Digital citizenship can be defined as ‘the norms of appropriate, responsible behaviour with regard to technology use.’(Ribble, 2014). Digital citizenship enables teachers and parents for example to develop a greater understanding of how their students and children should use technology. It helps them prepare the younger generations for later life, as today the world is very technologically advanced and is only going to develop more complexly. Knowledge of how to use such technology appropriately and effectively will be beneficial and advantageous. There are nine elements of digital citizenship to be aware of, if you look to the picture above, it gives you a brief idea of what they are.
In this blog post, I am going to focus on the element of digital communication as I feel I can relate to it more than the others enabling me to go into more depth, in hope of developing your understanding of what digital citizenship is.
Digital communication is the ability to exchange information online with other people in a safe and appropriate manner. Digital communication today is much more advanced than any of the technology available say 50 years ago. Nowadays, there are mobile phones, social media sites, email and FaceTime for example. All of which have become an integral part of my daily life.
In the mornings, I check my phone to reply to any texts or messages that I may have missed. I also check my University email to make sure I haven’t missed anything important. Once ready and if I have time to spare I’ll go on Facebook and see what’s been happening in the world of Facebook. All forms of communication nowadays are electronic and in order to keep up with them, we have to keep checking our digital devices and technology. Of course we all still get written communication in the mail, a bank statement for example. I get my bank statement through the mail but I can also check online, which is a much easier and convenient form of communication.
Digital communication occurs in the classroom nowadays. It enables communication between students and teachers such as in blogs and email. I’m going to use my Digital economy class for example. As part of our course we are to post blogs about topics pre-determined by our lecturer. Our blog posts are public and are to be read by other members of the class and commented on, enabling communication between fellow students. Our lecturer also goes online and reads them and posts her feedback. This type of collaborative communication is encouraging and beneficial as we read what others think of our posts, both positive and negative feedback to enable improvement and development. Also, if we ever have any questions about the lecture, readings or assignments, we can email our lecturer and get a response back quickly. This is not something that my mum for example would have had access to when she was at university.
Digital communication through social media like Facebook also provides a far wider reaching form of communication. A survey was conducted at PSCF into social media daily usage by students producing results of ‘Facebook 82%, YouTube 76%, twitter 55%, chat and messaging 94%.’ (Couldry et al, 2014) Teachers and parents have a responsibility to provide information on both the good and bad aspects of social networking to provide children with knowledge on how to use it safely and securely. They should also make the children aware of issues such as cyberbullying and privacy settings and teach them how to protect themselves from such issues. (Heartland AEA Digital Citizenship, 2011). Facebook for example can rekindle lost relationships with family and friends and through instant messaging, messages can be sent and received quickly and effectively all across the world.
Social media like SKYPE allows people to communicate simultaneously through video chat, creating the illusion that they are there with them as it is face to face contact. I skype my friends who have moved away for university, allowing us to keep in touch. SKYPE can also be used for communication in businesses. According to (Statistic Brain, 2012) ‘35% of small businesses used SKYPE as a primary communication service.’
Overall, being a good digital citizen requires consumers to communicate effectively, efficiently and safely. Part of being a good digital citizen requires being digitally savvy and digitally literate. Having the capacity to treat both the technology and the consumers of technology with respect and using it to its full potential is important both in terms of personal and business communication.
Couldry, N., Stephansen, H., Fotopoulou, A., MacDonald, R., Clark, W., & Dickens, L. (2014) Digital Citizenship? Narrative exchange and the changing terms of civic culture. [Online Accessed 13/11/4] Available from: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/70611/1/17p.pdf
Fractus Learning (2014) 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship [Online Accessed 13/11/14] Available from: https://www.fractuslearning.com/2014/09/09/digital-citizenship-poster/
Heartland AEA Digital Citizenship (2011) Communication [Online Accessed 13/11/14] Available from: http://twaterman.pbworks.com/w/page/10591808/Communication
Kemp, C. (2014) Digital Citizenship [Online Accessed 13/11/14] Available from: http://mrkempnz.com/2014/09/whatisschool-archive-25-09-14-digital-citizenship.html
Ribble, M. (2014) Digital Citizenship [Online Accessed 12/11/14] Available from: http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Home_Page.html
Statistic Brain (2012) Skype Statistics [Online Accessed 13/11/14] Available from: http://www.statisticbrain.com/skype-statistics/