Created at University of Kentucky
Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate technology use. This definition seems simple enough; however, from my experience, the norms are different in different classrooms and different schools. I used to tell my staff that inappropriate technology use was a behavior, and I would treat technology infractions as I treated behavior issues. This of course meant that the teacher has first dibs on solving the problem.
According to Bright Bytes...
The Technology and Learning Survey which is taken by students and teachers in approximately 15% of US schools provides the following insight:
63% of teachers say the NEVER teach about creating an online presence
49% of teachers don't teach the legal use of the web
50% don't teach cypberbullying prevention
64% don't teach social networks for learning
42% NEVER teach about online safety
This data is concerning because the data also shows that 83% of students say their best source of advice about responsible internet and cell phone us comes from their parents and 76% say it comes from teachers. If we are not teaching it, they are not getting it. Digital natives or not, they do not fully understand the social norms and social implications of their digital citizenship. This data tells me that teachers are not necessarily equipped to teach the necessary digital citizenship skills to learners. If they are not equipped to teach it, that likely means they are also less likely to provide opportunities to collaborate online, provide feedback online, or connect with other classrooms online because they likely fear they do not know enough.
What Teachers Need to Know
Let's start with the 5 standard areas of Digital Citizenship. Do you know these?
1. Digital Access, Health, and Wellness
2. Digital Commerce
3. Digital Communications, Etiquette, and Security
4. Digital Laws, Rights, and Responsibilities
5. Digital Media Fluency
What is the Digital Drivers License?
The Digital Drivers License is a tool created at the University of Kentucky. This tool is completely FREE! Seriously...NO STRINGS ATTACHED! The tools can be used by K-12 students, teachers, and administration at whatever scale users want to embrace. Content is curated from a variety of resources, but you will see lots of items from Common Sense Media. This content is open source, and it is of the utmost quality. Each year, students and teachers add curated resources that fit into the various modules.
How Are Schools Using DDL?
I have administered the Digital Drivers License Cumulative Review to staff at 5 school districts. As the staff experienced the learning, their fear was evident, but together they worked through the exercises, spent some time learning, and they were all able to obtain their Digital Drivers License.
After that, they began using the tool with their students. One district even required all of their high school students to complete the cumulative review prior to being granted computer access at the start of the school year. They felt this was necessary because they were embarking on a 1:1 initiative, and they wanted to be sure everyone had the same basic level of digital citizenship understanding. Despite some grumbling, all students obtained their Digital Drivers License.
In addition to the cumulative review, there are modules that can be done as whole group instruction or independent practice. Another one of the schools I work with assigns modules to students if they make a mistake. The assigned module coincides with the behavior infraction. I've also seen a school provide more open access to the school's network based on whether or not they have obtained the drivers license.
One of the best features available in DDL is the reporting features in the admin panel. I can easily see who has completed the modules and the assessments, and I can identify areas that illustrate gaps in digital citizenship awareness.
Find DDL online