Teaching digital citizenship to non-digital students


There was a time when having a digital watch was a big deal. This was the most exciting thing back in late 1970. We accumulated ourselves for reading numbers rather than to look and indulge in detailed processes.

Similarly, in all mediums, the major transition is happening. But are there any basic differences in analog and digital mediums? And is there any similarities or difference in both learning styles. How we should deal with them. Let’s take a look:

With online, web-based instruction a popular alternative to classroom teaching, several studies have been conducted to show if there are significant differences between face-to-face and online classes.

Studies found that there were no significant differences between the two teaching techniques. In a political science course, web and traditional lectures did not make a difference in grades (Botsch and Botsch, 2001).

In the trending era of technology, we need to update and consume each and every bit of information. Also if studies are proving that we don’t need to shuffle between them, we should absorb as they come. Some basic rules are still there and every teacher should teach them in class.

1. Passwords:

Do students know how to create a secure password? Do they know that email and online banking should have a higher level of security and never use the same passwords as other sites? Do they have a system like the last pass for managing passwords, or a secure app where they store this information?

2. Private information:

Private information is information that can be used to identify a person. Do students know how to protect details like their address, email, and phone number? You should learn and teach them to your students that identification of any person can be misused for various purposes of forgeries.

3. Personal information:

While this information (like the number of brothers and sisters you have or your favorite food) can’t be used to identify you, you still need to choose who you will share it with.

4. Photographs:

Are students aware that some private details (like license plates or street signs) may show up in photographs, and that they may not want to post those pictures? Do they know how to turn off a geotagging feature? Do they know that some facial recognition software can find them by inserting their latitude and longitude in the picture—even if they aren’t tagged? (See my “Location-Based Safety Guide.”)

5. Property:

Do students understand copyright, Creative Commons, and how to generate a license for their own work? Do they respect the property rights of those who create intellectual property? Some students will search Google Images and copy anything they see, assuming they have the rights. Sometimes they’ll even cite “Google Images” as the source. We have to teach them that Google Images compiles content from a variety of sources. Students have to go to the source, see if they have permission to use the graphic, and then cite that source.

6. Permission:

Do students know how to get permission for work they use, and do they know how to cite it?

7. Protection:

Do students understand what viruses, malware, phishing, ransomware, and identity theft are, and how these things work? See, how you can protect yourself online.

8. Professionalism:

Do students understand the professionalism of academics versus decisions about how they will interact in their social lives? Do they know about netiquette and online grammar? Are they globally competent? Can they understand cultural taboos and recognize cultural disconnects when they happen and do they have the skills to work problems out?

9. Personal brand:

Have students decided about their voice and how they want to be perceived online? Do they realize they have a “digital tattoo” that is almost impossible to erase? Are they intentional about what they share?

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