Digital Citizenship Policy

 

At Fairview, we define digital citizenship by nine elements as detailed below. Each of these elements are grouped into three major categories; Respect yourself & Respect others, Educate yourself & Connect with others, Protect yourself & Protect others.

 

Respect yourself and Respect Others

 

Digital Access

Full electronic participation in society

 

Technology users need to be aware that not everyone has the same opportunities when it comes to technology.  Working toward equal digital rights and supporting electronic access is the starting point of Digital Citizenship. Digital exclusion makes it difficult to grow as a society increasingly using these tools. Helping to provide and expand access to technology should be the goal of all digital citizens.  Users need to keep in mind that there are some that may have limited access, so other resources may need to be provided. To become productive citizens, we need to be committed to make sure that no one is denied digital access.

At Fairview, we expect our learners to understand that all students within Fairview have a special advantage afforded to them as they can access technology anywhere within the campus. Students need to understand that even within the school, students may have different technology available to them. Therefore, despite these differences, students must not fall into the behaviour of comparing one student’s technology with another's.

 

Digital Etiquette

Electronic standards of conduct or procedure

 

Technology users often see this area as one of the most pressing problems when dealing with Digital Citizenship. We recognize inappropriate behavior when we see it, but before people use technology they do not learn digital etiquette (i.e., appropriate conduct).   Many people feel uncomfortable talking to others about their digital etiquette. Often rules and regulations are created or the technology is simply banned to stop inappropriate use. It is not enough to create rules and policy, we must teach everyone to become responsible digital citizens in this new society.

 

Digital Law

Electronic responsibility for actions and deeds

 

Digital law deals with the ethics of technology within a society. Unethical use manifests itself in form of theft and/or crime. Ethical use manifests itself in the form of abiding by the laws of society. Users need to understand that stealing or causing damage to other people’s work, identity, or property online is a crime. There are certain rules of society that users need to be aware in an ethical society. These laws apply to anyone who works or plays online. Hacking into others information, downloading illegal music, plagiarizing, creating destructive worms, viruses or creating Trojan Horses, sending spam, or stealing anyone’s identity or property is unethical.



 

Educate yourself & connect with others

 

Digital Commerce

Electronic buying and selling of goods

 

Technology users need to understand that a large share of the market economy is being done electronically. Legitimate and legal exchanges are occurring, but the buyer or seller needs to be aware of the issues associated with it. The mainstream availability of Internet purchases of toys, clothing, cars, food, etc. has become commonplace to many users. At the same time, an equal amount of goods and services which are in conflict with the laws or morals of some countries are surfacing (which might include activities such as illegal downloading, pornography, and gambling). Users need to learn about how to be effective consumers in a new digital economy.  

 

Digital Communication

Electronic exchange of information

 

One of the significant changes within the digital revolution is a person’s ability to communicate with other people. In the 19th century, forms of communication were limited. In the 21st century, communication options have exploded to offer a wide variety of choices (e.g., e-mail, cellular phones, instant messaging).  The expanding digital communication options have changed everything because people are able to keep in constant communication with anyone else. Now everyone has the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with anyone from anywhere and anytime. Unfortunately, many users have not been taught how to make appropriate decisions when faced with so many different digital communication options.

 

Digital Literacy

Process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology

 

While schools have made great progress in the area of technology infusion, much remains to be done. A renewed focus must be made on what technologies must be taught as well as how it should be used. New technologies are finding their way into the workplace that are not being used in schools (e.g., Videoconferencing, online sharing spaces such as wikis). In addition, workers in many different occupations need immediate information (just-in-time information). This process requires sophisticated searching and processing skills (i.e., information literacy). Learners must be taught how to learn in a digital society. In other words, learners must be taught to learn anything, anytime, anywhere.  Business, military, and medicine are excellent examples of how technology is being used differently in the 21st century. As new technologies emerge, learners need to learn how to use that technology quickly and appropriately. Digital Citizenship involves educating people in a new way— these individuals need a high degree of information literacy skills. 


 

Protect yourself & protect others

 

Digital Rights & Responsibilities

Those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world

 

Just as in the American Constitution where there is a Bill of Rights, there is a basic set of rights extended to every digital citizen. Digital citizens have the right to privacy, free speech, etc. Basic digital rights must be addressed, discussed, and understood in the digital world.  With these rights also come responsibilities as well. Users must help define how the technology is to be used in an appropriate manner. In a digital society these two areas must work together for everyone to be productive. 

 

Digital Health & Wellness

Physical and psychological well-being

 

Eye safety, repetitive stress syndrome, and sound ergonomic practices are issues that need to be addressed in a new technological world.  Beyond the physical issues are those of the psychological issues that are becoming more prevalent such as Internet addiction. Users need to be taught that there are inherent dangers of technology. Digital Citizenship includes a culture where technology users are taught how to protect themselves through education and training. 

Technology permeates our lives and we need to equip our children with the ability to use these tools. However there is a possibility of children becoming addicted to technology. This can cause them to become introverted and self destructive. A study completed in the London School of Economics (LSE) asked its participants whether or not five particular statements applied to them:

  1. "I have gone without eating or sleeping because of the Internet"

  2. "I have felt bothered when I cannot be on the Internet"

  3. "I have caught myself surfing when I am not really interested"

  4. "I have spent less time than I should with either family, friends or doing schoolwork because of the time I spent on the Internet"

  5. "I have tried unsuccessfully to spend less time on the Internet."

Should you notice that your child is displaying some of the behaviours or habits shown here it may be an indicator that they need to control their use of technology. The school recommends that you first talk to your child and establish the right habits  and if necessary seek professional help should the negative behaviours continue.

Digital Security

Electronic precautions to guarantee safety

 

In any society, there are individuals who steal, deface, or disrupt other people. The same is true for the digital community. It is not enough to trust other members in the community for our own safety. In our own homes, we put locks on our doors and fire alarms in our houses to provide some level of protection. The same must be true for the digital security. We need to have virus protection, backups of data, and surge control of our equipment. As responsible citizens, we must protect our information from outside forces that might cause disruption or harm.