Digital Citizenship has been used on many occasions to describe the impact of technology on behavior and interactions.
This idea has had two separate identities, one in the online world and the offline world. But the digital culture has evolved and students can have a homework planner to complete their work. Great ideas like digital dualism is a good way to describe how the digital world changes everything on how we view the world. For this reason, educators are forced to teach and model digital citizenship in schools. So, should we teach digital citizenship in general? Or should we push and challenge our students to shift from digital citizenship to digital leadership?
What the difference?
To help you understand the difference, we look at both concepts. Digital citizenship involves the use of the internet and social media in a more responsible way. Digital leadership, on the other hand, is the use of internet and social media with the aim to improve the lives and well-being of others.
Couros defines digital leadership as using the available technology, especially social media to improve lives and well-being of others. Jennifer Casa also expounds on digital leadership as a way to encourage students to embrace technology and social media to make a difference in the current world.
It is characterized by addressing societal inequality, learning and sharing, empowering those who have no voice, and influencing the lives of others positively.
The shift from digital citizenship and leadership
Digital citizenship is a common phrase that has been used to represent the impact of technology on behavior and interactions. In short, it concentrates on things that we depend on in digital spaces.
Ideally, this is not a simple concept that many students can understand quickly, as it involves different aspects related to scale, credibility, and permanence. This is too much to handle. Citizenship is often misunderstood and often associated with political notions. Consider the manner in which most people consider how the work they do, the food they eat, and the things they buy affects the global citizenship.
This is the bigger picture that most are likely to miss.
Both digital citizenship and leadership are associated with broad areas of learning. These two must be embedded into our daily tasks, inquiries, conversations, and teachings. The transformation from digital citizenship to digital leadership gives a chance for collaboration, critical thinking, adaptability, imagination, initiative, curiosity, synthesis, and communication. According to Saskatchewan curriculum, these skills are important and they help to achieve the goal of multiple literacies that allow students to acquire the following;
- Gain knowledge
- Explore and interpret different scenarios
- Express understandings
- Communicate any new meanings.
Similarly, teachers need to shift their views and think critically about incorporating digital citizenship and digital leadership into their daily teachings. For instance, those who take the role of Teacher Librarian should concentrate more on portraying a leadership role in the school. The role of the Teacher Librarian is changing gradually. They are no longer the keepers of information, but they are specialists and educational leaders. They collaborate with the rest of the teachers to incorporate innovative technologies to help improve the student learning, teach them how to use technology to look for information for college homework and also engage students in a review based learning to help them develop multiple literacies.
This will allows the teachers to be leaders in helping students model and teach the elements of digital citizenship and essential skills of learning.
We live in a world where we depend on a lot on the internet, so we need to model digital citizenship and leadership in our line of duty and online identity. It is important to portray an example of a leader who wants to be remembered for something good. So, we need to model and encourage our students, administrators, parents, and the entire society to be concerned about the mistakes made online.
Parents also need guidance on these concepts so that they can understand that although their children are exposed to technology, they are not direct digital citizens. This means that they need to be educated on how to behave positively both online and offline. In short, they need constant reminders on what they are supposed to do in matters concerning digital citizenship and leadership.
So, as the debate about digital citizenship and digital leadership continues, it is clear that the world is evolving. There is a lot of technological advancement that impacts both concepts, but teachers should strive to make a difference and motivate the students to become digital leaders as well.