Mira Sood is expressing her views about the need for digital curriculum in schools. She is one of the esteemed judges for NexSchools Lil Bloggers Contest 2018. A dedicated educationist founder principal DPS Dehradun, spent twenty years in schools, traversed to diverse roles in NGO, curriculum design, training and now Chief Academic Officer in edtech company PLAYABLO.
Like good hygiene, good digital citizenship is a set of responsibilities all internet users should practice. For K–12 students, lessons on how to use the internet safely and be effective online citizens are as important as any other lesson. But, what exactly makes up a good digital citizenship lesson.
It may be different for different grades, but largely lessons should be made up of digital civility, digital literacy, and cyber hygiene components.
Elementary students should be taught how to stay safe online, but mainly, they need to learn that the online world is connected to the real world. The children must be taught that the internet is a real place made up of real people and communities. Students should be trained to treat people online just as they would in the real world. Also, with any conversations around internet security, educators must also involve the parents because they will likely be the gatekeepers of the world wide web for these students.
Generally, as students reach middle school, they will likely be getting their first smartphone, which can open up the conversations educators can have with their students.
In middle and high school, students are starting to make their own decisions about things that they’re doing, so lessons should be about helping them understand the consequences.
Also, students in these upper grades have a better understanding of specific cybersecurity topics also.
A lot of the social interactions that K–12 students have in their lives will occur online. With some of these interactions happening in schools, educators need to provide digital etiquette and digital civility lessons as part of the broader digital citizenship conversations.
Digital Literacy Curriculum Helps Students Navigate the Web
The majority of the resources that students access regularly are online, so it is particularly important for them to have the skills to assess the validity of information online.
Cyber Hygiene Habits Foster Good Internet Use for Life
Cybersecurity is another major component of digital citizenship that schools need to be aware of, especially with cyber incidents on the rise in K–12 education. As students are learning how to navigate the internet, they should also be learning how to navigate it safely.
So, remember to use these questions as a gauge before posting anything online:
1. WOULD I LIKE SOMEONE TO SHARE THAT ABOUT ME?
2. IS THIS INFORMATION TRUE?
3. WILL THIS INFORMATION HELP ANYONE?
4. IS WHAT I AM POSTING INFORMATION ABOUT SOMEONE KIND OR MEAN?
5. IS IT NECESSARY TO POST THIS INFORMATION?
Thus, stay safe and promote online safety.
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