Digital Citizenship 101

Digital Citizenship 101. 

What you put on the internet stays there forever

Don’t post anything you don’t want your grandmother to see

How many times have we bought into these pieces of logic and make it an integral part of getting students connected and being online responsibly?  Do you believe it is good advice?  Should it apply to everyone?

Apparently not.

I had this happen over the weekend but I’ll bet it doesn’t take long to find it among your Twitter friends. 

I had a long time friend reach out and become a Twitter contact with me.  The first thing I did was check out his profile to make sure that this was just who I thought it was.  It was … and in the profile was the statement that’s all too familiar “My tweets do not reflect the opinions of my employer.”

So, I asked him what that meant.   We’re now friends so this could be done via direct message.

“It allows me to say and share things that might get me fired if my boss found out.”


For a student, would a disclaimer translate to “It allows me to say and share things that my grandmother wouldn’t like.”

Pushing the envelope, I asked “If we were walking through a crowded shopping mall, would you start a conversation with me with that disclaimer?”  It could be the same message or joke that you’d put online.  There are lots of people around us who might hear it.  One might be, in fact, your boss or someone you work with.

“Well, you know what I mean”

I think we all do, and it’s kind of been accepted in many circles.

I recall an incident when my high school was playing the Catholic school rival and a fight broke out in the stands.  The next day, one of my students was called to the office and was suspended from school as a result.  When he returned to my classroom to get his books, I still remember his comment. 

“This sucks.  How can he suspend me?  This wasn’t on school property.”

“He said something about representing the school or something.  My parents will get me a lawyer.”

Well, that never happened and the seat was empty for three days.

Would a disclaimer have helped?

“It allows me to go to the arena and get into a fight and the school can’t do anything about it.”

Are we too quick to see a difference between being a citizen and a digital citizen? 

Is there a difference? 

Shouldn’t the same advice given to students apply universally?

OTR Links 10/13/2015

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.