Many institutions have been learning to adapt to virtual learning for over a year now, with many parents opting to keep their children at home, even though some schools have gone back to in-person instruction. With both educators teaching and students learning remotely, many challenges have been presented, including how to empower students within a virtual classroom setting. This idea of empowering students revolves around the idea of digital citizenship, or how we should use technology safely and responsibly. Here, the team of ed-tech professionals at TechMart explain the importance of digital citizenship for young virtual learners and how educators can implement digital citizenship into their virtual classrooms. 

What is Digital Citizenship & Why Is It Important?

The idea behind digital citizenship is to not only keep students safe online, but to show them how they can use technology and online resources in positive ways. Digital citizenship takes an intergenerational approach, as it not only involves how students should use technology and online tools, but also how they are influenced by those at school, at home, and in their communities. With the pandemic over this past year, more attention has been drawn to digital citizenship, especially in regards to how crucial it is for students to be aware and educated about the topic. Furthermore, the conversation surrounding digital citizenship for students should not just be a one-and-done assembly presentation. It needs to be an ongoing pledge that all of the choices the students make regarding technology and their online platforms will be safe, smart, and beneficial for their futures. 

How Schools & Educators Can Implement Digital Citizenship Into Their Classrooms

The practices and learning elements behind digital citizenship can easily be added or embedded into an educator’s virtual classroom. Whether it is through several lesson plan lectures or interactive class projects, educators can teach their students on the importance of digital citizenship as a young virtual learner, while still keeping it a revolving conversation. An example of a project to further implement digital citizenship into the classroom is to have the class create a collective social media account, i.e. a Twitter or Instagram account. Then, one particular student will have access to that account for an entire day and have the ability to post or share about what they are learning in the class. Another great example is to have your students start a blog or a podcast to share what they are learning in their classes or start up discussions about sharing in an online space. Both of these will grant students the opportunity to learn about how to share thoughtful, meaningful, and respectful content online, as well as how to keep it safe and protected. 

Consult with an Ed-Tech Professional at TechMart

With virtual learning becoming the norm for many students and educators alike, it is crucial for both to learn the importance of digital citizenship. Not only can it protect students online, but also prepare them for the vast virtual world that awaits them. To learn more about the role of digital citizenship in virtual learning or to speak with an ed-tech professional, contact us today.