Digital Citizenship ?? Interesting.

Photo Credit: Ken Whytock via Compfight cc

Until the debate last night, I had never before thought about the need for me to demonstrate good digital citizenship to my students.  I have been one of those people who was afraid to embrace technology.  I am also hesitant to do things that I am not good at – catch 22 – I know!

Juan Enriquez encourages us to think of our online presence as a digital tattoo. What a fascinating comparison.  The permanence, the bold statements that are visible to the world at a glance.  He reminds us that our digital information will outlive us.  The comparisons to Greek gods were enlightening: we will ‘roll’ with the ups and downs of what we post over the years, don’t look too far into the past of those you love, remember the purpose of all the little ‘pop ups’ that are there to distract us, don’t fall in love with your own reflection.  These are some of the many reasons that I have been resistant to engage in social media.

This class is my time machine into both the past and the future.  The technology education is allowing me to look at my skeptical, fearful past way of judging technology.  Somehow, it has managed to make a crack in my skepticism and is allowing a new perspective to emerge. The more I learn, the more confidence I gather, the more I am open to the possibility of change.  I am actually starting to see the potential in my becoming a better digital citizen.

I was a ‘technology’ ostrich with my head in the sand.  I thought that maybe I could just avoid social media forever – and no one would notice.  But,  this week’s debate rang loud and clear – that teachers must seek to help their students become good digital citizens.  The only way this can happen is for me to become one first !

In the article How to Teach Students to Build a Positive Online Identity, I was reminded that each and every time we post something online, we contribute to our online identity.  Students need to be made aware.  Most importantly, they need to realize that once something is posted, “students are no longer in control of who sees it, shares it, copies it, or uses it”.  These are some of the facts that have intimidated me from engaging in social media.  This article goes on to impress how important it is to create a positive digital identity.  Also how important it is to have this digital identity reflect one’s “authentic self”.

That article lead me to another – Building and Keeping a Positive Digital Identity.  This article contains clear and concise steps that I will be able to use for myself and for my students in the future.  Here are the five essential questions one can keep in mind when creating a positive digital identity: 1) What information am I sharing? (if  you are unsure – don’t post it, check your online identity regularly, make sure your privacy settings are set properly). 2)How secure is it? (make strong passwords, lock devices and close apps when finished, lock your device when not in use). 3)Whom am I sharing it with? (I like the rule of thumb that if the info. is not fit for the front page of a newspaper – don’t share it, also be careful who you are sharing personal info. with, think about how others could potentially use your info., do not use ‘open networks’). 4)What am I leaving behind? (“assume your digital imprint lasts forever”,  and remember to ‘clear your cache’ regularly). 5)What are my rights? (review terms and conditions for devices and apps, be aware that some apps will claim ownership of your content if you use them).

Now that I have become aware of the what it means to be a good digital citizen, I can embark on a journey to bring it about for myself and for my future students.

I searched for a Ted Talk about digital citizenship and guess what I found…



14 thoughts on “Digital Citizenship ?? Interesting.

  1. I didn’t realize Alec had a Ted Talk! Thanks for sharing. I think you make an excellent point in recognizing that you need to digital footprint and an online presence before you can teach your students about it. It can be a little scary to step out of your comfort zone and get started with social media. My suggestion would be to start with a private Facebook count to share more personal things with family and friends like birthday celebrations, family photos or vacation photos. You could have an Instagram account that is public in which you share photos that aren’t so private or personal like landscape or scenery photos from vacations and then you could have a Twitter account that is also public. This gives you a digital footprint but also provides you with a more private space to share via Facebook. Just my suggestion though. Good luck as you jump in and get going!


  2. Pingback: The Time Is Now…We need to educate our students about sharing | Justine Stephanson-Kyle's Blog

  3. “Technology ostrich”! I love that…and isn’t it the truth for so many of us! I think that this class is both challenging and rewarding because it allows us to unpack some of the assumptions we hold about using technology, social media in particular. I really enjoying reading your thoughts this week Angela!


  4. What a wonderfully honest post, Angela! I too was VERY similar to you when I took my first course with Alec and Katia in the Winter Semester 2016. Although I am still very new to all this technology, I have started to embrace it with open arms and I have more of a willingness to both use social media personally and professionally. I am nowhere near proficient as its use in either areas, but I am growing into it. Because of this, I particularly appreciated your five essential questions for the creation of a positive digital identity. I will be using these myself for my personal and professional social media accounts! Thanks for sharing!


  5. I appreciate the honesty in your post. Thank-you for sharing Alec’s TED Talk. So many great articles are shared each week!! I like your sentence the more I learn the more confident I am. I think that’s important for us to remember as educators. Although students may have the skills to use technology, it’s learning how to create a positive digital footprint that comes from awareness and practice. When we understand our confidence grows and so to does our ability to stand up for our digital footprint:)


  6. Hey Angela! Thanks for a very honest post! I think there are so many teachers out there who can identify with you. I know that as technologically savvy as I think that I am, there are so many issues surrounding technology that are so foreign to me. Being on the debate panel last week, opened my eyes to a whole new side of technology that I had not yet considered. The digital footprint is so much bigger than I initially gave it credit for. I am all for embracing it and getting “in the know”! Like you, I’ve just ignored many technological things that I did not know that much about, but you are so right, we have to be in the know, so that we CAN be the role models for our kiddos! One step at a time, one social media site at a time… Someone wise once said, “If you can’t beat em, join em!” Since technology is changing everything and not going to go away anytime soon, I suppose we know what has to be done! See ya on the web! 🙂


  7. I really enjoyed reading your post Angela and I also empathize with your hesitation towards social media and technology. Until I moved north, I had an average level of knowledge about the social media, but since living here, I’ve also had my head in the sand (or snow) as you put it. Technology is definitely around me here, but because it is such a small, politically charged placed where everyone knows everyone, I’ve found that it is important to choose your words carefully. So I have avoided posting anything of substance on Facebook and avoided using Twitter – not that I would say anything offensive, but you never know how something could be taken out of context and shared. For those of us who are hesitant to share things of substance online, I wonder if we will ever get used to the vulnerability of it.


  8. &#2t20;Accep2ance⁙ was the word I held in my heart during this morning’s yoga practice as I wanted to berate my body. Thank you for seeing that in me. From one force of nature to another. Love you.


  9. por favor si son tan &#;am0822ables” denme una respuesta contundente, y no una que siga pensando que tenemos gente inservible trabajando para nuestra gente….gracias


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