Digital Citizenship – the responsible application of appropriate behaviors as related to and implemented with online and digital technologies.
In consideration of the American Association of School Librarians’s (AASL) Standards for the 21-st Century Learners (2007), it is imperative that students learn to operate effectively in the “increasingly global world of information” and be equipped with skills and training in how to ethically interact with technology and in online communication. We are bombarded by information in the digital world of today. There is information about virtually every topic readily accessible and almost immediately available through online technologies. Students need to learn to “make sense of information gathered by identifying misconceptions…and point of view or bias” (AASL Standard 1, 2007). It’s not enough for our students to be told they should think twice before believing what they read online, they must learn the problem-solving skills needed to evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data, or other resources (ISTE Standard 3, 2016).
In addition to navigating the information already available, our students must learn what it means to be responsible with their digital input. They have myriad opportunities to add information to the online community and the digital stream of information. The responsible application of appropriate behaviors online includes learning how to “manage their digital identity”, “engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical” conversations and behaviors online, and be able to “demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the use of intellectual property” (ISTE Standard II, 2016). Be a good digital citizen means making a positive and appropriate contribution to the digital community. Learning what that looks like and how it is applied requires modeling and practice by teachers, librarians, families, communities, and peers. Creating responsible digital citizens requires a diligent effort and commitment from every party involved.
American Library Association. (2007). American association of school librarians: Standards for the 21-st century learners. Retreived from http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards
International Society for Technology in Education. (2016). ISTE standards for students. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards