Students of today are inundated with technology. It literally surrounds them. To ask a child to imagine their life without technology is akin to asking them to imagine not existing at all. There is no separation. Therefore, it is only appropriate that educators and the educational system embrace technology as elements of an environment that are inherent rather than additional. It is imperative that citizenship for our students include the digital along with the civic. In many ways, after all, those two are so intertwined at this point, that they cannot be untangled.

Rather than act as if technology is an intrusion in the classroom, we should see it as an enhancement just as we see certain technology pieces that were once innovative themselves. The concept of video in the classroom was at one point new, teachers settling for photographs from texts or even no image counterpart at all. Over time, video has become routine and expected. Why only describe an event when you can ‘watch it happen’?

We live in a global society. We are connected 24/7 to other people, other cities, other states, other countries. To act as if technology hasn’t made that reality possible is ignorant and imbecilic. Students can be taught how to apply their civic citizenship duties and personal etiquette expectations to the digital world if we are willing to teach them. The classroom teacher has always been an instructor who helps to grow the student into a productive adult in society. To be a productive adult in today’s society, you must know how to explore, harness, and utilize digital technology as it comes and be equipped with digital awareness and professionalism to do so effectively. Learning digital consciousness as early as possible gives our students the best possibilities for their future.

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