There are apparently 2 lives people are living, one in which they are immersed in digital world, and the other where they carry out their normal life in absence of digital devices. Increasingly citizens are spending significant part of life in cyber world. Kids of tomorrow will have to figure out a way to navigate digital world and school, puzzle through issues of responsible and safe conduct in digital world without the help of educational system, and protect privacy, property and feelings. It is therefore necessary to prepare our kids for digital world of tomorrow. The term digital citizen retains the essence of Citizen with certain subtle nuances which come from additional adherence to rules and conduct expectations while spending time in digital world.
“Citizen is defined as state of being a citizen of a particular social, political or national community. Citizenship carries both rights and responsibilities.”
In the light of increasing use of highly mobile information technology, it is critical to develop policies to manage and control behavior of our citizens and prevent misuse and abuse. At the same time a lot need to be introduced in our education system to prepare our children and guide them to grow into a responsible and aware digital citizens. Researchers have identified follow areas where specific guidance and progressive inclusion through policy intervention in education is required. These are:
- Digital Access: Full electronic participation of all kids in educational initiatives of school without any preference or bias.
- Digital Commerce: Online buying and selling of goods. Kids are often the target of fraud commercial transactions.
- Digital Communication: Exchange of information through electronic means. Younger lot especially teens are highly engaged in community and social media discussions.
- Digital Literacy: Teaching and learning about technology and its application.
- Digital Etiquette: Standards of conduct and behavior in the cyber world.
- Digital Law: Responsibility for action and their outcomes when using electronic means
- Digital Security: Awareness and precautionary measure to ensure safety and security of digital & data infrastructure, and identities.
- Digital Health and Wellness: Stress and psychological influences associated with spending time in digital world.
- Digital Rights and Responsibilities: Knowledge and understanding on freedoms and expression rights in digital world.
- Cloud Computing: Meeting the infrastructure and services need from Cloud Service Providers (CSP)
- Personally owned devices: Usage and care for personally owned devices such as phone, laptop etc.
The idea of including necessary digital preparedness is to groom kids for future and evolve them into:
- Engaged Thinker: Citizens of today are already seeing a huge surge in information. The citizens of tomorrow will have to take multiple perspectives into account, learn, apply to the situation in hand and communicate the best alternate or idea.
- Ethical Citizen: Learn to be open-minded, and know to collaborate, respect the opinion and know to collaborate in the digital world.
- Entrepreneurial Spirit: Tomorrow’s business shall be heavily built on digital platforms. Children of today must learn to see ideas in digital world and take risks, put hard work to build knowledge economy of tomorrow.
Some of the ideas that educational institution may explore to enhance quality of teaching and build the above themes into curriculum are highlighted as under:
- The next generation education policy shall keep scope for understanding its learners. The digital education may be built on foundations of technology to analyse learner’s behavior, identify areas of strength, weaknesses of learner and guide him to next steps for learning.
- Building reach to global experts by building digital communities of learners and teachers of the subject.
- Today curriculum structure, pedagogy and teaching experience is all designed by academia. For building tomorrow’s learning experience learners and teachers may come together to create and design knowledge.