A definition of digital literacy & citizenship

By Anne Collier

See what you think about this as a working definition for a digital literacy that includes citizenship, the behavioral element that I think has to be part of using social media safely and constructively:

Critical thinking and ethical choices
the content and impact
oneself, others, and one’s community
what one sees, says, and produces

I’ve been thinking about this all year, seeing 1) a big overlap between new media literacy and digital citizenship (because media has a behavioral component now, and digital citizenship by definition includes media) and 2) a blend of the two as the lion’s share of online safety for young people who are not so-called “at risk youth” – since the research shows that aggressive behavior online more than doubles a child’s risk of being victimized. So mindful use of digital media and devices and good citizenship online are protective as well as empowering. [For background, mile markers in the thinking process were “Social media literacy” last February, “A new online safety” and “Why technopanics are bad” last April, and our ConnectSafely call to action, “Online Safety 3.0,” this month.] Your feedback here in the ConnectSafely forum, or via email (anne[at]netfamilynews.org) would be appreciated.

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