What is Digital Citizenship and Why is Digital Citizenship Important in Education?

Digital citizenship refers to confident and positive engagement with digital technologies.
Digital citizenship education (DCE) is essential to help students achieve and understand digital literacy, as well as to ensure online safety, cybersecurity, digital responsibility, and digital health and well-being.
A digital citizen is someone who has the knowledge and skills to participate in a global digital society and effectively use digital technologies to interact and communicate with others and to create and consume digital content.
Here, you will learn what is digital citizenship in education and why is it important in the modern education system?
Digital Citizenship
Digital citizenship refers to responsible technology usage in order to engage positively, critically, and competently in society, politics, government, and various digital environments.

What is Digital Citizenship and Why is Digital Citizenship Important in Education?

With the revolution in digital communications and the facilitation and speed modern technologies provide in communication operations and accessing information sources.
And with the consequences, this revolution carries with positive effects on the individual and society if the means of communication and modern technologies are optimally utilized.
And the negative effects stand out with the rebellion against the ethical rules, legal controls and basic principles that govern human affairs.

If we were previously able to know the interests of our children and monitor their relationships with others, they are now communicating with digital unknowns who may pose a strong potential danger and may browse dangerous suspicious sites.

It has become almost impossible to monitor all pages they visit and everyone they interact and communicate with,  as tablets, handsets and mobile phones have spread everywhere and available at any time.

Scientific studies have shown that the rate of use of digital devices by children and adolescents may reach eight hours per day, more than the hours they spend with their parents, mothers and teachers.

Therefore, it is necessary for us to identify the factors that affect our children.
The use of technology has positive and negative aspects. This has negative aspects when we do not care and do not direct our children or positive aspects when we teach them the rules of use and guide them and protect them from dangers.

So we desperately need a stimulus, safeguard against technology dangers, and a stimulus to optimize its positives.

We are not talking here about a new policy that we must write its lines for the first time and no one preceded it, but rather what we call in the developed world the concept of digital citizenship.

What is Digital Citizenship?

Digital citizenship refers to responsible technology use that provides the ability to engage positively, critically, and competently in society, politics, government, and various digital environments.

Digital Citizenship is defined as the responsible, ethical and secure use of information and communication technology by students as members of society and citizens of the global community.

(Ribble, 2017) defines it as the appropriate criteria for responsible technology usage, a method that prepares students for the optimal use of technology.

Digital citizenship can also be described as the code of conduct adopted in the use of multiple technologies and as norms for appropriate and responsible behavior in terms of optimal use of technology, as a means of preparing a generation that uses technology in the right and proper way.

For example, the knowledge of the electronic exchange, full electronic participation in society, and the purchase and sale of goods online.
It is also known as the ability to participate in the community via the Internet.

A digital citizen is a citizen who uses the Internet regularly and effectively. A priority for digital citizenship is the provision of security for Internet users.

Due to the increasing use of technology day by day, the dissemination of digital citizenship culture has become an essential requirement and an urgent necessity, technology has become a priority and our life has become a digital life.

Due to this digital transformation in all areas of life, there is a growing need to promote digital citizenship, whether for citizens or digital immigrants, in light of the spread of inappropriate behaviors, such as various types of cybercrime, such as the spread of pornographic sites, crimes of threats, harassment and extortion, financial fraud, hacking, and data theft, extremism, and terrorism, sexual abuse of minors.

Read more: Digital Citizenship in Education: What are the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship?

Why is Digital Citizenship Important in Education?

Today, with digital technology, employers track and judge students or potential employees on their social media profiles. 
So it is important to teach students how to create characters online that show a positive and constructive image.

Teaching digital citizenship helps ensure that students are successfully practicing both respect and responsibility for themselves and others in a virtual environment.

Digital citizenship supports children and youth to participate safely, critically, effectively, and responsibly in the world of digital technologies and social networking sites.

Lack of awareness about digital citizenship can lead to cyber-bullying which often has serious consequences. Cyberbullying is a form of bullying or harassment using digital devices such as smartphones, computers, laptops, and tablets.
We can prevent cyber-bullying only by educating students about responsible digital citizenship.

The concept of digital citizenship has evolved to incorporate many capabilities, competencies, characteristics, and behaviors that exploit the opportunities and benefits the digital world affords while creating resilience to potential disadvantages.

Digital citizenship education helps children learn to be smart and secure in their use of electronic devices and social networking sites and to avoid cyberbullying, sexting and more in this growing digital world.

Digital citizenship education helps in acquiring knowledge and skills of effective communication and construction, through the responsible use of technology, to practice forms of social participation and interaction that respect human rights and dignity.

There are a lot of resources available online, not all of them are genuine and authentic. 

Digital Citizenship education enables students to find, identify, and simplify information and to choose an original and authentic source of information.

Digital Citizenship Integration across the Community

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has launched the Community Integration Initiative to empower rural and marginalized communities through development projects and raise awareness of the benefits of technology in cooperation with civil society organizations.

The initiative also seeks to promote development in rural and marginalized areas through the application of technological solutions to create a sustainable and integrated development model.

The State is also keen on empowering women, as well as improving educational services, health care, supporting small businesses through the use of technology tools, and integrating people with disabilities into the labor market.

The initiative aims at empowering 600 visually impaired and physically challenged young people between the ages of 18 and 35.

Technology is of great importance to people with disabilities in terms of choice and opportunity, enabling them to participate fully in their communities.

The Ministry has realized how technology can revolutionize the lives of people with disabilities, so they have taken concrete steps to help them with independence and empowerment, support access to information, freedom of expression, personal communication and opinion, as well as providing accessible information on assistive technologies.

Read more: Technology and Digital Citizenship: How to Sponsor Global Digital Society

The Scientific World

The Scientific World is a Scientific and Technical Information Network that provides readers with informative & educational blogs and articles. Site Admin: Mahtab Alam Quddusi - Blogger, writer and digital publisher.

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