacy is something which I would go as far to say that we all know the meaning of. However I feel that it is a concept which is rather confusing when it comes to its relation to being online. Many social networks now have their privacy default setting as public. Personally I would like my Facebook to remain private and as I am going into teaching this is something which is advised and I know that many members of my family didn’t realise that everything they were putting up on Facebook could be viewed by the public. I feel that people should be aware of their privacy settings and recognise the importance of it. As for online surveillance, this is something which I have never really given much thought to. When I am online I am researching, on social media or shopping but surveillance is a very important concept in society today. Honestly online surveillance doesn’t bother me. I believe it is there for a reason and from my point of view it is there to protect us as users of the Internet.

There are many advantages of online surveillance which are very important for the society we live in today. One of the advantages of online surveillance is that it can record crimes being committed online and mean that those involved in the crimes are caught and encounter the consequences. This ultimately results in those people who are innocent in their online activity or even victims of online crimes have more of a chance of being safer and more secure online. In fact the Guardian told us almost two weeks ago that the UK is moving in on Russian hackers who have been using webcam footage live from Britain and streaming the images online. This highlights that the Internet can be used for crimes against so many people but how surveillance can help to prevent this from happening. The article also points out just how important it is to protect yourself online and use strong passwords to protect yourself.

However a disadvantage of online surveillance for the public is where it will end. There are already situations where workplaces monitor what employees are using the Internet for while they are at work and the article about the Russian hackers demonstrate just how privacy can be invaded in an extreme way. Lyon (2001) states that surveillance is used for social control and this has raised questions as to whether this is appropriate. Although surveillance has been used to prevent terrorist attacks the general fear is that there is no clear line as to where the invasion of privacy starts. Personally the idea that someone could view me through my webcam sitting at my laptop doing work is a rather scary idea. I don’t have anything to hide from online surveillance but that certainly doesn’t mean that I would allow anyone access to me.

As a user of the Internet I am always very careful as to what information is available about me. I have nothing to hide but that doesn’t mean that I want everyone to see it as I feel that I would want to choose who I give access to private areas of my life. As for online surveillance overall I believe that it is a good thing, it is there to protect us and keep us safe and so long as we as individuals and online users are careful of the Internet then I think that online surveillance is a good thing.

Lyon, D. (2001). Surveillance Society: Monitoring Everyday Life (Issues in Society). Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Weaver, M. (2014). Internet: UK moves to shut down Russian hackers streaming live British webcam footage. Retrieved from

Digital Citizenship

This week I have been examining the importance of digital citizenship. I began first by looking at citizenship and examining what is meant by this. A citizen is defined as a person who has certain membership and with that comes rights and responsibilities. Linking this to the term digital citizenship Ribble (2014) states that it is a concept that explains what technology users should know to use technology safely and in an appropriate manner. It is therefore clear that as a citizen of the digital world we as individuals need to be aware of our rights and responsibilities online and also need to practice digital citizenship by using certain relevant skills in order to participate correctly online. There are nine elements of digital citizenship, all of which are important and should be known by all digital users however I have chosen to focus on one element of the nine, digital etiquette.

Digital etiquette is a set of rules which everyone online should be aware of and follow online in order to treat people well online. It is important that individuals consider others when online and think about their image and the appropriate online conduct. It is however considered a very crucial problem according to Ribble (2014) due to the fact that people aren’t learning digital etiquette and therefore aren’t able to practice it online. A survey by Digiteen (2014) found that 40% of teenagers surveyed hadn’t been taught about digital etiquette and 60% said they had learnt a small amount. The same survey also found that 15% of those surveyed had been offended once or twice by something which they had read or received online whereas 85% stated that they had been offended by a post or email more than three times. This information clearly states that there should be more education of digital etiquette and digital citizenship in general in order to prevent these issues as well as the problem of cyber bullying. Personally I would have to have included myself in the sections of never having been taught about digital etiquette specifically however I was briefly made aware of the issues associated with digital etiquette in relation to cyber bullying while in school.

It should also be raised that digital etiquette can also affect employment with more and more employers looking online to view applicants. Jobvite 2012 shows this by highlighting that 92% of employers filtered candidates through online searches. Therefore more attention should be paid in order to help teenagers, students and adults of all ages manage their digital footprint and their etiquette online.

When looking at Curriculum for Excellence, Scotland’s curriculum, one of the four capacities mentioned is the aim to create responsible citizens. This should include digital citizenship as well in order for children, young people and adults to engage in the digital society in a safe and appropriate way. Personally when I post online, respond to an email or even a text message I always think about what it is I am trying to say and ensure that the receiver couldn’t read into what is written or typed in any other way than what is intended. This is partly due to the fact that I and many others I know have been on the receiving end of posts which I have been unsure of how to take. I therefore think that it is important that digital citizenship as a whole is taught in education and is encouraged by parents.

Digiteen. (2014). digiteen – Digital Etiquette, Retrieved 16th November 2014 from
Ribble, M. (2014). Nine Elements. digitalcitizenship. Retrieved 11th November 2014, from
Schawbel, D. (2012). How Recruiters Use Social Networks to Make HiringDecisions Now. Retrieved 3rd January 2015, from
Scottish Government. (2004). A Curriculum for Excellence the Curriculum Review Group. The Scottish Executive. Retrieved 15th November 2014, from

Remixing Content.

The Internet is an amazing creation. We learn from what we read or see and have the power to create and share in an online community. The idea of ‘remixing content’ means that you take work that you see online and edit it in some way, perhaps by combining other images or ideas, rearranging or changing it in some way that means that it is different from the original.

