Teaching Digital Citizenship in the Networked Classroom

Teaching Digital Citizenship in the Networked Classroom

Valerie Steeves (University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada) and Priscilla M. Regan (George Mason University, Fairfax, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJPADA.2018100103

Abstract

This article uses the results of a 2016 survey of Canadian teachers to provide a snapshot of the extent to which the survey participants have been able to successfully incorporate digital literacy into their daily teaching. The data suggests that governments continue to prioritize technical access elements over more participatory elements of digital literacy, making it difficult to go beyond basic literacy requirements. In addition, there are a number of barriers that make it more difficult for teachers to cultivate digital citizenship. These barriers include: the dissolving boundary between in-school and out-of-school contexts; the commercial nature of the digital world; and the continuing difficulty of evaluating online information. This article concludes by arguing that the concept of digital literacy should be broadened beyond the skills-based approach and instead should be solidly organized with the goal of promoting and preparing students for democratic citizenship.
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Literature Review

In general the concept of digital literacy combines both technical skills, emphasizing access to and use of computers and other devices, and cognitive and social skills, emphasizing comprehension and evaluation of digital information and processes (Ribble, 2015). The early thinking about digital literacy emphasized the more technical skills and digital literacy was often represented as a pyramid with access and use forming the base of the pyramid, as seen in Figure 1 (MediaSmarts, n.d.).

Figure 1.

Digital literacy model

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