What is Digital Citizenship?
Digital Citizenship is the "use of technology in an appropriate manner." This often refers to the avoidance of using technology as a medium for cyber-bullying others and plagiarizing ideas.
This is the representation of another persons work as your own. In other words, ideas you stole and said you came up with them by yourself. In education this is seen as theft, fraud and dishonesty. Often there are many grey areas when it comes to plagiarism, but it is best to always keep this one important rule
1. When in Doubt, Give Credit and Cite
Make sure you are citing your sources. If you think you have taken something and paraphrased each and every word this must make it your own work, right? Wrong. The ideas and opinions expressed are still the intellectual property of another person. Give them the credit. Many times the things you write may be factual information that you may not have known. In this situation let your reader know where you found that information. Other times, you may want to use the opinions other writers have on a particular topic. Give these people the credit they deserve by citing them. It is best to use a Bibliography or a Works Cited page at the end of your work.
The Canada Safety Council defines cyberbullying as "harmful actions that are committed via electronic media and are intended to embarrass, harm or slander another individual." At its core, cyberbullying is really just bullying but through the use of technology including social media and can be done through malicious writing that is posted online and the use of photos and videos that are posted on the internet with the intent of ridiculing another person. Different provinces in Canada have different legal stances when it comes to cyberbullying. In Nova Scotia, there are laws that protect the privacy and identity of victims and hold perpetrators (and their parents) responsible for the emotional and psychological damages their actions have caused.
While blame can be put on Internet Service Providers, parents, schools and teachers, the blame must essentially fall on the student themselves. When you post mean messages or constantly harass a person over the internet, you must consider the consequences of these actions. Actions like these are harmful and damaging to a person, often moreso because the internet is such a public space that anyone can come across these messages. As responsible Digital Citizens we must ensure we are not using the internet to embarrass or insult others, rather use it as a tool to make our educational experience much more positive.
Netiquette is a term that refers to a code of conduct that holds internet use should be done so in a polite and proper manner. While online students must work to avoid:
-obscene, profane and threatening gestures
-harassing and bullying others
-posting anything that can be viewed as disrespectful
You must consider the idea that if you were to write something on a chalkboard and your teachers and parents were to read it, how would they see it? Would they be upset that you would write something like that? Would you be reprimanded for that? How would it make you feel if someone posted that about you? In order to follow the guidelines of Netiquette, students must keep in mind that showing respect for others is the key.
Solving Issues Through Digital Tools
Students need to know that the idea of Digital Citizenship should go beyond the walls of the classroom. They must understand that digital technology is a tool for change, and change can only come about if it is being used for positivity. Students need to know the safe use of technology and the growth of netiquette is the foundation.