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This week there was a lot of discussion about web awareness and digital citizenship. It could not have come at a better time as this past week was also anti-bullying week. Digital citizenship relates to the "unspoken rules and expectations for participating in the online world" (ED3508 LESSON 6, 2012). Often times I find people assume that we all have a sense of digital citizenship; however, all an individual needs to do is go on YouTube or Facebook and read some of the comments being made to see this is simply not true. As educators it is our job to teach digital citizenship; to make the "unspoken rules" things that are spoken of everyday in our classrooms. We must have discussions in our classrooms that revolve around being a respectful citizen both online and off. As found in a study conducted by three University of Lethbridge professors (Bright, Dyck, Adams, 2007) 35% of online rural Alberta teens have created some sort of fake identity online. Fourteen percent actually did so to make fun of people without getting in trouble for it. This statistic although may seem low to some is far too high for me. It is important for teachers to talk about these types of behaviors and explain why they are inappropriate and unacceptable. This type of lesson can be made cross curricular and be talked about in many different subject areas (language arts and social studies in particular). 
With the increasing amount of people who have access to the web on a daily basis these conversations are important in order to infuse some sort of responsibility into the children and youth of the future.



 


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