Digital Citizenship- Exploring Ethical Understanding and Digital footprints

Digital Citizenship: Exploring Ethical Understanding and Digital footprints

Jeff Bliss - filmed without his knowledge in a High School classroom by another student using a phone.


What springs to mind for you as you watch this video?

What are the ethical concerns raised by the publication of this video?

What should a school have in place to protect themselves to the best of their ability if a video like this is posted?

Responsible use policies
While a decent School Responsible (or Acceptable) Use Policy can't prevent an incident like this one above from happening, it can provide a school with a means of establishing the parameters for effective and safe use of technology. We have a Responsible Use Policy that is within the students' school diaries that requires signatures from both students and parents at the start of a school year. I have heard of schools who run Cybersafety sessions at the start of a school year with the culminating 'event' being the signing of the Responsible Use Policy.

NetCitizens - Acceptable Use Policies

Connection with Australian Curriculum

The General Capabilities

The disciplines provide a foundation of learning in schools because they reflect the way in which knowledge has, and will continue to be, developed and codified. However, 21st century learning does not fit neatly into a curriculum solely organised by learning areas or subjects that reflect the disciplines. Increasingly, in a world where knowledge itself is constantly growing and evolving, students need to develop a set of knowledge skills, behaviours and dispositions, or general capabilities that apply across subject based content and equip them to be lifelong learners able to operate with confidence in a complex, information-rich, globalised world.
The Shape of the Australian Curriculum Version 3

Ethical Understanding - Introduction. Australian Curriculum General capabilities.

In the Australian Curriculum, students develop ethical understanding as they identify and investigate the nature of ethical concepts, values and character traits, and understand how reasoning can assist ethical judgment. Ethical understanding involves students in building a strong personal and socially oriented ethical outlook that helps them to manage context, conflict and uncertainty, and to develop an awareness of the influence that their values and behaviour have on others.

The Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008) recognises that ethical understanding assists students to become ‘confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens’. It does this through fostering the development of ‘personal values and attributes such as honesty, resilience, empathy and respect for others’, and the capacity to act with ethical integrity (MCEETYA, pp. 8–9).

As cultural, social, environmental and technological changes transform the world, the demands placed on learners and education systems are changing. Technologies bring local and distant communities into classrooms, exposing students to knowledge and global concerns as never before. Complex issues require responses that take account of ethical considerations such as human rights and responsibilities, animal rights, environmental issues and global justice.

Building ethical understanding throughout all stages of schooling will assist students to engage with the more complex issues that they are likely to encounter in the future, and to navigate a world of competing values, rights, interests and norms.

"The Ethical understanding capability has also been richly informed by understandings gained through the National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools (DEEWR 2005), and the resultant Values education initiatives in all areas of Australian schooling. In addition, the Melbourne Declaration on Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA, p. 5) states that ‘a school’s legacy to young people should include national values of democracy, equity and justice, and personal values and attributes such as honesty, resilience and respect for others’. While Values education is certainly found within Ethical understanding, it is also located within other general capabilities, such as Personal and social capability."

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability

In the Australian Curriculum, students develop ICT capability as they learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively in all learning areas at school, and in their lives beyond school. The capability involves students in learning to make the most of the digital technologies available to them, adapting to new ways of doing things as technologies evolve and limiting the risks to themselves and others in a digital environment.
The Melbourne Declaration on the Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008) recognises that in a digital age, and with rapid and continuing changes in the ways that people share, use, develop and communicate with ICT, young people need to be highly skilled in its use. To participate in a knowledge-based economy and to be empowered within a technologically sophisticated society now and into the future, students need the knowledge, skills and confidence to make ICT work for them at school, at home, at work and in their communities.
Information and communication technologies are fast and automated, interactive and multimodal, and they support the rapid communication and representation of knowledge to many audiences and its adaptation in different contexts. They transform the ways that students think and learn and give them greater control over how, where and when they learn.

