Whether you are an avid user of digital technologies, a novice or have never engaged with the online world before, it is important to understand digital citizenship and the issues surrounding technology use. While children of this generation have grown up with technology around them, we cannot assume they understand its appropriate use. Just as we try to teach our children about their rights and responsibilities as members of our physical community, it is our responsibility to help children learn how to become good digital citizens.

Young people are accustomed to interacting daily in the online world. There is a growing culture of people, generally those born after 1990, who have grown up knowing nothing but the Internet, digital devices and seeking out information online. To better guide young people in the safe use of technology, it is important we are aware of our own technological capabilities and strive to understand how and why young people today are different to those who did not experience the current technological environment. This will assist us to bridge the digital divide that may exist between generations (Ormiston, 2010) and better engage with young people in the classroom or in our homes.

The current generation of young people increasingly see technology as an essential part of their social interaction, and social networking online provides a means for young people to maintain their friendships while also making new ones. Despite the popularity of social networking for young people, there is a lack of clarity around available resources to assist teachers to better support young people when interacting online. To address this ambiguity, this resource focuses on the promotion of positive uses of technology, including social media. Gaining an understanding of social media will help to support you when interacting formally and informally with young people on this topic.

Relavant Reading

  • Ormiston, M. (2010). Creating a digital-rich classroom: Teaching and Learning in a Web 2.0 World. Melbourne, VIC, Hawker Brownlow Education.