Monday 18 November 2013

6th of November 2013 - the Guardian hosts a chat on 'digital citizenship'

One of the things I love about Twitter is the serendipitous nature of people, communities, events, and communications that you encounter, and the learning such events can foster.

Thanks to a tweet I caught under the hashtag '#digitalcitizenship' - I found out that the Guardian were organising an online chat on the same evening - the 6th of November - to discuss 'Digital Citizenship'. As some of you will know, this is a subject close to my heart. Luckily, I was free to participate.

There were many interesting points made in the live chat (archived here), and much expertise shared, ranging from whether Digital Citizenship education is the same as eSafety education. In this regard, I wanted to share some of the comments I shared then, which I have edited and added to below:

"I believe that across the world, Digital Citizenship (and Digital Literacy) are key competencies in 21st Century education. However at the moment, Digital Citizenship seems to over-focused on 'Safe and Responsible' Internet use. There are many other digital citizenship competencies needed by young people – for e.g. knowledge of online networks and tools, and how to use these effectively for yourself, for education, business or socialising; collaboration and participation skills online; how to manage information overload and develop balance; how to use online technologies for projects and advocacy; understanding business models online – for e.g. why companies use advertising, what information is collected etc. 
I believe that it is equally important that think we help young people recognise the potential opportunities provided by online technologies, and inspire them to use them critically but positively too, for social good and education etc."

In line with this, WISE KIDS (with kind support from eModeration) has recently launched a pilot Digital Youth Ambassador Award Programme with the Metropolitan Police Youth Council in London. Digital Citizenship as described above, is central to the award.