Technology’s capabilities have made vast advancements since I was in grade school. The use of technology was rarely considered in the classroom for the purpose of enhancing lesson plans. Fast forward a few years, and teachers everywhere are making great strides to acquire, learn about, and utilize the latest technologies. They realize that this generation of students has a high degree of familiarity (and comfort) with technology, since the majority of them have “grown up” using some form of technology.
Currently in our culture, it seems that children start using technologies–such as tablets or smartphones—once they learn how to walk and talk. It almost seems as if these intricate technologies are “hard wired” into children’s brains shortly after they are born. Children may be familiar regarding how to use these technologies; however they remain unaware of the dangers of it, as well as the responsibilities that accompany it. I believe that if I plan to incorporate technology in my lesson plans, it is imperative to teach my students about Digital Citizenship.
I will be teaching early elementary students and I believe this is a crucial age for learning the responsibilities that come with technology. When given certain technologies, little kids like to explore them on their own before being instructed on how to handle them. Technology is a very powerful tool, and as Spiderman says, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
It is my role as a teacher to instruct my students on the dos and don’ts of the technologies they will use. Safety of students is the top priority of teachers, staff and administrators. Technology is one of the most common resources that has the ability to put students’ safety at risk. By following and teaching my students about the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship, I believe that the students can remain out of harm’s way and that the lessons they learn about Digital Citizenship will resonate and remain with them throughout their lives.
Students are never too old to learn about digital citizenship and responsibility. It is better to learn these nine elements in school, rather than making a careless mistake using technology. Technology is very powerful and, if not handled correctly, can severely damage one’s life forever.