Digital Natives, Yet Strangers to the Web

This is a very salient article on the need to integrate digital citizenship skills in the curriculum. I have been thinking about this for a long time, even made a schedule of ways we could do this, but Mr. Loewy, the teacher featured in this article, has designed a whole curriculum.

This isn’t a new idea, and in fact, we have some very good Canadian initiatives to bridge the gap like the OSAPAC Digital Citizenship page, Common Sense Media and Social Smarts.

But if there is one take away from this article is that even though youth spend a lot of their time online, does not necessarily mean they are Digitally literate. I will conclude with this quote from Danah Boyd (also quoted in the article):

Teens will not become critical contributors to this [Internet] ecosystem simply because they were born in an age when these technologies were pervasive.

Neither teens nor adults are monolithic, and there is no magical relation between skills and age. Whether in school or in informal settings, youth need opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to engage with temporary technology effectively and meaningfully. Becoming literate in a networked age requires hard work, regardless of age.- Danah Boyd

Today’s schools are focusing on boosting kids’ technological proficiency and warning them about the perils of the web. But something critical is missing from this education.

Source: www.theatlantic.com

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