This week’s question posed “what is the teacher’s role in educating students about digital citizenship?” This made me think, first on what I am doing now, and more what I would like to do in the future. In Mudita Kundra’s article Digital Literacy: what does it mean to you she states that “for students to be digitally literate, they not only need to learn how to use technology, but to be critical of the information they gather.” Part of our role as teachers is to help students learn how to accurately critique the information they are accessing. Just as Kundra has emphasized, taking my Master’s of Curriculum and Instruction, particularly this course, has lead me to feel a deeper responsibility and understanding for my role as a teacher in shaping my student’s digital identities and pushing them in their roles as critical consumers.
I really enjoyed the Ted Talk: “Creating Critical Thinkers through Media Literacy” with Andrea Quijada. She makes some excellent points about teaching our students to recognize the subtext occurring in the media around them. When we know as a society that girls are “nudged out of math” by media around them ranging from advertisements, to t-shirts, to children’s toys, etc. it makes our job as educators that much more important to encourage them to stay in. It also means that sometimes we are fighting a losing battle against friends and families that fall prey to the dominant media’s perspective. When Andrea Quijada hinted as to who the target audience for this advertisement is, it really hits home how ingrained these messages become and how our students can become surrounded by them.
When I think towards what my role may become in addressing digital citizenship in the future, I find that I am turning towards my colleagues in this class who are role modelling confidence and strength in their digital literacy. I am hopeful that this can one day be me as I push myself to grow, change, and adapt to the world around me. In Luke Braun’s video, he quotes Alvin Toffler in saying that “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” If nothing else, this drives home how important teachers need to become in the digital worlds of the students around them. The gap between the “digital” and “real” world is closing fast and is almost non-existent in the lives of some of our youth.
Digital citizenship is starting to become a common topic in my classroom discussions. My students and other students in the school are talking more to me about their digital identities as I ask them questions about their online identities and have them help me expand my own online presence. Every student loves being the expert and allowing students to teach me has created lots of openings for these conversations. I feel that students seeing me engaging in various apps has created a more open platform for discussion as they sometimes as me questions and advice in return. I hope that as my own digital literacy grow stronger I can become an even better resource for my students.