Digital identity & citizenship is an essential part of a relevant education, and of a connected life, in the 21st century. Here are the 5 best resources for learning about digital identity. These websites/documents are useful to parents and teachers interested in learning more about digital ethics, cyberbullying and netiquette:

  1. Net Cetera is a U.S. government produced community outreach toolkit that defines and discusses the impact of common social media platforms with a focus on cyber-safety.
  2. Meeting of Minds: Cross-Generational Dialogue of the Ethics of Digital Life is a 2009 synthesis of conversations between kids and adults that highlights the similarities and differences of each generation’s thoughts on digital media and ethics.
  3. CommonSenseMedia provides curriculum, advice, policy and reviews for parents and teachers to understand the media available today and its potential to influence our behavior and/or beliefs. Their recent research study, Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America, is an enlightening survey and analysis of U.S. parents (published October 2011).
  4.  Edutopia.org’s Digital Citizenship Resource Roundup is a collection of articles related to netiquette and online safety. Their free publication, A Parent’s Guide to 21st Century Learning, documents excellent examples of appropriate technology-influenced classroom experiences.
  5. Digital ID: 21st Century Citizenship is “a toolkit of reliable information, resources, and guidelines to help teachers/parents/students learn how to be upstanding digital citizens.” This resource is a collaboration managed by Natalie Bernasconi & Gail Desler.

I recommend these resources to all schools, and we used some of these as platforms for parent education last year at one of the schools I work with. To understand what a classroom looks like when the information in these resources is put into practice, spend 5 minutes with Linda Yollis‘ fabulous 3rd grade classroom.

For an enthralling (and fictitious) account of a world in which we don’t address the need to live ethically online, spend 5 minutes watching Tom Scott’s “Flash Mob Gone Wrong” at Ignite London:

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