Digital technologies have changed traditional ways of social and business interactions including communication. Digital age tools do simplify the process of cross-cultural communication: for many people it is easier to deal with a representative of a different culture when they are not “face-to-face”, especially when language barriers are a real obstacle. Online translators, autocorrecting etc. can make a person more confident during cross-cultural communication processes.
Digital citizenship is the continuously developing norms of appropriate, responsible, and empowered technology use:
-To lead and assist others in building positive digital experiences
-To recognize that our actions have consequences to others
-To participate in a manner for the common good
These basic rules are the foundation of digital communication with respect to different citizenship and culture.
Netiquette is a set of rules that guides social interactions when using technology such as computers and cell phones for communication. Watch the following video to find out more.
There are nine elements to be considered for using technology appropriately.
According to Ribble (2011) digital communication “is the electronic exchange of information”.
Visit the following link and consider some basic rules for digital communications that you can discuss in class and share with adult learners.
Read about the S3 Framework and think about its application in a group of adult learners. What could be different?
S3 Framework (Safe, Savvy and Social)
Digital Citizenship classifies nine foundational elements in the following three guiding principles: Safe, Savvy and Social (or S3). The tenets of S3 are a way to support, as well as reinforce the framework of the themes of digital citizenship. Each theme/element encompasses three levels of support (Safe, Savvy and Social) which could (or should) be taught as soon as our children can first pick up a device and start to interact with it. The first guiding principal; Safety, focuses on protecting yourself and protecting others and creates the base of digital citizenship. The next is Savvy in which focuses on the concepts around educating yourself and connecting with others. These concepts build upon the concepts of Safety. And finally, the Social guiding principle commits to helping everyone make decisions exemplifying our commitment to respect ourselves and respect others. It is here that we fully realize the possibilities of the online experience.
Safety – Protecting Digital Citizens [being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury to yourself or others]
Technology is changing students coming to our schools which in turn moves education. The tools that have been provided to students and faculty are making tasks such as creating or sharing information (e.g., a document, presentation or video) much more streamlined. While technology affords users new opportunities the issues that occur are often are the lapses of judgment when the tool is not fully understood. These problems happen with moving to new and different tools that knowledge and rules are not fully established by those who use them. This is an attempt to apply older concepts to new ideas, which do not exactly fit. Now is the time to make the shift to how we will be utilizing the technology for the future. It is important that educators now begin making alterations to how technology is viewed and integrated into the classroom. The knowledge we share today will be passed along to the next generation.
– Protect Yourself/Protect Others
Savvy – Creating Educated Digital Citizens [wisdom and practical knowledge; the understanding to make good judgments]
In many school or district mission statements or goals there is often some mention of “being lifelong learners”. So what does this mean in the age of digital learning? The growth and changing nature of technology teaches everyone that we can never stop learning. And with the opportunities that these tools provide why would anyone? Technology has opened the possibilities of how to learn new skills and our responsibility to understand and maximize the potential of these tools. There has been an expectation that children innately understand technology since they were born in a time of expanding digital information. Children do show a willingness to use these technologies where adults may approach with more anxiety. It has also been discovered that device and app developers are creating these technologies to make them intuitive, “so that even a child could use.”
– Educate Yourself/Educate Others
Social – Respecting Yourself as a Digital Citizen [creating cooperative and interdependent relationships and understanding of others]
When discussing the topic of digital citizenship, digital health, digital safety or whatever it may be called in your school or district there are certain universal themes that seem to surface and be at the heart of the issue. Whether it is through topics of cyberbullying, viewing (or posting) inappropriate content, or plagiarism these and other topics of concern that are discussed most among parents and educators. This section geared towards the “social” element defines the general topic of digital citizenship and its main elements of discussion. Humans are social by nature. People choosing to group with others like themselves in cities, states, and countries. As members of a community we tend to connect with those like us. This can be the difficult aspect of trying to interact with others online, everyone is given the opportunity to join this thing called the Internet and even though we try and stay with those most like us, it is almost impossible not to bump into others that want to try and change our minds, our beliefs.
– Respect Yourself/Respect Others
Read the following that explores the impact of digitalization on cross-cultural communication processes.
Cross-cultural communication in the digital age
A further challenge exists in a global digital communications environment when everyone is using the same platforms, regardless of where they are, whether email or social media. Because they all involve the written word, it is tempting to assume that one size fits all.
We share messages through email, and on Twitter and Facebook, but are they culturally appropriate everywhere they reach? Discuss with your peers.
Matters of citizenship and cultural difference introduce new complexities in communication in educational environments. Digital tools can make communication better, simplify the process of cross-cultural communication and provide a wide range of solutions if certain rules for digital interaction are followed which ensure appropriate, responsible, and empowered technology use.