Mr Kemp NZ

3 ways to instil a greater sense of global digital citizenship in your students

Following up from the honor of being selected in Huffington Posts Top 12 Global Education Blogs of 2014-2016 I have been chosen again in this amazing group and for 2017 will be contributing to Huffington Post’s Education blog once a month. This month we look at the following highly controversial topic “How do we help instil a sense of global
citizenship, of civic-mindedness, and respect on the internet? What are some of the best strategies
you have seen in practice in your school communities?” – here is my response:

Digital Citizenship is a HUGE topic! The more immersed we get in technology, the more digital citizenship becomes important.

To define digital citizenship becomes increasingly difficult, but to put it simply digital citizenship is the ‘norms’ of what is appropriate and responsible with regard to technology use by any individual. Digital citizenship is relevant to every individual in the connected world we live in today, which includes both adults and children.

A recent (2017) Common Sense Media research paper focussing on media use by kids aged zero to eight found that young children are accessing and viewing media in new ways due to mobile devices being more accessible than ever before. The survey showed that 98% of homes have at least one mobile device, almost doubling since the initial survey in 2013.

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With a huge spike in access to devices for both adults and children, this also increases the access to media of both appropriate and inappropriate content. The constant change in technology, means we need to adjust ‘the way we do things’ and support the often diverse needs of our learners.

Here are three ways that I believe we can instil a greater sense of global citizenship and respect in using the internet in our students:

  • Mentor, guide and model
    • As leaders in our schools we need to stay up to date with changes in technology and be mentors for our students to show them how to use tech for good. Demonstrating how to be a good digital citizen and integrating it into everyday practice is the best thing we can do to help guide our students through the day to day dilemmas of being connected in an online world.

  • Integrate, Integrate, Integrate
    • Integration is the key to success. We try to integrate digital citizenship into everything we do rather than teach it as a standalone subject. I am a firm believer in providing an open network where students can access most content in a safe environment where they can learn from their mistakes. Through teaching digital citizenship skills in a global setting, in the curriculum they are being taught, it is more realistic and more easily accessed. My best piece of advice is to use the Common Sense Media Curriculum Guide to support this rollout.
  • Provide resources, give support and teach from the heart
    • Providing resources for students, parents and teachers on the most relevant content for them is critical. We don’t know what we don’t know and it is our responsibility to keep our community up to date. A perfect example of this is a recent Parent Open night we ran by students, for parents and teachers all about Social Media, what teens are doing online and how we can support them. It was a hit! To read more about this session click here.

Digital Citizenship, CyberBullying, Privacy and Safety online should always be at the forefront of our minds when we are creating engaging lessons to add value to student learning. Think about how you integrate this into everything you teach and think about how you can use globally recognized resources like Common Sense Media to connect your students to experts, provide opportunities to create their own learning and to collaborate with others from every corner of the globe to support their learning. Stay safe, take risks and lead your own learning. Stay ahead of the game and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

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Craig Kemp

Craig Kemp

I am a passionate Global EdTech Consultant based in Singapore but working with Schools and EdTech companies all over the world. I am a lifelong learner, dream creator and thought leader. I love to inspire others and find inspiration. Co-founder of #whatisschool, #asiaED edchats and #pubPD.

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