Parents and teachers are striving for the same goal; to raise good citizens who can think critically and make informed, ethical decisions. This goal however, is challenged by a new realm – technology. Students now need the literacy skills to demonstrate citizenship both online and offline. Are these skills transferable between the two realms? How can we help students seamlessly apply their morals and values to both realms? Hollandsworth, Dowdy & Donovan (2011) speak to the importance of parents and teachers working together to teach digital citizenship. “There is widespread agreement as to the importance of practicing digital citizenship.” (p.44, Hollandsworth, Dowdy & Donovan, 2011)
James Ohler writes, “The digital age beckons us to usher in a new era of character education, aimed directly at addressing the opportunities and challenges of living a digital lifestyle.” (p. 26, Ohler, 2011) If this holds true, then ‘digital citizenship’ as currently defined could eventually evolve into simply ‘citizenship’. Students will learn to apply their literacy skills consistently, regardless of the medium. When writing of digital citizenship, Hollandsworth, Dowdy and Donovan (2011) state, “If aligned with character education, it would lend itself to becoming a good citizen in the digital community.” (p. 38) Let us keep in mind we want our students and children to become good citizens in every community they are a part of, digital or otherwise.
Hollandsworth, R., Dowdy, L., & Donovan, J. (2011). Digital citizenship in K-12: It takes a village. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 55(4), 37-47.
Ohler, J. (2011). Digital citizenship means character education for the digital age. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 48(1), 25-27.