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…