Debating never really gets anywhere, especially when it’s about personal views on technology with a bunch of future educators….
This being said, the debate might not have ended in a single answer, but that’s what I enjoyed it. Debating always gets many different opinions out in the open and usually widens my horizon of what I believe in the issue.
The question that was asked of us in class was:
Digital Citizenship- Who is responsible?
Home? School? A certain level? A certain subject? A certain teacher?
** If you don’t know much about Digital Citizenship go here http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html **
Some of the class believed it started with the parents since kids these days are getting iPads and iPhones even before they reach Kindergarten (eye roll). Holding parents accountable for teaching their children about how to use their iPhones, the internet etc. can be a good idea. But some parents have absolutely no idea how powerful these devices can be. I know as a personal example that my mom has barely any idea how Facebook works, so how should she be held responsible for teaching me about it? (its the other way around actually). I understood why people thought that parents should be held accountable because they are the ones responsible for putting the device in their child’s hand in the first place. If the parents want their kids to be safe on the internet, they do have some responsibility.
Others in the class believed it should be a joint responsibility- teachers and parents together fighting the good fight against technology woo. I believe that the teaching of digital citizenship (DC) should be done by EVERYONE… including the children.
Kids teaching teachers? Crazy I know, but someone had to say it.
Throughout my journey in becoming a teacher, I have learned that as teachers we are always learning just as much as we are educating. I do not have the same mind as the teacher in the room beside me or the student sitting in front of me. Some adults might believe they have a solid understanding of DC, but that doesn’t mean they know the definition of what DC means to students. The apps that I use could be completely different than what my students use. As a coach of 12 year old girls, I see them using apps that I have no intention of ever downloading, which means I’ll never know how to use them probably. There’s nothing holding me back from asking them to teach me and trying to get an understanding of it’s use so that I can be more aware of it in my future classroom.
As teachers, I do believe that we have a huge role in the teaching of DC because student see teachers in a different light than they see parents. When the rules come down from a parents restricting access to a certain site, the child might just think they are being punished. When a teacher brings up why these restrictions are necessary, then the student could see the benefits and be more aware of why their parents do what they do. Now I know that there comes to be a age where kids don’t listen to either their parents of their teachers and trying to tell them not to do something on the internet can be impossible, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try our hardest.
All together, I believe DC is very important to be taught to children whether it comes from their friends, teachers or parents, it needs to happen. Technology is becoming so necessary in our world that I think it’s coming close to being as important as math. There needs to be information given to children to make sure that they don’t only stay safe on the internet, but also use it for all it’s worth. The internet is pretty dang cool and everyone should have a chance to realize that.