My Digital Citizenship Statement
In today’s world, people exist in two spheres, the physical and the digital. The physical sphere demands that we adhere to certain rules of conduct and uphold certain social laws of etiquette and respect. The digital sphere demands the same. Now that so many aspects of our lives are online, we must decide how we want to portray and conduct ourselves in the digital sphere. We must think about how we want our information to be secured, how much of our lives we want to share with the digital world, and who we want having access to our information. Just like learning the rules of social etiquette, people need to learn how to live in the digital age.
One important part of learning to live in the digital age is learning to keep your information safe and private. Magid and Gallagher (2015) make a common-sense suggestion that could help anyone learn to be safe online. They suggest that if a person does not want their information to get into the wrong hands, do not post it on social media (Magid & Gallagher, 2015). This suggestion includes sharing information over email or instant message. Just as a person would never give a stranger their credit numbers, they should not share their personal information to strangers on the internet.
Being a digital citizen means that a person must think about how they wish to portray themselves on the internet, which got me to thinking about how I want to portray myself and remain safe in the digital sphere. Magid and Gallagher claim that staying safe online can be reduced to two mantras – “Think before you post…and…be kind and respectful” (Magid & Gallagher, 2015). Though simplistic, these are the two principles that guide everything I do online. I think about the consequences of my actions in the physical world, so it naturally follows that I should think about the consequences of my actions online. If I would not give my money to a guy on the street offering me a great deal on stereo equipment, then I would certainly not give it to a random person chatting me on the Web. Staying safe online does not require much. It only requires a bit of good sense and a touch of technological savvy.
Magid, L. & Gallagher, K. (2015). The educator’s guide to social media. Retrieved from: http://www.connectsafely.org/eduguide/
Group Project, a Reflection
In EDU520, I was given the opportunity to work on a project with an assigned group. We were tasked to create a Wiki site on which we would provide well-curated content on three topics related to digital citizenship. Before this, the only context in which I understood the word “wiki” was Wikipedia or Wikileaks. I learned that Wiki has become a term to describe an online repository of information on certain subject areas. It is, in essence, a go-to resource for information that has been curated by the site administrator on specific topics. Our Wiki covered Digital Etiquette, Digital Literacy, and Digital Rights and Responsibilities. Before this class, all three of these topics were new to me, but at its conclusion, I have a very good understanding of what they mean.
The creation of this site not only taught me more about how to work in a group, but also taught me how to use Google Sites, which is a really easy and free way to build a functional website. Working in groups is always hard, but working in groups online is even harder. It required a level of communication and coordination that I was not used to outside of my life in the physical world. I am not a prolific user of social media or email, so getting into the habit of checking my email and checking the blogs on our group web site in order to stay in touch with group members was a challenge. In the end, I learned how to manage my time in such a way as to allow me to frequently check these things. I also learned the importance of contact that happens regularly and often. My major issue was not communicating frequently, but having participated in this project, I have learned how to be a more active and effective group member.
I was one of two people tasked with finding relevant content. I scoured the web to find quality content (“content curation” is the proper term for this process) and posted it to our Wiki page. It was all a learning process, but I am proud of the work I did. In fact, here are a few artifacts from our page, which can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/edu520su16groupa/
Video on Digital Rights and Responsibilities, the content of which I created:
A TED talk I found on the importance of keeping the internet out of corporate control:
Here is a link to a class on the etiquette of being a digital citizen:
This project not only taught me about working in groups, but it taught me how to curate quality content on the Web. There is a vast sea of information, links, videos, and articles on the internet and it is time-consuming navigating it all to find quality content, but it is necessary to look at it all with a discerning eye and learn how to find what you are looking for. This project helped to further refine those skills, but this class has taught me so much more. I have learned about being a more thoughtful citizen of the Web; I have learned about the tools available to help further my education and to help make me a better teacher, should that day ever come; and, I have learned that the internet is a much more powerful tool for education and not just a great place to find funny cat videos.