What you many not know about me is that I’m a very nostalgic person. It can be both a blessing and curse, but in the case of learning about Digital Citizenship I’m lucky enough to say writing Part Two of our Not-S0-Final project has been a positive experience. In some ways, this reflection feels cathartic.
It has been a little over two months since we explored Digital Citizenship as Nousion-unit. Since then, I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible about what it means to be a Digital Citizen. It’s a little overwhelming to think how much we’ve learned in such a short time (and don’t even get me started on the fact that we learned all of it during the Summer).
I could’ve gone off on an all-text, barbaric-yawp of a reflection, but instead I chose to organize my thoughts in a mind map. It’s meant to display my thoughts about Digital Citizenship before (at the beginning of this class) and after (at the end of the semester). You can see my thoughts have grown substantially:
Digital Citizenship has grown from being a set of technology skills you learn in school to being an identity, complete with a complex set of skills and a cohesive way of life.
Obviously this is a very broad way to put it. It might not even make sense to you, and that’s fine! When it comes down to it though, having the skills to use technology are minuscule in importance compared to being a responsible and conscientious person both online and offline.
I think the big difference between digital citizenship and just plain ol’ citizenship (aside from technology, of course) is a deeper sense of awareness. We are connected and can build and represent ourselves in ways not tangible face-to-face, and yet in the same ways we also leave ourselves susceptible. As a digital citizen, it is that awareness that keeps us well-rounded. It is the awareness I’ve applied to my own work and play that keeps me open to growth.
I want to engage more online. I feel a sense of urgency to shape who I am and be mindful of how I do so. I also feel super aware of how my actions online may affect others and that I should be considerate of online accessibility issues.
In my own life, being a digital citizen is an on-going process (as it should be in yours, and everybody else’s!). Being a DC does not have a conclusion and does not have parameters for where and when is must be learned. It requires practice every day, and should be practiced everywhere.
Be mindful, be curious, don’t intentionally break the law, give credit where credit is due, keep your mind open, and if you create something do it with purpose.
Basically, don’t be an ignoramus.