Why Here? Why Now?

The goal of digital citizenship is to help all users of technology to be the best members of the digital society that they can be. Parents and educators have spent so much time teaching children how to be good people in all aspects of their lives yet, when we begin to speak about the virtual world there seems to be a disconnnect from these principals.

Students can empathize with victims of crime, poverty, hate, and any other number of global wrongs when they see it as a video on the news, an item in the newspaper or are even told to them by a trusted adult. I am forced to ask, what has happened to this empathy when the news comes via IM or Text? Students, the nicest of them, will lie about their age, send mean or even cruel and threatening e-mails, text words they would dare not speak and even post pictures of themselves that can be seen as criminal! Why is there a difference in the way that students conduct their lives so differently when the forum is considered "virtual"?

This wiki will be a repository of knowledge and candid wisdom about teaching our children Digital Citizenship. The goal of breaking it up by months, so that no one topic is overwhelming or unapproachable. Mike Ribble, one of the leaders in teaching Digital Citizenship says, "It should be clear to all that being a good citizen is just as important in the digital world as in the "real world"."

Digital Compass Activity