Digital Citizenship – Week 2

At my school, almost all students have a device. Many teachers use Google Classroom to assign and collect student work. Sometimes they assign documents for students to complete, but many times they also assign websites or videos for students to view. In the Net Neutrality debate, it is difficult to think about the fact that students may have better access to certain resources or restricted access to others, based on the internet provider we use in our district. Although teachers love Google Classroom, they know that they can’t assign homework or missed classwork to students because most don’t have internet access and/or devices at their homes. I believe that everyone should have access to what they need on the internet, without anyone deciding for them what they can and can’t view.

Net neutrality is important to education, and to the future of our communication and learning. If companies can filter and control what we see online, our view of the world will become skewed. To make appropriate, educated decisions we need to be given all the information and multiple views and opinions. If the facts that we’re given are only those that we want to see, it will cause arguments, disagreements, and unrest between groups that already don’t know how to get along with one another. I think one of the most important life skills that we can teach in school is how to consider things from different points of view and look at things from multiple perspectives. This is even more important now that we must review information for credibility before we take it as fact. Everyone needs to be given the same (correct, true) information for us to live and work together.

Most people get their news from social media now, not from the newspaper. In the video about ‘filter bubbles’ by Eli Pariser ( ), we were told that what we see online can be ‘tailored’ to us based on our internet use. Because of this, the news that we get online, especially on social media, will most likely be skewed!

Think about all that we use ‘computers’ for now – banking, education, communicating, etc. Computers have become more than just desktops. They are in our pockets and on our wrists. Most of us couldn’t imagine life without them. I know I feel ‘naked’ when I am without my phone for some reason! When we think about our students today, we need to keep this in mind. The way that we teach and the content that we teach needs to be different than it was in the 80s. Today we can look things up easily on our devices. We don’t need to memorize content. What we need to be teaching our students is how to find appropriate, relevant, credible information online.

A digital footprint is the tracks that you leave behind when on the internet. When we’re posting things on social media, it is an intentional footprint that we leave – we can decide to post positive or negative things. Sometimes, however, a friend or acquaintance might post something about us – a picture or information – that they don’t have permission to post. This leaves an unintentional footprint, but it’s something that is still associated with your name. An unapproved negative post referring to you or with your picture can be detrimental to your career or your social life. To maintain a positive digital footprint, people should be sure that only positive things are posted about them, and that they post only positive things.

I can’t believe I’ve never Googled my name! It turns out there are other Kari Maurers out there. I only saw positives about myself, and mostly the search just brought up social media accounts, which was no surprise. I have a few social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. The search brought up a link to Instagram also, although I thought I no longer had an account there. Regardless, all the content I saw was appropriate and positive, and it was all information that I posted. I am comfortable with it being viewed by anyone, because I am very careful about what I post.

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