Digital Citizenship, Week 1

Week 1 Reflection

A Definition of Digital Citizenship

As I take a look back at this first week of the “digital citizenship” class, I am reminded of all the things we do in our daily lives that revolve around the internet. From shopping online to posting assignments online, we do a great amount of things online. However, for most people, we often do online activities without much thought into how other people are treated and how we behave when we are online. Hence, the theme of this course in the master’s program. I think that this course suits a great need at a time when people need to be made more aware of how they do things when they are online. After taking a look at a lot of definitions, I have decided that my definition of “digital citizenship” can be briefly defined as the quality of the actions we take regarding digital content and online communications. For all of us, one of our top priorities should be ensuring we know and understand digital etiquette and how it pertains to things like social media, emails, and how we conduct ourselves when conducting business. I have always known that manners matter, and it seems to me that most people really do not understand this when it comes to content that is posted online. Understanding these “unspoken” rules can make us all better digital citizens when it comes to knowing the world around us.

One of the key definitions that we had to describe this week is what the key difference is between regular citizenship and “digital citizenship” as it pertains to the world we live in. In this case, I hold the belief that our world is drastically becoming a smaller place to live in and that these two concepts are becoming one. We are all citizens of a country where we are born, but at the same time, we are all citizens of the online and global communities. It is becoming more and more important for us to know and understand the cultures of countries around the world as we are dealing with foreign people more and more online. To communicate effectively, for example, we must understand Chinese culture to effectively send online messages through Facebook to someone from that country. If we do not understand each other, there is a chance our “netiquette” will be seen as bad to the person receiving the message. This is a concept that we should always try to improve in our daily lives to know the world around us.

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One of my favorite lessons for this week was learning about Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship (Ribble 2015). Upon thinking about it, I still believe that my favorite elements are digital security and digital etiquette. As I have taken the time to learn more about it, we should always ensure that our materials are both protected and of the highest quality when we do things online. Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes of our time, and with all of the data breaches that are occurring around us, we must always make sure our information is secure. It is also important for us to know and understand important elements of our manners as they pertain to online activity.

I recently saw a news story which said that many “millennials” in my generation lack even important social etiquette that previous generations took for granted. I think that this course will explain all of these important elements of netiquette as they pertain to things we should all know. All in all, though, my appetite is now wet to learn more about these topics and to put them into action in the HOBY organization. I decided a few years ago to devote my life to this non-profit organization, and I think that this course will help my ability to make sure that all elements of my professional learning plan are of the highest quality for those who are involved. So, here’s to this course in “digital citizenship.” I look forward to learning more about this topic, including how I can make my “digital tattoo” even better. I look forward to the material that is to come.

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Below this reflection, I have included a list of resources that might be of use to anyone that wants to learn about “digital citizenship.”


Resources for the Definition of “Digital Citizenship”

References

Ribble, M. (2015). Digital citizenship in schools: nine elements all students should know. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.

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