Rosalie D. Bautista, Master Teacher II
SDO Annex-Laur, San Fernando Elementary School
The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally altered our relationship with technology and has sped up the transition to digitization. While these changes have brought benefits like more remote work opportunities and advances in education like e-learning, it has also been accompanied by significant drawbacks like increased unethical use of technology and unfavorable threats to privacy. The internet can appear to students as a place where “anything goes,” where anyone can post or say whatever they want without fear of repercussion. This scenario poses a big challenge to all educators on how can they foster an ethical and responsible digital citizen.
Learners of today are naturally adept at using and navigating the Web. They can create, connect, and collaborate with a global audience because the internet develops into a so-called participatory culture. While actively engaging in authentic learning experiences using blogs, wiki spaces, learning management systems, online research, and much more, teachers must model, guide, and assist students in practicing appropriate and professional behavior. It is indeed a challenge teaching the current generation to be morally upright lifelong learners in this digital age where learners must understand how others are impacted by their use of technology and feel accountable for their deeds.
According to Aranda (2007), the best course of action is to consider and follow “netiquette,” which is a set of guidelines for online behavior. When interacting with people online, exercise courtesy and respect. Learners need to be aware of the different guidelines for each type of online communication since it can take place on a variety of platforms, including social networks and email. In today’s classrooms, online netiquette must be covered. By giving students the chance to communicate online using email, blogs and social networks. Teachers should allow students to practice good netiquette. Instances of netiquette modeling will be possible as a result.
In addition, learners must learn how to give credit to where it is due. Plagiarism, or the act of stealing or copying another person’s work, is prohibited. Learners should be made aware of plagiarism and the negative effects of not properly attributing words taken from another source To ensure that students have the knowledge and abilities to cite sources correctly, source citation should be taught. Many students unknowingly plagiarize because they use quotations and paraphrase from sources without following the citation guidelines. Opportunities for students to
practice proper citation should be provided. This will help them understand how to prevent plagiarism.
From another angle, teachers must also instruct students to be capable, considerate, and moral digital creators. To help them become responsible users of technology, learners should be given the chance to use digital tools to develop the necessary skills for the 21st century. Of course, to ensure that students use technology properly, teachers must establish expectations and rules. Students can blog about what they are learning in class, make a video explaining the steps to a math problem, make a graphic timeline and do other related activities with the help of their teachers. Learners can learn from these and other opportunities to become responsible digital creators.
To prepare today’s digital citizens, a team is required. To assist today’s learners in navigating the virtual world, parents, teachers, counsellors, and administrators must collaborate. It is always a shared responsibility. The acquisition of digital citizenship knowledge and skills does not occur automatically in the real world. Both the official curriculum and the norms and expectations ingrained in our cultures serve to teach these. Teachers and other adults need to set an excellent example to foster an ethical and responsible digital citizen.