Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship refers to how we as individuals interact with society using technology. This includes social media, blogs, online journalism, and simply using a computer or smartphone. Technology has permeated our society, so it is incredibly important to use it responsibly and effectively.

The responsible use of technology is defined by these three principles:

Respect

  • Access: Allowing everyone electronic access, and resolving issues that exclude users (internet access at home or in community places, access to a computer, etc.)
  • Etiquette: Appropriate behavior at all times - treat others with respect, and practice good manners.
  • Law: Several state and federal laws such as FERPA and CIPA regulate data privacy, and net neutrality ensures access to everyone.

Educate

  • Literacy: Educating users about what technology means, and how to use it.
  • Communication: From Wikipedia to Twitter, the Internet has allowed incredible amounts of communication that must be used responsibly.
  • Commerce: Users must understand the risks involved with online shopping, as well as potential legal issues.

Protect

  • Rights: Freedom of speech and privacy are important issues in the digital world, and individuals can influence how technology is used for both.
  • Security: Strong passwords and virus protection programs are necessary evils. By remaining vigilant, users can mitigate the risks of using technology.
  • Health: Carpal tunnel or eye strain can be easily caused by extended computer use, in addition to the psycological issues that can arise.

It is the responsibility of everyone to take care of our society, and this extends to the digital aspects in our lives. By being aware of the problems and solutions that technology creates, each of us can become a better Digital Citizen.

 

Further reading and resources:

DigitalCitizenship.net - A site dedicated to Digital Citizenship education and resources.

Common Sense Media - A blog related to Digital Citizenship.