Today we live in a world that is focused on whether or not people are online or offline. I read the article, “The IRL Fetish”, which gave me a new perspective on being online or offline. This article states the obsession society has with being offline and “living in the moment.” The article stresses how without this obsession of being online we would not be able to value the solitude of being offline such as camping trips, long walks, and face-to-face conversations. I agree with this view of being obsessed with being offline. We live in a society where majority of people have a device within their pocket at all times. Being conscious of this is important, but even when we are offline our online presence follows us. For example, although we may not be online at times we often make Facebook posts about moments while we were offline. I think that it is important for educators to understand this and try to work with digital citizenship rather than work against it.
What do you see as the major challenges around teaching digital citizenship in the classroom?
Digital citizenship is important for educators to know and to teach to students. Mike Ribbles explains, “[Digital] Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool, it is a way to prepare student for a society full of technology.” As educators this is important to understand! We do not need to scare students by telling them the horror stories of cyberbullying or sexting. As educators we need to lay out the information to students and tell them what is “acceptable” and what is not. Yes, students need to know that bad things can happen if they are not careful or safe online but I think there is an effective way to do it and a less effective way. Often this is the challenge that most educators face in their own classrooms when it comes to teaching digital citizenship. Pertaining to the Saskatchewan Curriculum there are Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. I think this is a great place to start to first educate yourself on what digital citizenship is and how to go about teaching it within your classroom. Using the “Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship” will help to eliminate the challenge of knowing how to teach digital citizenship within a classroom.
I think that it is important to educate students on what is out there and how to go about obtaining a positive online presence. Students are constantly online whether they are on some sort of social media platform or texting. When we are online we are able to communicate in ways that we are not able to in real life. Asking students to disconnect and go offline while in class isn’t the best solution. I think that as educators we need to incorporate their online interacting into the classroom, while using digital etiquette. If we have taught our students the “Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship” then we should be able to move beyond face-to-face interactions and connect on a different level using online platforms to do so. We need to put ourselves into the shoes of a student and connect with them rather than being bogged down with this obsession with being offline.