Students need to know how to properly search for material, copyright laws and plagiarism, and just general online safety guidelines. Most students do not realize that narrowing their search on the internet will not only cut down on time but will also prevent misinformation or unwanted information. This problem is easily corrected with proper teaching and examples. Access to more content and resources has made plagiarism easier. Students and other people will copy entire paragraphs or essays instead of taking the time to write their own thoughts. Most do not understand the potential consequences of such actions particularly if the content was copyrighted or trademarked. Citing sources correctly and thoroughly is a simple way of avoiding trouble and showing respect of others creativity and work. Many students are unaware that twitter, facebook, and text messaging are not completely private. All of these outlets are deemed public and can be accessed in many ways. Anything sent or posted on these sites or others like them can also be used in court against a party. Students and parents need to be made aware of these facts so they will think carefully about what they send or make available for others to potentially see and access.
The Common Sense, Copyright and Fair Use and the Online Behavior can all be used to help educate my students on becoming better digital citizens. Students need to read the information given in each of these resources before we turn them loose on the internet and give them technology.
Teaching digital citizen will work best if the teacher is used as a role model. Teachers need to demonstrate competency in the use of any technological device. An expectation will then be established , and the students can then be held accountable for improving their own digital citizenship.
The involvement of parents or guardians are huge factors to the development of kids. The best way to inform the parents of the importance of the digital citizenship is to incorporate it into bigger school events and to send home letters stressing it. Both students and parents should be required to sign off on their understanding of digital citizenship. It would not be too difficult to have parents sit in an informative meeting for about 15 to 20 minutes to make them aware of the potential hazards and benefits of using technology.