There are many advantages and disadvantages of this idea of creating content which is freely available. One advantage is that anyone in the world can view work which you or someone else produces and puts online. This results in more learning and sharing and can be useful to all but particularly students and learners as they can access a wide range of information simply by going online. Nest (2013) states that the Internet is doing exactly this, spreading information and increasing peoples knowledge. Another advantage is that the Internet helps greatly with research and allows people to draw on other peoples work to form their own. As well as these advantages another, and this one I feel is particular to the profession which I want to go into, is that the Internet is a great resource for teaching. There is so much information available and ideas to be used in the classroom.

However in a world where information is shared and viewed easily online means that there are disadvantages to this brilliant source of information and the idea of remixing. Unfortunately a disadvantage is that the easy access to information means that people can take other peoples work which has been placed online and claim it as their own. By not crediting the original source means that what Hodgkins(2014) states is true, the creator doesn’t gain from the process if remixing. Another disadvantage is that changing the content of someone else’s work and making it appear differently can sometimes result the work being made inappropriate and no longer adding to the original source which is the point of remixing. There is also a disadvantage in the fact that it becomes difficult to identify where original ideas have come from and the information can be incorrect or misleading (Hobbs, 2006).

Personally I find the idea of sharing online and remixing an excellent thing. It allows us all to connect online and I particularly like the fact that there is this idea of collaborating by using the Internet, however I can see the disadvantages to online sharing. Overall I feel that the Internet is a great tool particularly for learning and I like the fact that we can all learn from each other and help one another in this online community. I am part of a band and I know that we find it particularly useful that we can promote ourselves as a group and as individuals online and share our passion for music and our ideas online with people around the world. For us we are happy to make our work freely available and I therefore feel that it is down to the individuals to decide how they feel about uploading and sharing their work but I would encourage people to be aware of the idea of remixing and the advantages and disadvantages which until recently I myself was quite unaware of.

Gee, Hobbs and Jenkins from Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. The MIT Press. Retrieved from
Hodgkins, T. and Hodgkins, T. (2014). UOSM:2008. [online] Available at:
Kathryn Nest on the Web, (2013). The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Content Producer Making their Materials Freely Available online. [online] Available at:

Digital Identity or Digital Identities?

The Internet is a brilliant tool for learning and for networking of all ages. The idea of an online identity is the image that you project online (Madden, 2010). I have recently been looking into the importance of managing my online identity as I want to become a teacher and therefore want to make sure that what is online is a correct imprint of me as digital identity matters. Jarvis (2011) states that a student teacher didn’t receive her diploma because a photograph was viewed by people who felt it inappropriate even though it was outside her professional life highlighting just how important managing online identity can be.

When researching my own digital identity I did what in 2009, 57% of Internet users did (Madden, 2010). I used a search engine to check out what information online there was about me. My reason behind this was general curiosity. If an employer or, as I want to be a teacher, a parent or fellow teacher or even pupil searched online for me, what would they find? What, if any, information is available about me online?

Well my question was answered, and it turns out, a lot more than I expected. What was even more surprising was that as of 3 years ago, the last time I can remember searching for myself, I had no digital identity and now I could see pictures of myself online. It was strange, however none of the information about myself could affect me in a negative way, say for example if a potential employer was to view this it would only reflect the person I am and my interests but I know that this can’t be the case for everyone.

Apart from my Facebook and Twitter accounts all the other information available when I searched my name was information which was out with my control, it had been placed online and linked to me by someone else. Costa and Torres (2011) highlights that the increase in your digital footprint makes it harder to control what is private and what is public along with the changing policies of social media. Alexander (2008) agrees by explaining privacy is difficult to a mange online and this could be an argument for multiple online identities, to control what is available and linked back to you. Having multiple identities could benefit people by hiding what they wouldn’t want an employer to see. In fact Jobvite 2012 found that 92% of employers filtered candidates through online searches. A multiple identity could also be a way of promoting a business or maintaining a professional profile.

A reason against multiple online identities is that an employer may view your “professional” identity and think you too serious as it is often good to see an equal balance of professional and personal life and in some cases having one identity may benefit you in the eyes of an employer as it will allow them to view the kind of person you are. Another reason against multiple identities is that in some cases fake identities can be set up using fake photos and talking to people online (Peterson 2013). A friend of mine once searched for herself online and found that someone had set up an online dating profile using her name and photos from her various social media platforms which was very worrying. The use of multiple identites can also be how people manage to cyber bullying as well which is a concern too.

Personally I don’t want everything that I do to be visible online, not because I have anything to hide or be ashamed of but merely because I don’t necessarily want even my private information available and accessible to the public which is why my Facebook is private, for myself, my family and my friends. I therefore believe that it is important to maintain and manage our digital identities, not necessarily hide but consider what information you and others make about yourself available as online reputation matters and nothing on the web is private. If that means setting up your own multiple identities that’s all part of managing our own digital identity.

Alexander, B. (2008). Web 2.0 and Emergent Multiliteracies. Theory Into Practice, 47(2)
Costa, C., & Torres, R. (2011). To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society. Educação, Formação & Tecnologias, n.º extra, Abril de 2011, 47-53.
Retrieved from
Jarvis, J. (2011). One identity or more? BlogMachine.
Retrieved from
Madden, M. (2010, May 26). Reputation Management and Social Media. Retrieved from
Schawbel, D. (2012). How Recruiters Use Social Networks to Make HiringDecisions Now. Retrieved 3rd January 2015, from