Our Digital Learning programme is intended to support our students developing their digital citizenship. The world has changed dramatically in the last 30 years and the pace of society becoming more digitised seems to be accelerating. This change requires our students to know and understand the roles, responsibilities, and skills for navigating digital life.
Digital Citizenship = the ability to safely and responsibly access digital technologies, as well as being an active and respectful member of society, both online and offline. [Futurelearn.com]
Digital Citizen = a person who develops the skills and knowledge to effectively use the internet and digital technologies. Anyone who uses modern digital technology can be considered a digital citizen. [Futurelearn.com]
A 'good' Digital Citizen is someone who is informed about the various issues that come with the incredible benefits of technology. Which is why it's essential to teach and develop these skills in school. No matter how old someone is, knowing how to keep safe, respect others, and participate meaningfully in our digital society is a necessity.
Digital Citizenship is important because (1) we are a global community of 4.7 billion internet users, (2) there are risks that come with digital technology (e.g. 80% fraud in UK is cyber-enabled), (3) young people are increasingly online (e.g. in 2020, 1 in 5 10-15 year olds experienced online bullying behaviour, and children spend over 20 hours a week online), and (4) there is a digital skills gap.
Key aspects of digital citizenship:
- Digital Literacy: ability to navigate digital platforms, critically evaluate information, protect data, and use technology effectively and responsibly
- Online Behaviour and Etiquette: this involves being kind and considerate towards others and respecting intellectual property rights
- Cybersecurity and Privacy: understanding how to protect one's own personal data and information as well as respecting privacy of others
- Digital Footprint and Reputation: everything individuals do online contributes to their digital footprint. Being aware of this footprint and managing it responsibly helps to maintain a positive online reputation
- Media Literacy and Critical Thinking: digital citizens should possess the ability to critically evaluate the information they encounter online
- Digital Balance and Wellbeing: digital citizenship involves maintaining a healthy balance between online and offline activities, including managing screen time, understanding addiction, and seeking help if/when needed
'Blended learning', i.e. using a mixture of traditional and technological based approaches to learning and teaching, can help students master some of the technology and software shaping the world and develop their digital citizenship in a structured way.