Chapter 5

The killer “apps” of tomorrow’s mobile info-com industry won’t be hardware devices or software programs but social practices. The most far-reaching changes will come, as they often do, from the kinds of relationships, enterprises, communities and markets that the infrastructure makes possible.

Harold Rheingold, in Smart Mobs

Using technology in the 21st century isn’t just about using technology. It is about practicing communication, collaboration, information literacy, respect, decency and caution. As we teach students how to post a blog, we must also teach them about their digital footprint and about how that post might be read by a friend, a stranger or a potential employer. Chapter Five of Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds, provides a path to “Enlightened Digital Citizenship” that asks readers to consider five areas of awareness (technical, individual, social, cultural and global) in sync with four “rays” of understanding (safety, privacy, copyright, fair use, and legal compliance, literacy and fluency, habits of learning, and etiquette and respect).

In what ways have you successfully guided students down this path of digital enlightenment? What comments in the book made you rethink how you’ve handled digital citizenship, or gave you ideas for future lessons? Please add your comment below!

5 thoughts on “Chapter 5

  1. Digital citizenship is a hard lesson to learn. I share the following true story with my students before we embark on a digital journey.

    The son of a friend found his dream job. One of the items in his contract was that he was never to post anything about the company that was hiring him. On one of the social networking sites, he posted that he absolutely loved his new job at(name of company). Within the week, he was called to the Human Resources office and fired. He had broken the contract.

    This incident awakens students to the fact that nothing on the Internet is really private. Students are shocked by this–especially when I print and show them a copy of an email they wrote on a reading improvement web site that we use.

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  5. I am a huge advocate of digital teaching about digital footprints and responsibility, especially as we live in a global world where different rules apply. This is both fascinating and frustrating. Recently copyright has been in the news in Korea. According to reports it is legal to use copyright material here legally, even if it from another country. However, no mention was made regarding how a person obtained the information (is it legal to download movies without paying as long as it is class material) or about remixing copyrighted material and putting it back online.

    I personally believe that we should be examples and models of what a good digital citizen so that our students have someone to follow. After all if we’re placing the expectation on them should they not require the same of us?

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