From Digital Citizenship to Digital Leadership

As our millennials continue their journey through our public education system, many schools have begun their shift from a place of developing digital citizenship skills to one of embedding digital leadership practices.

Courtesy of Sylvia Duckworth and Jennifer Casa Todd, 2015

Changing the use of the internet and social media has been rapid. George Couros very neatly differentiates the shift: while digital citizenship is about using the internet and social media in a responsible and ethical way, digital leadership asks us to use the internet and social media to improve the lives, well-being, and circumstances of others.

What is this shift saying to our learners?

As our lives allow technology, social media, and the digital realm to become more embedded in our lives we don’t have many options in avoiding it. But as Sylvia Duckworth and Jennifer Casa-Todd believe, we have an obligation as educators and members of society to help our kids to develop a kind of empathy; one that sees a move away from seeing one’s self and towards seeing one’s self in the physical and digital company of others.
I suppose, however, the question still begs: Are our students (our digital learners, natives) really ready for that responsibility? When the tools of the internet still dominate and promote a “look at me and here’s my life with all of its glory and problems” how do we really help our children towards adopting this outwards looking shift?

Nothing ventured…

Next post: How do we help to set up our learners to meet with success with this shift? And how do we know when (and if) they are ‘ready’?

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