Educators and schools have a responsibility to help students develop a digital footprint

It was interesting as I got to debate this topic in Monday’s class. While Kimberly and Gertrude debated the “against” side of the statement, Rae and I discussed the “agree” side. It was a great opportunity to hear the opposing viewpoint and pick up new information. We found a lot of evidence that shows educators have a responsibility to help students develop their digital footprint. What will it mean when a student’s bad choices and mistakes are forever immortalized online? Concerns have been raised about their ability to understand the long-term repercussions of their online activity and cope with the increasing danger of hazards (invasion of privacy, identity theft, cyberbullying, etc.). Students are digital natives, but they are also digitally naive, and this is where educators have a responsibility to act on this generalized idea that students have to suffer without adequate reactive and preventive strategies to reduce the rate of social media hazards. Ultimately, being online is more like stepping out every morning and is fraught with danger. The ability to manage risk to the best of one’s ability requires awareness, knowledge, skill, and good judgment.

Upon further research, the challenges facing students in an increasingly digital world and the roles that teachers and schools can impact were explained well in Alec Couros TedTalk

Since there is so much for students to learn and understand about the internet, it essentially comes down to digital citizenship. If students are not made aware of the etiquette, literacy, rights and responsibility, law, and security that come along with having an online presence, they may easily get wrapped up in the negative aspects that are available to swallow them up. They need support to steer themselves in the right direction as well as assistance to avoid obstacles. What is inevitable is that students will be exposed to the internet throughout their academic careers and lives.

Who has the responsibility?


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