Monday, April 6, 2009

Resources to Teach Digital Citizenship

As we live in a world surrounded by digital technologies, today's students are communicating and socializing in new ways. Facebook, Twitter and text messaging alone are rapidly expanding the social network of students. Even further, such tools offer new opportunities for learning, and are even reshaping what it means to be a student in the 21st century.

Of great concern, however, are issues related to how our students are using such tools. Often, students are living in a world absent of parental guidance. Some students are networking with strangers, using their cell phone to take and post lewd photographs of themselves (a.k.a., sexting), and be involved in such activities as cyberbullying.

To help reduce inappropriate uses of technology, educators have established guidlines and curricular materials to combat such challenges. Mike Ribble and Dr. Gerald Bailey have written, "Digital Citizenship in Schools" (2007), which is available from ISTE. Likewise, CyberSmart! offers free lesson plans to help teachers educated students about SMART technology use.

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