A Passport to Digital Citizenship

  • October 11, 2019
Digital Citizenship
Digital Citizenship

Do you remember at what age you first used a mobile phone, accessed the internet or created your social media account on Facebook or Orkut?

Today’s generation has done it all even before they start going to school. Technology has truly transformed our lives and mobile phones have become a new obsession as e-mail, internet, social network or instant messaging is now more than a need.  

What Has Changed with Digitization?

The digitization has transformed several industries and the education sector is no exception to this. Educational Institutes are adopting digital transformation for almost everything from teaching to management. 

The use of the computer has not only reduced the manual effort but also it has minimized the paperwork. Digitization of educational institutes is not only helping teachers, admin, and students but also parents to a large extent. 

As the educational sector becomes more competitive, digital transformation is now becoming a necessary means of survival as this new digital world requires educators to adapt and adopt digital technologies, methodologies, and mindsets.

What Is Digital Citizenship and Why It Is Important?

Educational institutes are adopting a smart education system with the use of mobile technology in classrooms and promoting their students and staff to use mobile devices during lectures. With the growth of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and 1:1 initiative in educational institutes, there is a need to educate students, staff, and parents to uses technology wisely. 

Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool, it is a way to prepare technology users for a society full of technology. 

Today there are several issues that plague digital education and some of them are:

  • Digital Literacy 
  • The pace of change & cost
  • Digital security & compliance
  • Distraction / Lack of self-discipline
  • Technological difficulties 

Every day we see so many people getting trapped in some of the other frauds or being targeted by hackers for money or for some critical information. The use of technology can be dangerous, so it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect the digital ecosystem while using digital technology.

What Is the Need for Formal Digital Education?

Alongside the benefits of increasing digital literacy and worldwide access, there have also been several strategies aimed to hack or abuse digital technology. Everyone who is using digital technology today is at risk of getting trapped in sexual abuse, addiction, being exposed to inappropriate/upsetting content, financial fraud, cyberbullying, identity theft and even blackmail. 

While we need to embrace technology, we also need to acknowledge that there is a dark side to it. We need to have strict guidelines and policies in place to ensure student’s safety. Effective and ethical use of technology is the only passport in this digital world. 

To ensure digital safety, many parents and institutes are using a lot of tools and policies in order to govern the usage of technology and this is how they do it: 

  • Track children’s online activity
  • Lock other apps and restrict Internet access
  • Parental control apps

But before using any of these tools or techniques to manage or secure access to the digital system, we must ensure that we all take a formal education to know how we can use digital technology. Many of the educational institutes have already started giving formal education to all their students and staff by including a digital citizenship course in their syllabus. Are you one of these institutes? If you are not, then let’s see how you can start with it.

Getting started with Digital Citizenship:

Before introducing the digital citizenship course or program at your institute, it’s essential that parents, technology leaders, and teachers are on the same page with respect to the objective and content of this course. 

There are 9 elements defined under digital citizenship landscape which are as follows:

  1. Digital Access: full electronic participation in society
  2. Digital Commerce: electronic buying and selling of goods
  3. Digital Communication: electronic exchange of information
  4. Digital Literacy: the process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology
  5. Digital Etiquette: electronic standards of conduct or procedure
  6. Digital Law: electronic responsibility for actions and deeds
  7. Digital Rights & Responsibilities: those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world
  8. Digital Health & Wellness: physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world
  9. Digital Security: electronic precautions to guarantee the safety

It’s imperative that all these 9 aspects are covered in your digital citizenship program to make the online world a kinder, safer, smarter, healthier, and more ethical place. 

So, are you up for the digital game? Explore how Scalefusion is helping global educational institutions provide a secure digital learning experience to students.

Parag is a marketing technologist who likes to strike a balance between storytelling, design and technology. He comes with 7+ years of IT Marketing experience and currently handling product marketing of Scalefusion for mid-market and large enterprise segment.

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