Our students have been using social media and living in the digital world for some time. But we are still treating them like rookies. It’s time to change that.
First, we need to accept that kids these days are already digital citizens. They are surrounded by the digital world at home, at school, and at play. The issue isn’t teaching digital citizenship, it is teaching digital leadership.
Defining Digital Leadership
Digital leadership includes not only using social media and the Internet in a responsible way, but using these mediums to improve themselves and their communities, and positively influence those connected to them.
Citizenship —> Leadership
Share appropriately —> Share learning
Positive digital footprint —> Facilitate positive engagement
Be kind, no bullying —> Stand up for issues and causes
Facilitating the Transition
Have students identify a passion/cause/issue that is close to them. Then help them identify opportunities where they can practice their digital leadership skills. Each month, ask your students to share their experiences, their challenges, and their wins. They will learn from each other and gain confidence in their ability to have a positive digital influence on society.