Tuesday, 24 May 2016



1. Access

One important tenant of digital citizenship is that access to technology should be available to all. This concept reflects challenges that are present in our non-digital society.  Most all citizens believe, in theory, that everyone should have access to education, health care, the right to worship, etc., but the reality of providing these to all citizens of the world is virtually impossible. It is at the root of wars, political divisions and religious fanaticism. It is unreasonable to think that everyone can receive equal access to technology, but it is a noble goal towards which to aspire. Digital citizens should continue to lobby for more digital access, in more locations, so that more people can benefit from it.

2. Commerce

If the sales figures for Black Monday are any indication, we as a society are fully embracing digital commerce. Digital citizenship encourages people to embrace digital commerce and continue to strive for safe and secure utilization of shopping, banking, and engaging in other commercial transactions in technical venues.

3. Communication

Digital communication is another element of Digital Citizenship that we seem to be embracing wholeheartedly. Digital communication includes emailing, texting, instant messaging, utilizing cell phones, etc. As digital communication continues to grow, it is important that we not forget how to communicate face to face. If we lose our humanity, technology will be a poor replacement.  Utilize digital channels of communication to enhance your ability to communicate, but do not allow it to replace your ability to communicate.

4. Literacy

As digital citizens, it is our responsibility to develop and continually enhance our technological knowledge. We should support and encourage the acquisition of technological knowledge by others. We should model the positive and proactive use of technology for good causes, personal and professional growth and education.

5. Etiquette

This is a real weakness among many users of today's technology. Picture the guy who spends the entire meal in a resturant on his cell phone talking so loudly that he disrupts everyone around him, or the peer that sits across the table from you in an important meeting constantly checking emails or playing Angry Birds. Perhaps you can't teach old dogs new tricks, and it is too late to instill rules of etiquette onto these rude digital citizens. However, digital etiquette should be an integral part of the education of our youth.

6. Law

As citizens of our city, state and country, we are governed by certain laws.  As digital citizens there are also laws that apply to our behavior and interaction. There should be no stealing, no plagiarism, no abuse of others. Many intellectual information laws are violated in this new digital age, i.e. copyright infringement and trademark abuse.  The digital world is so enormous that it is difficult to police.  Therefore, we digital citizens must be vigilant in reporting illegal behavior, if we see it, and we personally should only engage in behavior that is above reproach.

7. Rights and Responsibilities

In the words of Spider Man's uncle, "With great power comes great responsibility." The global and instantaneous nature of our digital age puts enormous power into the hands of everyday citizens. In order to keep the right to digital access, we must strive to always use it in responsible ways. Sadly, when there is abuse of these rights, the solution is often to withdraw all access (for example, a few students abuse the privilege of having a cell phone at school and thus, all students are banned from using cell phones - even if for an educational endeavor).

8. Health and Wellness

The physical and psychological well being of children in the digital world is a critical issue that keeps many parents awake at night. Childhood obesity is epidemic and a generation of children sitting in front of a computer screen is certainly not  helping matters. Parents struggle with how to allow their children access to technology while protecting them from online predators and cyberbullying. Fortunately, awareness is on the increase as to how to protect children on both the physical and psychological fronts. I reiterate the point that I made early on in this series of packets - knowledge is power. It is the responsibility of parents and educators to understand the world in which children live, play and study, and they must guide them in being responsible digital citizens.

9. Security

Digital security is basically protecting yourself in the digital world - protecting your identity, your data, your money, etc. While there are many publicized breaches of "secure" information featured regularly on the news, for most of us, a few simple steps can safeguard our cyber security. Backup data regularly. Create strong passwords and change passwords regularly. Be aware of internet scams and do not share information with anyone that you don't know. It is good to have a healthy dose of skepticism to keep yourself and your information security

Five Influences of Digital Citizenship

1- Solution Fluency
" Solution Fluency is the ability to think creatively to solve problems in real time by clearly defining the problem, designing an appropriate solution, delivering the solution and then evaluating the process and the outcome."

2-Creativity Fluency
Creative Fluency is the process by which artistic proficiency adds meaning through design, art, and storytelling. It is about using innovative design to add value to the function of a product though its form

"Collaboration Fluency is team working proficiency that has reached the unconscious ability to work cooperatively with virtual and real partners in an online environment to solve problems and create original products".

" There are two components of Media Fluency. Firstly, the ability to look analytically at any communication to interpret the real message, and evaluate the efficacy of the chosen medium. Secondly, to create original communications by aligning the message and audience though the most appropriate and effective medium."

Information Fluency is the ability to unconsciously and intuitively interpret information in all forms and formats in order to extract the essential knowledge, authenticate it, and perceive its meaning and significance. Ribble, M. 2011)

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