Read more: The 9 elements of Digital Citizenship your students need to know [INFOGRAPHIC]
Digital citizenship: a conceptual model for developing a K-12 curriculumA very comprehensive model that addresses teaching, learning, and assessment was designed by the Council of Europe. Three key elements are essential for the definition of digital citizenship: digital engagement, digital responsibility, and digital participation. Based on these three components, the authors have come up with a very comprehensive definition:
Digital Citizenship may be said to refer to the competent and positive engagement with digital technologies and data (creating, publishing, working, sharing, socializing, investigating, playing, communicating and learning); participating actively and responsibly (values, skills, attitudes, knowledge and critical understanding) in communities (local, national, global) at all levels (political, economic, social, cultural and intercultural); being involved in a double process of lifelong learning (in formal, informal, non-formal settings) and continuously defending human dignity and all attendant human rights.Let’s see the four main components that are essential for designing a K-12 digital citizenship curriculum:
ValuesThe starting point of a digital citizenship teaching program is a set of core values that any responsible and educated citizen should embrace: valuing human dignity, cultural diversity, democracy, justice, equality, and the rule of law. Students who are educated in the spirit of these values will be responsible digital citizens.
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AttitudesResponsible attitudes are a consequence of the authentic internalization of core values. Attitudes that should be cultivated in a digital citizenship program are openness to cultural diversity, different beliefs and ways of seeing the world, respect, civic-mindedness and tolerance of ambiguity.
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SkillsIn a digital economy, being an autonomous learner is very important. Having the same profession for decades is already a thing of the past. We will most likely change several professions or several fields of activity throughout our lives, so it’s essential to embrace a lifelong learning attitude. Multilingual and multicultural communication is a must for any digital citizen. With English as a de facto international language, and Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic as some of the most powerful languages on the internet, being confined within the frontiers of one language and one culture is no longer an option.
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Knowledge and critical understandingThis broader category refers to knowledge and critical understanding of the self and of the world (politics, law, human rights, culture, media, economy, the environment, etc.). Being able to understand the main topic of the current debates: climate change, economic and health crisis, tolerance and cultural diversity are prerequisites of a responsible way in which a digital citizen can interact with technology.
Read more: Using digital tools to help students develop a variety of skills