DEC Scan Journal : May 2011
Scan Vol 30 No 2 May 2011 34 Why digital citizenship? igital citizenship has been increasingly in the public eye as young people continue to spend significant time in the virtual world. It is becoming increasingly important for schools to teach young people what it is like to be a good digital citizen and a safe and responsible user of the internet. Federal Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, recently launched the National Safe Schools Framework to support schools in providing a safe online environment for their students. NSW Department of Education and Communities is taking a broader approach with the digital citizenship resources it is developing. Naturally, students must be protected wherever possible from online dangers while in school. The reality is, though, that almost all students are exposed to online social networking outside the classroom. Warning about danger is not enough. In fact you probably know a teenager (or two) who takes warning as provocation! These resources are designed to teach and promote positive digital citizenship to enhance learning in an online environment. The Digital Education Revolution -- NSW (DER -- NSW) has placed NSW public secondary schools in a unique situation. By the end of Term 1 2011, students in Years 9, 10 and 11 will have been issued with netbook computers loaded with Microsoft and Adobe software. In 2009, when the first computers were issued, the immediate need was to provide Digital literacy -- training and classroom resources for students and teachers to use the technology. Computers are not just fancy exercise books (Figure 1). Once users have enough skills to use the devices effectively, the focus shifts to Digital learning. The potential of the technology to transform teaching and learning becomes more apparent as more online collaboration takes place. With more collaboration comes the need for all of us to learn Digital safety. We need to understand the issues of cyber bullying, privacy and password security. The concept of Digital citizenship encompasses the ethical and responsible use of these technologies by our digital students (Figure 2). In these resources, located on the Digital citizenship webpage (Figure 3), the six domains of digital citizenship are addressed in the context of two overarching themes -- cybersafety and cyberbullying. • Domain 1: Digital conduct • Domain 2: Digital relationships • Domain 3: Digital footprint • Domain 4: Digital health and wellbeing • Domain 5: Digital law • Domain 6: Digital financial literacy. The timeline In 2010, the DER -- NSW team worked with the Centre for Learning Innovation, which is now part of NSW CLIC, to produce a suite of resources with a focus on social networking for Year 10 students. These resources were successfully trialled in five schools Digital citizenship -- what's the drum? Curriculum support Tim Gorrod, is a Learning Designer at the NSW Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre (CLIC). Tim outlines issues related to digital citizenship, including aspects of digital literacy, and offers an overview of exciting resources to support teachers and students. D Figure1 Laptops are not just fancy exercise books Figure 2 The digital student Computers are not just fancy exercise books.