Digital Citizenship in 2022

What does it look like to not have digital citizenship in the year 2022? I recently read an article that analogized not having digital citizenship as being like if the rest of your friends had a groupchat and you had to rely on someone else to tell you what is going on a few days later. That illustrates the importance and weight that being a part of some sort of online and digital community holds in today’s world. But even just being a part of an online community is simply not enough anymore. There is the growing presence of a “New Digital Citizenship” as Julia Ottesen writes in her 2019 publication. Now users must be able to develop the skills and knowledge to effectively use the internet and digital technologies according to Sarah LillyWhite. So the name of the game is not only to be online, but to be an active responsible digital citizen.

Another term that often comes around in similar conversations as digital citizenship is digital literacy, as it is often questioned how and if digital literacy truly differs from digital citizenship. Though they are very similar, I think that the difference between the two online terms comes from the acts that follow. I mean this as in where they are both spreading information to a
group of people, the existence of digital citizenship is incite some interaction within the online digital community. Ahlquist (2014) sheds some light to the digital community showing this by using the Internet to connect with other K-12 educators and create an interactive community. whereas digital literacy purpose simply ends at the act of getting the information out in the first
place.

“Living in a technology dependent world means we all want to stay connected,
regardless of age. And the COVID-19 pandemic was a major catalyst for increasing our technological dependence.” -Diana Juanita Mora, 2021. In order to be able to foster and support growth in the way of adult learners and educators alike. It can be done by supporting new and wary citizens in any way possible, and leveling the accessibility playing field in order to close
this side of the digital divide.

“It’s a whole new reality of learning for students, with so much of their communication and education now happening online. Our responsibility as educators now extends beyond the classroom to a world within keyboards and html codes, and teaching students to navigate these digital spaces responsibly is a major part of helping them develop a healthy relationship with the world around them. Integrating digital citizenship into your classrooms is a vital part of this process,” Nina W of Go Guardian writes. Why is it so important to promote accessible and responsible digital citizenship? Because whether we like it or not, digital citizenship is in our future at every turn. From education,
to social media, to the way you view and interact with your own personal everyday world.

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