Personal and Social Capability

Social management

This element involves students in interacting effectively and respectfully with a range of adults and peers. Students learn to negotiate and communicate effectively with others; work in teams, positively contribute to groups and collaboratively make decisions; resolve conflict and reach positive outcomes. Students develop the ability to initiate and manage successful personal relationships, and participate in a range of social and communal activities. Social management involves building skills associated with leadership, such as mentoring and role modelling. In developing and acting with personal and social capability, students:
• communicate effectively
• work collaboratively
• make decisions
• negotiate and resolve conflict
• develop leadership skills.

We have a responsibility to assist our students in their understanding of the technological world they are living in. We can ill afford to ignore our students' use of social media and leave them open to making serious mistakes that can have ramifications for their interactions with their friendship groups and their future lives. For some students, the only adults who will be able to guide them in their use of social media are their teachers.

Platforms/Web tools to use within schools:

Screenshot 2014-04-10 18.44.28.png
Google Apps for Education

Screenshot 2014-04-10 18.48.49.png

Screenshot 2014-04-10 18.56.39.png

Screenshot 2014-04-10 19.08.14.png

Research to support your understanding

Teens, Social Media and Privacy - latest research (May 2013) from the Pew Internet American Life Project
. (there are parallels with the Australian scenario here)

Teenagers, Legal Risks and Social Networking Sites - research from Monash University. Link has access to the report and the educational resource - Will u friend me? One of the key recommendations from the report is as follows:
"In order to enhance the benefits of SNS use, and minimise the disadvantages, it is important for children and young people to be equipped with the necessary information to empower them to effectively manage risks associated with the everyday use of SNS. The best way to do this is through specifically tailored educational activities. As children and young people must be primarily responsible for managing their own risks, it is essential that educational activities focus on providing clear and accurate information about all risks associated with SNS use, including legal risks. These educational activities should be aimed primarily at equipping children and
young people with the skills required to be effective digital citizens, and not focussed on rare or hypothetical fears."

Research into Digital Learning - this page contains links to various organisations currently conducting research or sharing research about Digital Learning.

danah boyd It's Complicated - the social lives of networked teens
Free download available here

La trobe University Sexual Health Survey 2014
Report available for download here

Helping students understand the importance of their digital footprint

Your online life. permanent as a tattoo - suitable for Secondary Students.

Amazing Mind Reader reveals his 'gift'. Incredibly effective video to use with Secondary Students

Social Media Experiment Very effective video helping students understand the importance of managing location settings on devices.

Managing your digital footprint - Libguide from Toorak College

Information Fluency - Libguide from Toorak College

Toorak College Information Fluency Program A program we developed based on the ISTE Student NETS and mapped to the General Capabilities. We developed this as a means to integrate skills and digital literacy competencies into regular curriculum.

Keys to the Web A quirky site from Google, containing lessons about using the Web effectively. Videos are short, and there is accompanying data providing more explanation

Digital Citizenship - Essential information for students, teachers and parents about digital citizenship and being safe, positive and responsible online. From NSW DEC
Commonsense Media Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum Educational research partners include The Good Play Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero (involving Professor Howard Gardner)

Understanding Digital Citizenship - Middle Years Conference Edmonton, Alberta. Lots of fabulous links in this Google Doc - A site providing information for educators, parents, carers and young people. Established by ChildNet International

My diigo links tagged 'Digital Footprint'

Copyright and Creative Commons

Our students need an understanding of Copyright laws, what the purpose of Creative Commons licences are and how it is you search for CC licensed work.

Smartcopying: The Official Guide to Copyright issues for Australian Schools and Tafe
Creative Commons Licenses- what they are
Creative Commons website
Creative Commons Australia
CC (Creative Commons) Search

Google's Research tool

Citing sources using the Google Doc Research tool


Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 11.21.30 PM.png
CC BY-SA Jordan Luca 2013

CC BY-SA Jordan Luca 2013

Pinterest board with various Digital Citizenship posters

Classroom posters from Common Sense Media

Knowthenet presents Manners Matter

Knowthenet presents Manners Matter the online Netiquette Do's and Don'ts infographic.