Via UNESCO ICT in Education:
"The current gap in technology knowledge and lack of leadership preparation related to digital literacy for school environments can cause serious problems, as school leaders, parents, and broader social communities are currently realizing.
The authors describe strategies for educational leaders to prepare their stakeholder groups for a digital future, as well as take actions to reduce technology misuse or abuse. Educational institutions should consider this Digital Citizenship model as a potential new tool to for students, faculty and staff—both on-site and online."
Before we began working with students in multiple on-line environments all involved in leadership in our small school, from BOT to staff, had read about, discussed and worried about Digital Citizenship. Initially through the ICT PD contract we had focussed on transferring the Key Competencies into the digital world - "e-competencies". Table 1 in the article mentioned above summarises many of the issues we considered. By returning to our school's values and the Key Competencies we have given ourselves a sound base for educating respectful, responsible citizens in all environments. We have taught specific digital literacies, rights and responsibilities appropriate for the age of our students (Years 1 - 6) and have also shared our programmes with our parents.
Digital citizenship values need to be unpacked and examined. Is it O.K. to use images that aren't copyright if you aren't going to publish your work? Are search engines content controlled or do students have to exercise their own key competencies? Is it respectful to be looking at an electronic device while someone is trying to talk to you? Does all students have equity of access to broadband? Are search engines designed to gather or direct? What kind of information is stored about you when you vist Facebook etc? How do you manage online distractions while working on-line? All of these key competencies and values can be found in the analogue learning environment too.