Responsible Digital Citizenship
I recently attended a workshop in Jutland with the theme “Digital Citizenship” together with a group of students and teachers. It was important to me that the students attended the workshop in order to get a better understanding of what digital citizenship is and how technology affects our lives, since we will be working with this theme in the coming months. As more and more students interact digitally with content, one another, and various communities, the concept of digital citizenship becomes increasingly important. Whether we like it or not, we need to accept the fact that children and young people are surrounded by technology and that the presence of technology is increasing day by day.
It is difficult and almost impossible to move away from this culture. What we need to do is not to ban technology but to find a balance in the way we use it so that it becomes a tool which we use to gain more knowledge and to interact with people instead of becoming something that controls us. If we do not learn to control technology, we become addicted to it and, without realizing it, we spend more time on our digital devices than with our friends and family. Social media becomes the primary platform we use to socialize instead of talking with friends and going out.
There are many pitfalls in this area and it is therefore vital that we learn to balance the time we use on our digital devices and also learn to become responsible digital citizens so that the time we spend on our devices becomes valuable and useful. Just like regular citizenship, digital citizenship is the norms and rules we follow to act appropriately when using technology. We need to learn what it means to act appropriately when using technology. Understanding how to practice good digital citizenship will only become more important in the coming years, as our lives become further entwined with internet-based communities. In the months to come, we will spend time working on the digital citizenship culture that we have in our school and try to improve this by raising more awareness of technology. We will strive to better understand how technology affects our social lives during school time and in the after-school hours. Since we have the Bring Your Own Device Policy in the MYP, all MYP students have their own devices.
In the MYP corridors I often see students engaged in various activities on their devices. This can be a good thing but also a bad thing since it can hinder them from spending time in the present with their peers and friends. By raising more awareness of the issue, we hope that we will make the students understand the effects of technology if they don’t manage to find a balance with the time spent on their devices. Another thing that we will focus on is to learn what it means to be a responsible digital citizen.
Access to technology requires an understanding of how and for what purposes technology should be used, but also an understanding of what it should not be used for. By raising awareness of the theme and by trying to make some rules and guidelines for using technology, we hope that we will become responsible digital citizens at ISH. One of the students at the workshop said that “we need to learn to behave on social media like we behave in real life since it is easier to be mean or to use inappropriate language when you are behind a screen”. This statement shows that the students realize the effects of technology but is also a clear signal that they want and need some more guidance in this area.
Head of School