According to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Educators describes digital citizenship as one of the standards to incorporate into curriculums. This standard focuses on educators inspiring students to contribute responsibly to and participate in the digital world. The goal is to create experiences for learners to understand how to interact socially responsibly and empathetically build community with other digital users. Additionally, educators should strive to establish a learning culture that embraces digital literacy and walks students through how to critically analyze online content by allowing them opportunities to practice using digital tools safely, legally, and ethically. Finally, the standard calls for educators to model their behavior, hoping students will grasp and apply it during technology usage (ISTE.org).
This is an enormous task for educators, but learners must become competent and savvy digital citizens to prepare to be productive life-long learners and citizens. It is no longer optional. Educators will need to secure help from parents and other stakeholders to ensure learners understand the importance of being good digital citizens. Also, by assisting students in this journey, the adult stakeholders will also learn the value of being a good digital citizen.
To ensure success in any field, it will be vital that learners competently navigate the digital landscape. Digital citizenship in the 21st century is necessary for everyone, whether you are a younger learner, an adult learner, or a workforce learner.
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2021). Educators Standard 3. www.iste.org
Data is all around us and is growing at an alarming rate. Many companies use data to help with marketing efforts. Some lawmakers argue that an individual owning their data should be a fundamental right (Tisne, 2018). With the use of smartphones tracking data, every move made is now traceable, and the results can manifest in a variety of ways, including ways that may be detrimental to one's physical safety and personal information. According to Tinse, the current laws do not provide adequate protection, and as a result, more attention needs to be paid to developing legislation around data protection rights. Taylor (2017) referred to it as data justice, which is referred to as fairness in the way people are represented and treated due to their digital data.
Although this is an emerging topic, it is becoming more visible to lawmakers and businesses. Taylor (2017) suggests that there are three pillars to data justice, and those are visibility, engagement with technology, and non-discrimination. Visibility involves access to representation and informational privacy. While engagement with technology involves sharing data's benefits and autonomy of tech choices. Finally, non-discrimination takes into consideration the ability to challenge bias and preventing discrimination. According to Taylor (2017), the proposed categories present another way to think about data.
According to Ma et al. (2018), one solution to handle the vast amount of data is through the implementation of blockchain. Blockchain is considered a growing field, and to simplify the explanation; it provides a network of computers to house encrypted private information. This appears to be a viable option that is worth exploring. The problem is that blockchain options have not penetrated the consumer markets and would be challenging for consumers to use them. Businesses are starting to explore ways to utilize blockchain technology to protect their data. Data justice or data privacy is an emerging topic, more information will sure to be available as legislation is passed, and more consumers become concerned with how their data is being used, sold, and manipulated for profits.
Taylor, L. (2017). What is data justice? The case for connecting digital rights and freedoms globally. Big Data & Society, 4(2), 2053951717736335
Ma, Z., Jiang, M., Gao, H., & Wang, Z. (2018). Blockchain for digital rights management. Future Generation Computer Systems, 89, 746-764
Tisne, M. (2018). It's time for a bill of data rights. MIT Technology Review, https://www. technologyreview. com/s/612588/its-time-for-a-bill-of-data-rights/
Media fluency, also known as media literacy, is one of the 21st-century skills for learners today. Digital media is a vital part of our everyday lives, and it is the gatekeeper to the amount of information we intake, whether good or bad. Therefore, consumers of the information need to understand how to evaluate the overwhelming amount of information and the importance of how it is processed (Bulger & Davison, 2018).
According to Valtonen et al. (2019), media literacy is necessary for students to understand and flourish. Our daily lives revolve around the use of digital tools, and the more students are equipped, the better they will be in navigating digital media in their daily lives. Additionally, as students move to different educational levels or into the workforce, they will meet expectations that they understand how to use digital media and use it to enhance their lives, which is profitable for their employers.
There are three main issues surrounding media literacy. The first is media literacy should encompass all forms of media, the second is that media literacy should be considered a skill and knowledge. Finally, when used appropriately, media literacy should improve users' lives by extending more control over how media influences them (Valtonen et al.,2019). Understanding that media literacy includes all forms of media is vital for educators to articulate to the learner. Helping learners process and think about the angle that the information is being presented is one way to help learners critically think about how the content. Valtonen et al. (2019) indicate that critical thinking is an essential component in evaluating media and should be exercised each time one views or uses media.
Resources available to help educators fully comprehend the nuances around media literacy are available at:
Valtonen, T., Tedre, M., Mäkitalo, K., & Vartiainen, H. (2019). Media literacy education in the age of machine learning. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 11(2), 20-36.
Bulger, M., & Davison, P. (2018). The promises, challenges, and futures of media literacy. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 10(1), 1-21.
Establishing a learning culture in the organization is not just about learning it is about creating an environment of open-mindedness and sharing. Learning culture stemmed from organizational leadership studies from the 1990s and 2000s and is now resurfacing in organizations, especially as the pandemic forced many organizations to pivot quickly (Learning Insights, 2018). By the name, one would think that creating a learning culture has to do with creating more learning opportunities via formal courses. However, it involves creating a culture that can take information from the outside and turn it into actions with the organization, keyword ACTION. It is not about learning for the sake of learning but learning to take bold action. van Breda-Verduijn & Heijboer (2016) defines learning culture as “a collective, dynamic system of basic assumptions, values, and norms which direct the learning of people within an organization.”
According to Nigel Paine on building a learning culture (Learning Insights, 2018), he discusses five ways to create a Learning Culture. Those five steps include staff engagement, technology, autonomy, trust, respect, and space. After digging deeper into the learning culture theory, I was intrigued by how each of these steps plays a role in creating a learning culture, especially staff engagement, technology, and autonomy. Research suggests that a learning culture is one where learning is consistently happening, so engagement, technology, and autonomy are needed for employees. To create a learning culture, leadership needs to reflect on if their organization is ready to adopt a learning culture. van Breda-Verduijn & Heijboer (2016) introduced a model for analyzing learning culture, which includes a series of questions:
Huang (2016) describes e-learning in a learning culture environment and believes that eLearning supports learning at a higher level across the organization by providing flexibility and the ability to reach employees worldwide. As organizations strategize the next steps to grow, pivot, and adapt to changes post-pandemic, it is vital to create a solid learning culture so that employees can thrive in the 21st century, ultimately impacting the bottom line and success of organizations.
Learning Insights (2018, October 26). How organizations build a learning culture. [Video] YouTube. https://youtu.be/yOCEoaf_tTA
van Breda-Verduijn, H., & Heijboer, M. (2016). Learning culture, continuous learning, organizational learning anthropologist. Industrial and Commercial Training.
Yoo, S. J., & Huang, W. D. (2016). Can e‐learning system enhance learning culture in the workplace? A comparison among companies in South Korea. British journal of educational technology, 47(4), 575-591.