I can’t wait to walk into a conversation or presentation about digital citizenship that does not include the words risk and dangers or even ‘pornification’ (for real, just saw that one at a conference the other day).
A few months ago, I saw this on my twitter feed:
— QAIS (@QAIStweets) December 27, 2016
And we are implicit in maintaining this dichotomy when we create separate rules and separate scary presentations about technology and the ‘online world’.
Instead of scaring people about all of the perils that can happen when online, we can incorporate the online into our mental models of ‘the real world’.
For example, when we have school values about care, respect, and kindness, do we talk about what these values look like in different scenarios, including online scenarios?
Do we talk enough about citizenship with our teachers and students?
Do we all know our rights and responsibilities as citizens?
Because, let me tell you, presentations and videos that spread fear about all of the bad things that could potentially happen online do not reflect this.
How is fear mongering an example of good citizenship? In fact, it is the opposite. Are we good citizens when we scare each other into acting a certain way in the name of protection?
I think it is a result of not including technology and online activities in an idea of the ‘real world’. Technology is still considered as something different, as an add-on to the rest of life. And sometimes it is just easier to say it’s scary, beware! than to change our mental models about the world in which we live.
I find myself watching presentations about the perils of online activity and thinking about relationship. And so I ask,
I have been teaching and consulting - from primary school through adult education - since 1996. Currently an education consultant with la Commission scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Îles in Montreal, Quebec, I believe that sharing our stories is the key to getting better together.