Being digitally ethical, or citizenship behind the screen

The center of the digital frame of reference diagram is occupied by the digital citizen who acts ethically. Here are some ideas for behaviors to adopt to help our students become the ethically digital citizens we want them to become.

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By consulting the digital frame of reference, we see that the center of the diagram is occupied by the digital citizen who acts ethically. Around this affirmation revolve all the objectives to work with our students so that they become responsible, concerned, aware. Here are some ideas for behaviors to adopt to help our students become the ethically digital citizens we want them to become. 

Cite the sources used

Graphic representation of the DIGITAL COMPETENCE REFERENCE FRAMEWORK, Government of Quebec

It is not uncommon for our students to be asked to do research and then use the information found to answer questions or to synthesize for a specific job. They are told: "plagiarism is prohibited, do not copy / paste information". But, have we taught them to cite their sources correctly? Have we given them examples of what behavior is expected and what is wrong? Let us teach our young people what a quoted and well reformulated passage is. To do this, this resource may be of use to you. Why is it important to mention who the lyrics are from? Let's take the time to look at the concepts of copyright and intellectual property. We should not take for granted the skills of our students for things that seem obvious to us. 

Use royalty-free images 

Similarly, the use of royalty-free images is often overlooked by even the most knowledgeable of users (us first!). It is often taken for granted that our image found on Google can be picked up and shared, but most of those that appear as a result of our research are subject to copyright. In order to help us comply with them, it is possible to choose filters on Google using the additional search tabs. I leave you here a little tutorial in order to guide you. It is also possible to search directly on certain sites which already make a preselection of royalty-free images, such as Pixabay, Burst or Fotomelia. In fact, the important thing is to be aware of and make our young people aware of the importance of image ownership, in the same way as we do with written sources! 

Publish and consult responsibly and respectfully on social networks

Teaching about the use of social networks is always more difficult to integrate, because we do not motivate the students to use platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or even Twitter within the walls of the school. However, it is possible to make them aware of the shares they make, the pages they follow or the content they consult by creating learning situations featuring one of these applications. For example, in French, it is possible to ask students to write a text featuring a hero victim of social networks, or even dependent on video games. In addition, it is possible to use these platforms in an educational way, as with the Twictée which is a form of dictation that we do with Twitter, or ask the students to write an information capsule or a description from images consulted on Instagram or Pinterest. Why not use math algorithm formulas to create a problem about the probabilities of hitting an unwanted page?  

In short, our role as teachers is to teach our young people how to act in the right way, and personally, I don't believe that it is by forbidding them to use something or by taking for acquired that they are skilful that they will develop knowledge, but well by teaching them how, and why to do it. Let's not forget to accompany them in the wonderful world of the Web so that they become the digital citizens we want them to be!

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About the Author

Laurie Couture
A high school French teacher and contributor to various blogs, Laurie Couture is passionate about writing and for the innovative aspect of education: how can you change your ways of doing things to improve your method? She loves to discover, discuss and develop about convincing practices related to technologies. Using digital technology, she aspires to set up projects and documents responding to current trends and proposing new approaches.

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