In his book Digital Community, Digital Citizen
(Corwin Press, 2010), Dr. Jason Ohler explains that, "Digital Citizenship is a holistic and positive approach to helping children learn how to be safe and secure, as well as smart and effective participants in a digital world. That means helping them understand their rights and responsibilities, recognize the benefits and risks, and realize the personal and ethical implications of their actions."
Helping a child become a good digital citizen pertains to all curricular disciplines and includes knowledge, awareness, and skills in three key areas:
- Safety & Security: Understanding the risks that we face from others as well as from our own conduct, and the dangers posed by applications like viruses and phishing.
- Digital Literacy: Learning how to find, sort, manage, evaluate and create information in digital forms. These literacy skills build on but are somewhat different from the traditional literacy of reading and writing.
- Ethics & Community: Becoming aware of and practicing appropriate and ethical behaviors in a variety of digital environments. This area includes shaping your digital reputation and being a responsible citizen of the communities in which you participate, from social networks, to games, to neighborhood civic forums." from (Cable in the Classroom: Digital Citizenship)
In Baltimore County Public Schools we recognize the importance of teaching our students to be safe, secure, and responsible when using technology for learning or for fun.
Students in K-12 are provided with direct instruction on these topics. The attached scope and sequence details the topics and student mastery expectations.
We believe that with parents and guardians as our partners, we can help our students to gain skills, understandings, and dispositions that will enable them to be responsible and safe in these digital environments.