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Digital citizenship is our responsibility to participate in the technological world. As academics, social people, and as professionals. However, it is not just simply participating. We must protect, educate, discuss, and allow ourselves to emerge into an ever-changing resource while we forge through the difficulties to remain on track toward our goal. Which leads me to my digital citizenship statement:

 

I will adhere to my own voice and beliefs while remaining respectful of other’s and myself. I will be professional and attentive to concerns or new technological platforms while never losing sight of my academic inquiry-based purpose.  

 

Why is this important?

Digital literacy is the ability to appropriately use the internet or other technological devices. By appropriate, I mean that the person should know how to use, what to do with it, and how to be responsible about using it. The world has become consumed by technology. We must adapt or struggle. I feel my digital literacy is rather advance.  Although, I use Google Applications and many other platforms daily. I need to discover what works and shift my curriculum towards that opposed to just trying everything. My ability to learn new technologies and then teach them to students is my strength. It alludes to my growth mindset. As the article “4 Principles of Digital Literacy” states, I consider myself at the curation level (Heck, 2013). I can use these devices to store, share, collaborate, and organize for myself or with my whole class.

Digital literacy is a must, especially for our students. The world is advancing faster than we can even imagine. The students need these skills in order to survive. Another article writes that digital literacy is commonly used just for social practices (Bhatt, 2012). However, it is turning into much more as nearly every branch of work utilizes some sort of technology. Even life needs are rooted in technology today. The article also mentions that social digital literacy could also be considered more of a collaboration. It has moved to be included in the classroom in a more social outlook.

How do we stay professional?

A third article, “6 Keys to a Positive Online Presence and Reputation”, writes that we must create a profile or reputation that is something we want to be seen as within the digital world, but also in the real world (Zwilling, 2015). I believe this is really something the next generation of students are really struggling with. Snapchat and other social media outlets are becoming highly personalized and students do not realize that over-sharing emotions or photos can hurt their reputation for the future. One thing I have been focusing on with my advisory class is netiquette and protecting your reputation on the internet. It is important to learn as soon as possible in order to set yourself on the right path for the future. Our world has become engrossed with technology. Even when we are not on it, it is still influencing our decisions and future.

As the world becomes a more technology driven place, whether socially, academically, or educationally, important questions regarding safety and etiquette arise. What are the proper ways to act online? How do we stay safe or professional? What are the expectations for each type of online platform? Although there is no guideline that is held above the rest, there are unwritten and damaging beliefs that lead people to prioritize their privacy and information safety online. As the younger generations begin to adapt to new social technologies, new norms of oversharing have begun to harm reputations and even careers without the children noticing it. The authors of Generational Views of Information Privacy write: “Many social commentators have expressed the belief that young people don’t care about privacy’’ and this sentiment appears to have caught in the popular culture and as a way of interpreting young people’s willingness to post vast quantities of information on social networking sites and to conduct much of their lives in this relatively public space” (Regan et al, 82-83). There is no shame but a norm to share everything on social media. As they age however, most jobs look at their negative digital footprint as a reason to not hire. The lack of concern now transforms into a lack of ability to provide and therefore is a stressor on society. When moving from the child to an educated young adult the question of privacy transforms into a privacy of content socially and academically. When researching and studying materials are thrown at students. As they access these online and utilize them to further their discussion and study, the student now questions the copyright policy. How do if your citations are appropriate or if it is even allowed to borrow the piece in academic writing? What happens if you do? The article above later mentions this progression: “Based on life stage changes, all generations will become most concerned about individual privacy during their middle years, when they are most concerned with the stability and integrity of their social and economic lives, with lower levels of concern during their younger and older years; we would thus see a similar bell-shaped curve regarding privacy attitudes across all generations” (Regan et al, 89). Later in life their seems to be a less professional technology drive due to the social drive of retired people (less work related and no need to be professional anymore), but also a contentness with the limited technology they need to use.

There are numerous security devices. However, as universally known, nothing on the internet is really private or ever deleted. There are platforms people “trust” or pay for, but in all reality it is more important to just stay safe and put the responsibility in the person’s own hands. In Respecting People and Respecting Privacy it writes, “When security and privacy technologies fail, those with the knowledge, role, and skills put them in the best position to prevent the failures bear much of the responsibility” (Camp, 28). Therefore, people must learn to protect themselves and their professionalism on the internet.  I have made myself this promise as well. No one can help your own positive and professional image as much as your own self.

Conclusion

There is much to learn about digital citizenship. However, it is a learning process. I have learned so much already and plan to continue throughout my life. Enjoy the video below as something that helped me understand better.

 

Resources

Bhatt, I. (2012).” Digital Literacy Practices and their Layered Multiplicity”. Educational Media International, 49(4), 289-301. doi:10.1080/09523987.2012.741199

Camp, L. J. (2015). Respecting People and Respecting Privacy. Communications Of The ACM, 58(7), 27-28. doi:10.1145/2770892

Heick, T. (2013). “4 Principles of Digital Literacy”

Regan, P. M., FitzGerald, G., & Balint, P. (2013). Generational views of information privacy?. Innovation: The European Journal Of Social Sciences, 26(1/2), 81-99. doi:10.1080/13511610.2013.747650

Zwilling, M. (2015). “6 Keys to a Positive Online Presence and Reputation”. Entrepreneur.

 

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