With the extent to which technology has become integrated with human life, it has become impossible to separate the two. In modern gadget dependent world, it has become almost impossible to imagine life without technology. Today almost every person is a digital citizen, a term used for people who utilize technology and Internet effectively and regularly. Benefits of technology are endless, but it comes with its share of limitations too. In this virtual world, there is a very fine line between right and wrong, and often Internet users tend to miss this line. Teachers and students, young and old, almost everyone has become a digital citizen. Children are highly vulnerable to become victims of the digital freedom they are enjoying, hence it is very important to teach students responsible and appropriate way to use technology.
Topic of digital citizenship among children is gaining momentum, so the importance of becoming good digital citizens should also be emphasized. Here are few ways to bring good digital citizenship in children –
- First and foremost, students should know what to share and what not to share online. You need to inform them that personal information, passwords, inappropriate images and other elements should not be shared online.
- Pay special attention to how students are using the online environment. Keeping children away from Internet is not the solution, instead, sit and surf with them to give them the right approach to use Internet. Whenever you encounter some inappropriate material, utilize the moment to give them the lesson.
- Teach the students importance of using the right form and language of communication. They should know that online communication with teachers is not the same as talking to their fellow students.
- Show interest in your student’s online activities. Whether they have joined some discussion or registered with a new network, let them expand their knowledge and experience. Just make sure you are aware of their activities.
- Another important element of teaching good digital citizenship is respect. Do not criticize the student’s choices even if they are not as per your interests. Similarly, teach them to respect choices made by others and they should know that disagreement can also be conveyed politely.
- Let students know that information on Internet cannot be controlled hence they should be careful of every post, action or statement they make. Students should know that they need to treat other the way they want to be treated in the digital world.
- Teach the students to report misbehavior instead of trying to hide it under wraps. From cyber bullying to targeting, students face a lot of misbehavior online and they should have the confidence to report it.
Technology and Internet are a boon, but only if they are used respectfully and responsibly. Teaching students the importance of being good digital citizens will help in curbing unpleasant incidents in the longer run.