Pizza is a key staple in 93% of Americans’ monthly diet. Pizza is eaten at the rate of 350 slices per second in this country (“Pizza Statistics,” 2018). Pizza is clearly important and enjoyed in a plethora of ways. You can order your pizza with ham and pineapple, but your friends may disdain the way you eat your slice of the pie. In fact, you may be banned from ordering pizza in the house if you order from the wrong place. If you’re lucky you might even earn a free pizza from a company that you are a frequent buyer of.
Just like pizza is a key staple of our world, so too is the complex concept of Digital Citizenship. Like those pizza interactions, people connect with and through the internet at rates that were unbelievable just a decade ago. Your disdained pizza combination might be the way students text or chat with one another in the eyes of an adult. Your banned pizza establishment could be a harmful website or dangerous online interaction. And that free pizza, those could be the rights and privileges awarded to digital citizens.
Because this concept is rich and diverse, and what is “acceptable” for some may be in poor taste for other, Digital Citizenship is a construct that requires more than just a singular glance or lesson to be fully understood. Ribble (2015) breaks the idea into nine unique (though some may argue that pieces of these nine overlap and intersect) elements that he further divides into three principles: Respect, Educate, Protect. These terms and categories are great, but I am still left wondering what is a digital citizen. While Terry Hieck points out, citizenship and digital citizenship are “nearly the same thing” (2018), I believe that nearly is not enough. In fact, many scholars have pointed out that: “the very broadness of the term digital citizenship … presents an issue” (Polgar & Curran, 2015). The vagueness of the terminology that forces us to look more specifically at the ideas represented through Digital Citizenship.
In reflection, I realize that through my exploration of the idea of Digital Citizenship, I have left myself with more questions and more of need to continue to learn and inspect the ideas behind each element of what digital citizenship really means. Is it limited to our interactions? Our rights? Our safety? Is it really about being a global citizen at all? What I initially thought about the term has fallen squarely on its head, and I am now left wondering how can we really bring all the digital citizenship encompasses into the classroom. As I continue with my exploration, these are some of the resources that I will be using and considering to help me in my understanding of this topic:
Heick, T. (2008). “The Definition of Digital Citizenship.” TeachThought. Retrieved on Februrary 21, 2018 from https://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/the-definition-of-digital-citzenship
“Pizza Statistics.” (2018). Statistic Brain. Retrieved on February 26, 2018 from https://www.statisticbrain.com/pizza-statistics/.
Ribble, M. (2015). Digital citizenship in schools: Nine elements all students should know. (3rd ed.) [Kindle Version]. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology.
Mrs. Autumn Riley
Native born Texan, Autumn Riley, is an educator-leader married to a dynamic high school teacher and mom to two wild little boys. When she isn't training for her next half-marathon, she spends time working on her sketch-noting and poetry.-writing. She is a Christ-follower and small group leader. All content is copyrighted to Autumn Riley. You may freely pin to Pinterest or link back to my blog. All other uses require permission. Thanks!