Technologyhas become the rage of this time. Every person on their daily routineis exposed to some form of modern technology. The most outstandingtype of technology that is commonly used by the majority of thepeople is communication via the Internet (Lei et al., 2014). Thisadvancement has taken over most of the people’s lives including thechildren. The younger generations have been the most adept group ofindividuals to fully understand and utilize the web. The rising trendof social media among the youngsters is a crucial evidence of thefact. The social media is a communication platform where users cancommunicate with other people from all over the world. The setup ofthis kind of communication is in a way that a person can interactanonymously with others without any direct or significantconsequences regardless of the nature or content of the messagespassed across (Lei et al., 2014). The federal government usuallymonitors conversations over the Internet that may be related toterrorism or other heinous crimes. However, the larger percentage ofthe other kinds of communication are always ignored. The majority ofcommunications that take place on social media platforms rarely meetsuch criteria. The worst part is that minors constitute a significantproportion of the users of social media accounts. They tend to sharevideos, pictures, and messages that can be both offensive andinsensitive (Lei et al., 2014). It became a major concern for parentsand the school administration that they had to find a way of barringtheir children from participating in such activities. The bestsolution was to provide some form of training that should be taughtto the school going children who are beginning their onlineexperience (Searson et al., 2015).
Thispaper describes an organization known as Children with No Boundaries(CWNB) and how they are trying to implement a policy called DigitalCitizenship Schooling in most of the institutions of education.
CWNBis a diverse organization that seeks to impact positive attributesabout technology on school going children and the people that areinvolved in their lives. Considering the negative opinions that mostadults have had their children and the Internet based on thedetrimental activities that some of these kids have taken part in, Icame up with the idea of forming an organization whose fundamentalrole was to educate the society on the positive attributes thattechnology can bring to the children. I am an Education major, and Iclearly understood the aches that most instructors were experiencingwhile teaching the children that were immersed in technology. Theinstinctive reaction from the teachers was to treat the new form ofcommunication as an evil concept, which, was working against thegrowth and development of the kids (Erstad, 2013). I created thegroup so that it could inform parents and teachers about how theproper use of technology could be a vital tool for learning andgrowth once the children are properly taught the appropriate ways ofusing it.
CWNBhas 20 members, and half of them have had a college education. Thereare gender and ethnical diversity among the individuals, and the onlyunifying factor is that we are both young and well versed with theconcepts of the digital world.
Themission statement for the organization is to prepare students andparents for the 21st century technologic skills that will ultimatelyconnect the children’s education, their community and eventuallylead them to their careers of choice.
AboutDigital Citizenship Schooling
Theterm Digital Citizenship Schooling means a learning approach thatassists children in knowing how to be safe, discerning, and alsoeffective participants in this digital age (Searson et al., 2015).The schooling process teaches them on three critical areas that theyhave to focus on. These areas are their personal safety, digitalcompetence, and ethical considerations that involve the community.According to Mike Ribble, digital citizenship has several componentsthat are discussed below (Ribble, 2011).
Eventhough most young people have been exposed to the use of theInternet, there are some that do not have full-time access due tovarious constraints. Examples of these individuals include studentsfrom poor backgrounds and those that have disabilities (Searson etal., 2015). Educators need to understand the plights of such studentsand ensure that their exposure to this technology is maximized.Encouraging the use of technology in schools is a good way to startsince for most of such kids, school is the only place where they caneasily access it (Erstad, 2013).
Asone of the toughest topics in digital citizenship, many teachers findit hard to expound on digital commerce (Ribble, 2011). Digitalcommerce is the purchase and sale of items online. The term alsoapplies to the transactions that involve virtual commodities commonlysold through online games. Students need to be taught on the aspectsof this subject so that they act with responsibility whenever theyhave to transact any business via the Internet (Ribble, 2011).Without teaching them about digital commerce, they may end up wastingmoney on irrelevant items.
Thistopic is one of the major concerns for both teachers and parents.Communication has been made extremely simple through technology(Erstad, 2013). Students can easily talk to their peers using variousmethods from different devices. Educating them on the appropriateplaces that they can text or make phone calls is a proper place tostart. They can be instilled with the acceptable practices ofcommunication so that they do not go against any societal norms(Ribble, 2011).
Digitalliteracy is the most overlooked concept in this program. Most adultsassume that only because the younger generation can quicklyunderstand how technology works, they are already literate. However,most of the students learn to use the Internet through trial anderror (Ribble, 2011). It is imperative that they are taught on how toobtain useful information by avoiding irrelevant ones and also on howto identify false vendors or online purchasers that seek to con them(Erstad, 2013).
Digitaletiquette is summed up by different aspects such as inappropriate useof the technology, being involved in unacceptable behaviors likecyberbullying, using offensive language and sending inflammatorymessages or images (Searson et al., 2015). Students have to be taughtby their teachers on how to handle this technology with concern forother users. The parents are not the best option for teachers sincethey too are discovering how to use the technology from their friends(Erstad, 2013).
Theease of sending text and pictures has made most people assume thatthere are no consequences for whatever they post online. Studentshave to be made aware that some forms of communication are consideredillegal, and they might even face some repercussion from the lawenforcers (Ribble, 2011). These actions include piracy, copyrightinfringement, threats, blackmails, and even sending lewd or explicitimages.
Informationis constantly stored online as more people rely on the Internet as anexhaustible and permanent storage space. However, such data can beaccessed by people with malicious intentions (Searson et al., 2015).Students should be taught on different ways that they can protecttheir private information from any unauthorized breach (Ribble,2011).
Teachersand public administrators need to develop ways that more students canbe exposed to the digital technology. The benefits that can be reapedfrom it outweigh the negative impacts. An example is the creation ofafter-school computer labs or installing computers in communitycenters where students can easily access the infrastructure (Voogt &Knezek, 2013).
Anotheract is to ensure that all aspects of the use of the technology arefully expounded upon the students. Every stakeholder in the child’slife needs to know the appropriate use of digital technology as wellas its importance. An example is a teacher that tells students theyshould not use their devices in social functions but the teachercorrectly uses the technology to send educative materials to thestudents (Voogt & Knezek, 2013).
Teachingstudents about digital commerce can help them purchase books andjournals that will help them expand their learning and increase theirknowledge. This habit is much more beneficial than when the childrenare squandering money on digital games (Voogt & Knezek, 2013).
TheCWNB organization wants to implement this policy of digitalcitizenship schooling into the schools so that the children canbenefit from the Internet without having to undergo the dark side ofit. With the help from the relevant authorities, the program can beeasily enacted, and many students will gain from the policy.
Erstad,O. (2013). Digitallearning lives Trajectories, literacies, and schooling.Peter Lang.
Lei,J., Shen, J., & Johnson, L. (2014). Digital Technologies andAssessment in the Twenty-First-Century Schooling. In AssessingSchools for Generation R (Responsibility) (pp.185-200). Springer Netherlands.
Ribble,M. (2011). Digitalcitizenship in schools.International Society for Technology in Education.
Searson,M., Hancock, M., Soheil, N., & Shepherd, G. (2015). Digitalcitizenship within global contexts. Educationand Information Technologies,20(4),729-741.
Voogt,J. M., & Knezek, G. (2013). Action Agenda. Recommendations forresearchers policy makers and practitioners to address educationalchallenges of a digitally networked world.