- Teaching the importance of being good digital citizens is now a necessity, and a variety of resources and tools are available to guide educators on what standards that learning must meet, Ed Tech: Focus on K-12 reports.
- Educators serve as role models for students in interpreting the media, as highlighted by a recent Common Sense Media survey which found that while students prefer to get their news online, 48% trust their teachers over news organizations — a stat that drives home the importance of lessons in verifying suspect stories with other sources.
- Additionally, students can learn about the consequences of actions taken online via plagiarism-detecting browser plug-ins, like Plagly for Chrome, and lessons in privacy and security can help them have a hand in practices protecting their information while teaching them how to avoid becoming victims.
The digitization of the classroom via devices and other ed tech tools has made digital citizenship a basic education requirement. Following an election year where fake news is alleged to have impacted the outcome, there's a greater need for educators to teach students to think critically about what they read online, as well as how to identify a credible source. Additionally, with end users being one of the greatest threats to cybersecurity, teaching them how to avoid phishing scams and other vulnerabilities offers a two-fold benefit to schools by lessening the threat of being compromised via a student account. Focusing on end-users has become especially popular in higher ed.
While many digital citizenship lessons have begun falling on the shoulders of librarians/media specialists, educators should also work to recognize opportunities in their daily curriculum to make and strengthen the connection.