As educators help shape our leaders of tomorrow, they rely on technology platforms to provide students with the skills they need for success. Recent data demonstrates that technology has the potential to boost student learning and test scores but technology fluency is only one piece of the puzzle. Perhaps equally as important is the notion that today’s educators have the opportunity to teach good digital citizenship, in order to instill long-term best practices and behaviors. This is best done using a two-part approach: in the classroom and with the support of the wider community.
In early education, the foundations of digital citizenship often center on digital literacy, or the use of technology, and the basics of security such as device safety and password security. Over time, the concept of digital citizenship is expanded to include digital etiquette, rights & responsibilities, and physical and psychological well-being in a digital world. As with other effective teaching methods, these lessons are best taught hands-on with school devices and reinforced at home, where students often have devices of their own.
“When you look at technology on the school campus, you have to look at the whole structure of how is it impacting the students, the staff and the teachers…our 1:1 program is used daily, every single day by every single student and teacher. We’re offering an education tool that everyone is using in the classroom and organizing themselves for a future career.” – Peter Leonard, Director of IT, Santa Margarita High School
Digital citizenship education should also be extended to the community, to help parents understand and address these same important topics through meaningful conversations with their kids. We often recommend this year-long program to engage parents, and additionally Absolute has presented to parents (and the community at large) through our Safe Schools program. This initiative is all about spotting and avoiding risk scenarios, responsible behavior and also theft-awareness to prevent students from becoming targets. Together, communities and schools can tackle the growing issues of digital citizenship which also includes a frequent and unfortunate side-effect – cyberbullying.
Sadly, our youth must face a variety of challenges in the digital world. Cyberbullying is a growing and troubling issue, often reinforced by its nearly invisible nature. Digital citizenship is an integral part of effectively preventing and responding to cyberbullying and it’s most effective when schools and communities work together. There are many reliable resources that schools can lean on to engage students on their digital responsibilities (to speak up) and digital etiquette.
Chances are your school district is investing heavily in technology to support learning. Many school districts also choose to rely on Absolute to provide trusted device management to alert for suspicious device activity and enforce Internet Safety Policies. Our Student Technology Analytics provides data-driven insight on users and groups correlated to academic performance, giving you a tangible reference to inform decisions and justify ROI. We can even pinpoint students who may be attempting to modify a device, allowing districts to intervene effectively to protect both the device and further educate the student.
Digital citizenship is an expansive topic, from the basics of computer literacy to more advanced digital etiquette with much in between. It requires an all-hands-on approach to be successful.