At the heart of ISTE standard 4 is the desire for educators to prepare students with the skills, knowledge and capability to handle technology responsibly and with discretion. For younger elementary age students raised in a digital saturated environment it can be hard for some to distinguish what is appropriate, safe, and beneficial and what is not. As a teacher, my role is to guide my students to best evaluate their resources and choose appropriate responses and solutions to the various situations an online reality may bring.
What are ways that I can model digital citizenship to students and invite them to participate in positive, safe and proactive ways with an evolving digital culture?
According to Lindsay & Davis (2010), digital citizenship is about “transforming yourself into a professional who can effectively research technology trends, monitor the uses of technology in your school or district, avoid the fear factor that can easily paralyze you, and empower student-centered learning to create vibrant, exciting learning projects” (p. 12). Within their statement there is an aspect of strong leadership, willingness to go beyond normal technological comfort zones, and a desire to know a student’s experience with different technologies. As an educator the skills may not be easy to develop at first, but the excitement, innovation and willingness to engage other educators and students around what they see and do through computers, tablets, phones, and the internet are a pre-requisite of a growing learner.