Tag Archives: digital citizenship

Turning Students into Good Digital Citizens

I just came across this excellent article published by THE Journal which explores a number of issues regarding students’ development of digital literacies and the need for curriculum reform that embeds more explicit teaching of digital citizenship. The article also provides some great leads to recent research in this area including the work of Michael Wesch. The three short video clips of this playlist captures key take-home message of the difference between knowledgeable and knowledge-able and the need for education to move beyond this, given that we live in such a mediated world where different technologies do actually ‘mediate’ how we interact with them and our capacity to engage with content and people, Wesch expands the meaning of being ‘savvy’:

I particularly like his take on this:

“The newer, more interesting questions that are, I think, unique to the digital world revolve around things like algorithms… When my students are freshmen, I try to get them familiar with the digital space in a new way, to begin to give them a sense that what they’re seeing on the screen is encoded. By the time they’re seniors, my hope is that they not only see those structures, but start to manipulate them and put things together in new ways.”

“Understanding that what a person sees on a screen is a construct created by somebody–perhaps even oneself–is part of “building a scaffold toward digital citizenship,” Wesch says, and the next step beyond critical thinking, information literacy, and creative thinking.

“Our lives are so entwined with the digital–so incredibly enmeshed in the digital,” he concludes, “that, if you’re going to be a good citizen, period, you have to be a good digital citizen.”

A must read and essential viewing for teachers and teacher librarians.

Teacher librarians as ‘information dietitians’

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this book, The Information Diet when it is released in early January 2012.

Love the subtitle ‘A Case for Conscious Consumption’. The book blurb states: “Healthy information consumption habits are about more than productivity and efficiency. They’re about your personal health, and the health of society. Just as junk food can lead to obesity, junk information can lead to new forms of ignorance. The Information Diet provides a framework for consuming information in a healthy way, by showing you what to look for, what to avoid, and how to be selective.

With this book, you’ll learn:

  • The relationship between power, authority, and information since the dawn of the first major information-technology boom
  • How people react to information consumption, according to cognitive science and neuroscience findings
  • How the new, information-abundant society is suffering consequences from poor information consumption habits
  • What constitutes a healthy information diet and how you can get started”

I really like the way ‘information’ is being explored here as part of a person’s healthy lifestyle, and people being empowered by the ‘information choices’ they make to inform their lives.

Should we be presenting teacher librarians as information dietitians in 2012?